The Ancient Modern

Two Birds in the Sky Over Addis, and the Brief Message They Brought Me /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

Two birds, together circling the Capital. High over Addis Ababa.

I wonder what augury they carry from the gods?

These two birds are Yang and Yin.

One says, “Heaven must travel with Earth; Hope must travel with Grief. Press on quietly. Read, write, apply, commune, confess, seek silence, bless the Earth. Your opinion is a phantom of time.”

The other says, “A man can only know what is ultimate if he seeks the Absolute; he can only know what is meaningful if he acquaints himself with the Infinite.”

Each of us must find our place with gentleness, with a disposition of generosity. Each of us must learn cooperation according to use.

These two birds are the Earth and the Soul.

How unfortunate that we confuse the use of these two things.

The Earth is for cultivation, growth, life, contemplation. But we kill and dig. The minerals of the Earth are mined, separated, altered and reconfigured against their nature.

While soulswhose nature is to be altered and refinedare left untended, to atrophy and spoil.

We treat the Earth in a parody of how we ought to treat the Soul; We treat the Soul as if it were a forgotten piece of Earth.

Two birds, together flying over the Capital, over this mountain, over seven million souls. They approach and retreat in their circling. They seem to understand flight as a language, a grammar of motion.

I wonder if anyone else is watching and listening? Their message is alluring, but beyond what I can understand.


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2019 by Joshua Alan Sturgill

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