RISING

Artwork: "Dawn Of A New World", Richard Mittelstadt, 2017 (source)
RISING

I am fresh mountain, rising
resting high 'bove restless seas
mouth spewing fiery fountain
molten magma,
finally flowing free

ten-thousand deaths below, yearning
churning, lost  'neath country-rock ceiling
fingers burning earthly-shell aglow
crystalline cooling,
unsealing sulf'rous steaming

superheating, stellar-screaming
launching, lifting, liquidating
body birthing, bomb-blast beaming 
seabed bursting,
unfurling thun'dring-dome, detonating 

...

I am bright fissure, billowing
pillowing lava midst ocean forbidding
throat sprouting riv'letting river
moulting meteors,
descending, quenching, strata extending,
 
steepening, dark-spire reaching
heating halo roiling sea-surface boiling
breath holding, exhale exploding
pyroclast plumage,
soaring, lightning crack'ling uncoiling

I am, ten-thousand glassy spheres, raining
gazing east at dawning-sun blazing
eyes seeing mirrors rising-star seers
towering torchlight,
unveiling fresh mountain creating

...

I am, fresh mountain, rising  
I am, tall mountain, standing  
I am, old mountain, misting  
drifting sea breeze 'mongst blooming heartsease  
foot blessing crashing-foam fountain  
surging sea-spray,
finally flying free

Lance Gatlin ©2022

Photo: Sergio Taprio (artist)

+ Contemplations
+ In a first-person poem, who is “I”?
When a first-person poem is read silently, is the "I" of the poem the author?

Is "I" some unseen narrator? 

Is "I" the entity in the poem that appears to speak, who says "I"? (e.g. the mountain)

When a first-person poem is spoken aloud, is "I" the speaker?

If a reader speaks the poem out loud as they read, who is "I" then?

Could "I" be a larger collective of individuals with a singular external identity?

Who stops the reader or listener from imagining themselves as "I"?

Can more than one meaning of "I" be valid? Could all possible meanings be valid?

How does the meaning of a first-person poem change with pronouns other than "I"?
+ YOU are rising…
You are fresh mountain, rising  
resting high 'bove restless seas  
mouth spewing fiery fountain  
molten magma,  
finally flowing free  
  
ten-thousand deaths below, yearning  
churning, lost  'neath country-rock ceiling  
fingers burning earthly-shell aglow  
crystalline cooling,   
unsealing sulf'rous steaming  
  
superheating, stellar-screaming  
launching, lifting, liquidating  
body birthing, bomb-blast beaming   
seabed bursting,  
unfurling thun'dring-dome, detonating   
  
...  
  
You are bright fissure, billowing  
pillowing lava midst ocean forbidding  
throat sprouting riv'letting river  
moulting meteors,  
descending, quenching, strata extending,  
   
steepening, dark-spire reaching  
heating halo roiling sea-surface boiling  
breath holding, exhale exploding  
pyroclast plumage,  
soaring, lightning crack'ling uncoiling  
  
ten-thousand glassy spheres, raining  
gazing east at dawning-sun blazing  
eyes seeing mirrors rising-star seers  
towering torchlight,  
unveiling fresh mountain creating  
  
...  
  
You are fresh mountain, rising    
You are tall mountain, standing    
You are old mountain, misting    
drifting sea breeze 'mongst blooming heartsease    
foot blessing crashing-foam fountain    
surging sea-spray,    
finally flying free
+ WE are rising…
We are fresh mountain, rising  
resting high 'bove restless seas  
mouth spewing fiery fountain  
molten magma,  
finally flowing free  
  
ten-thousand deaths below, yearning  
churning, lost  'neath country-rock ceiling  
fingers burning earthly-shell aglow  
crystalline cooling,   
unsealing sulf'rous steaming  
  
superheating, stellar-screaming  
launching, lifting, liquidating  
body birthing, bomb-blast beaming   
seabed bursting,  
unfurling thun'dring-dome, detonating   
  
...  
  
We are bright fissure, billowing  
pillowing lava midst ocean forbidding  
throat sprouting riv'letting river  
moulting meteors,  
descending, quenching, strata extending,  
   
steepening, dark-spire reaching  
heating halo roiling sea-surface boiling  
breath holding, exhale exploding  
pyroclast plumage,  
soaring, lightning crack'ling uncoiling  
  
ten-thousand glassy spheres, raining  
gazing east at dawning-sun blazing  
eyes seeing mirrors rising-star seers  
towering torchlight,  
unveiling fresh mountain creating  
  
...  
  
We are fresh mountain, rising    
We are tall mountain, standing    
We are old mountain, misting    
drifting sea breeze 'mongst blooming heartsease    
foot blessing crashing-foam fountain    
surging sea-spray,    
finally flying free
+ Who stops us from imaginatively embodying an idea?
Is it possible to arrive at a deeper understanding of an idea (such as a first-person poem), not just by thinking about it, but by also imaginatively embodying it? By trying it on as-if it were a "costume"? By playing with it, being it?
 
Is it possible to know if a "costume" will "fit" without trying it on?

When we try on a "costume" and it doesn't "fit", why exactly doesn't it "fit"?

Who stops us from modifying a "costume" to better "fit" us? 
Can a memorized poem become a litany against fear? psychic armor? a ritual against untruth?

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