Crystalline Confluence

By Zaman Stanizai

A little mountain stream

poised in hesitance

on the cusp of a rocky ledge

to make its first jump

as a waterfall—

beauty fashioning itself

in puritanic liquid

crystalline confluence. 


No sooner had this beauty

been brought into existence

before my very eyes

than it went behind

an imperceptible veil,

evading my time-invariable vision. 


I begged eternity

to own the moment. 

Perhaps it did so,

but my perception was locked

in constancy,

unable to slow its pace

to appreciate its splendor. 


In that captivating moment,

a troubling awareness

came over me

that shattered the existing reality

in fragile temporality. 

The awareness that

time is a constant

only in human perception

as the reality we perceive

in time and space

is but a myth

as now and here

are really nowhere

when spelled together.  

Is our reality a myth? 

A gentle whisper of Rumi,

that other native of Afghanistan,

confirmed my contention:

“Think beauty…

it’s the web of your being.”


Beauty is mythically divine

when truth is unknowable

and myth is beauty,

earthly and divine. 

It is constantly sought,

not only by

this deep red garnet of a human heart

that keeps vigil

in vivacious throbbing

in its dark chambers,

but also by

the wandering mind

where consciousness manifests

rationally as a thought

and intuitively as an instinct

seeking beauty as ‘a hidden treasure.’


In our spiritual and intellectual ventures

in the realm of imagination,

we perceive and create beauty

from the strands of thought

that are buried

in a thick mist of past myths.

As we weave these threads

into our own myths,

we are being woven into them

through icons and insignias

that are destined to become

the cave paintings in distant future. 

These icons depict

the clash of our individual identities

with the universal soul.

All the while

the mind ceaselessly harps

on the loose strands of thought,

each pulled

to hold in the grasp of its tension

as much excitement

of the mystification of the visible

as the revelation

of the incomprehensible.


But far beyond the reach of reason

and speculative notion,

our desire for beauty is driven

by the life force of love

that chases zodiac signs

as our celestial animal selves

all over the constellations. 

In that holiness of the whole

where we are dwarfed

every step of the way

by the constantly redefined vastness

of the turquoise firmament,

willingness invites us

to whirl with the cosmos

in an endless journey

into timelessness. 


In the accelerated tempo

of the universal dance

we realize that mythologically,

and perhaps etymologically,

our dreams come

from drumming

to the music of the inner soul

that resonates

in the rhythmic heartbeat of life.

And in that cosmic carousing,

love, the lover, and the beloved

whirl around beauty

that sometimes reveals all,

like the prospective manifestations

of a lotus,

yet at other times

it is retrospectively secretive

like the petaliferous enfold

in the heart of a rose. 


In that efflorescence,


as our sense of

wonder for the unknown,

often crosses the rainbow bridge

to the undefined otherness

with a yearning

to own it,

to become it,

and to be it.