William Blake illustration for Milton's Il Penseroso


The stars sing.
Clouds philosophize.
Sand pities us.

I am a prenatal soul
struggling towards birth,
but life gets in the way.

The only path out
is in, into the womb,
back to the zygote,
redividing egg from sperm,
reclaiming unformed possibility.

Scratching out my definition in the dictionary.

Every other is an I.
Robin on the lawn,
carp in the creek,
mosquito on my knee.

(I still slap the mosquito.
The mosquito still bites me.)

Satan is the self possessed
by itself, perfect in self-knowledge.
Hell is a streetmap of Paradise.
Damnation, a five-step plan of salvation.

God is my beloved child,
in Whom I am uneased.
Whom I must protect, educate,
entertain, bring to maturity.

Even when I'm awake,
I hear angels in my sleep.

The mud lusts for my flesh.

There is Nothing beyond death,
again. And there I will be
again the sun, ecstatic, singing.

-- Bryant Jacobi

Image info: illustration by William Blake to John Milton's "Il Penseroso."