emergency almanac - summer 2003

by Anastasios Kozaitis

ti gar wfelei anqrwpon kerdhsai ton kosmon olon kai zhmiwqhnai thn yuchn autou;
ti gar doi anqrwpo Vantallagmath Vyuch Vautou

   Whosoever desires
To save his life will lose it
In the silence of a momentary seam,
Quickly folding into hedges, into ash woods
From where the rood came.

   How far from one rod can another stand?
Triumvirate of crucifixes
Automatically triggers
Ticking digressions.

   The calculus makers
Survey heavenly bodies,
Make them move together.
Always. Assume forgotten
To be forgotten. Kabbalah of a heart
And its bag of teardrops instructs the dropping
Of a water’s architecture.

   The attending sparrows crank
A tear-making machinery beyond the mask
Of departing winter in the dim space
Behind gray eyes
Crying for a lost mathematics.

Math found Mecca on the stars.
The faithful pray for unholy ones
And for the trees’ rooting in spring’s
Psychology with the ethos of growing days.
An astrology of time maps
A faith in the desert of the eyes.

For where but from here might wood grow?
In the sands between the rivers
Roots grab the silicon of the soul.

Bird watching answers
Carry the questions
To birds nests.
Not one of you is small,
Acrobatic and skittish
On your branches and untidy in your nests,
Junco, in your black hood and slate suit,
Vedic in your approach and super in your hops
Into soils of the eyes and the pulp of our boxes.
Kneeling in our pews on Beiruti marble
Roughed by the shelling and time abbreviated
With your chirping and your scratching.

   The algorithmic somewhere fearful
Might be saved.
Look to the forest in the skies
Where tangential geographies
Locate a homestead.

Contra mundum
The soul hides.

epigram: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?” Mark 8:36-37