The Elements

by Diane di Prima

EARTH: The Snake Charmer
Persimmons remain where the boughs are bare.
And the ornamental plum blooms early
before the rains. Blooms & is stripped bare.
That is the nature of Earth, she takes us in
or thrusts us into the wind
before we’re ready

WATER: The Moat around the Castle
Two golden fishes bring abundance.
Like a clear mirror, the ocean never tires.
It keeps eternal whisperings around
the edges of our minds. Or comes at us
like a train emerging again from the mantelpiece.
Where time stands still, Water
will scoop us up.

AIR: Temple of Heaven
You can’t fence in the sky, or the Brady Bunch:
even inside is outside to them. A cave
is the open prairie & the wind
will lift the cloaks of angels before their wings
can catch an updraft.

FIRE: Prelude to Troy
What is demonic is sacred.
What we most fear blesses us.
Gold quickens in the crucible, it runs with life.
Metal annealed is twice as strong. Let Fire
burn dross from body & mind, and from inside out.
Thus the world is renewed.