“Too Beautiful” by Phyllis Lawrence

Phyllis Lawrence, living in Wendell: I participate in a weekly writing group in Wendell. In the light of this strange and terrifying pandemic time, I find the beauty of the natural world not only a solace but sometimes overwhelming.

“Too Beautiful”

Too Beautiful
In this dimmed time
I can barely keep my eyes open to the bright light.
My pupils contract onto the head of a pin.

Too beautiful
Deep blue of a quarry lake
A lake of infinite blue
Flowing through into sky.
The robin’s breast a royal garment
Dressed for a banquet of the Gods.
I imagine the servile earthworms, rising up to meet a death
In a trance to Robin
Unable to dig in deep as they ought.

Too beautiful
Tearing the heart
Pulling breath
Flying free.

Excruciating Beauty.
Sight blinded.
Hearing arrested.
Movement caught
In a net of immobility.
Caught between Rapture and Time.
Rapture and Death
For Time is death by its very nature
Always passing away.

Productivity, industry is meaningless.
Blue stars scattering among the moss and blades of grass
Stone and statue
I stare dumbly
Turning now one way
And the other
Yet traveling nowhere.
Restrained, caught still
In this net of Beauty

I can only stay so long
Or will I be consumed?
Will my other self come to rescue
Uncurl me from this womb,
And tear the net open
Let me find movement again
Restore me from a death of overwhelming beauty.

To Reach,
To hold hands
And grasp
The cloth that is Time.