Andrea Lawrence has a master's in creative writing. She studied fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting.
Inspiration for Poem
I was feeling little to no motivation one morning. My spirit was low as I thought about the pandemic and the waves of dishevelment. I'm hopeful for a recovery period after we conquer the virus or learn how to live with it. It's taking so long to make it through all the swamps and marshes of the saga. It's harder than ever to stay committed to fostering kindness and grace.
I found the poetry prompt for the word "treasure" and decided it would be a good challenge to get me out of my stupor.
It's a messy poem that mixes together Greek mythology, Plato's Cave, Pythagoras, and Dante's Divine Comedy. And maybe Taylor Swift.
Does the poem have too much in it? Probably. But it's intended to be an adventure of sorts.
Lightning bugs, foaming at the mouth,
crystalline saturation, midnight ecstasy.
A universe, breaking down
into sand and strand
into oil and spoil.
The last jewels
the descent into dreamland,
resting at the bottom
of the hourglass.
The howling captivates with red and blue,
the scintillating in green and yellow,
diamonds and diamonds and diamonds
for her asymmetrical eyes,
sapphires in orchid, magenta,
for lips, for his soft lips
and scarlet rubies for ears,
four ears shared together,
four quadrants bending
in a kiss, a kiss in a cave,
at the end of time.
A kaleidoscope of gems hidden
in the hollow.
A kaleidoscope of swinging vines
in the hollow,
to the hollow we'll all return,
as atoms shuffle and slide.
Kisses traded for diamonds,
kisses traded for sapphires,
and rubies spread across
the torn asunder sky, winnowing
with bolts of lightning, thunder,
the sky in two:
the big rip of the cosmos
everything from quasar to quasar
sifted through a tortoiseshell.
Stars break down
and decrescendo into gems
into hidden treasures
all packed into the lungs.
The cry thrashing up
the cry compressed
into a mortal man,
an Athenian, the brightest
pupil of Socrates,
and the teacher, the sage
of Aristotle. The mage
behind Western traditions,
our Plato and his wandering
of his maddening cave.
A cave cut off by a boulder,
three tiers it delights
with different and betwixting knowledge:
(1) natural science; the soul's ascent to God,
(2) mathematics and deductive reasoning; a sphere of heaven,
(3) the theory of forms; the Empyrean, the abode of the Divine.
Plato wandering as the hermit,
the cloaked elder, wandering
as he perfects his philosophies.
Wandering and carrying his lantern,
hoping to disperse the shadows.
He wonders where all the people
have gone, what happened
to their noises, what happened
to their incessant rumblings.
Plato, father of time,
he flirts with disheveled words,
poking language with a stick:
the effect of education
and the lack of it in our nature
an allegory, the cave, presented
after the harrowing
of the analogy of the sun
the analogy of the divided line.
Socrates calls the void
a group of people;
to a wall
all their lives, they
a blank, unchanging wall.
A blank, untouched canvas.
A blank, unwritten space.
The shadows, the prisoners' reality;
the shadows, the prisoners' guests.
Aim past it! Aim past the shadows
as they try to hold you back
with heavy, Damascus steel.
Force yourself to see her, see
Aphrodite hiding among the treasures,
see him, Adonis glittering
like the king's vaulted gold, see
with his bejeweled undines.
You must desire to leave the prison,
desire to play past the freezeframe,
cut your way out,
step into the sunlight,
banish the shadows,
and reject the Idols of the Cave, reject
the Idols of the Cave.
Let spark, birth, untether,
the cave, the cave, a womb.
Let spark again, let the stars
reign in the sky, let
the stars shake, plasma
treasures in clandestine alchemy
hanging in their white-hot glory.
Let the stars that have had enough,
let them resign, let them
retire as jewels and minerals
to sink back into the earth
to be found by bearded gnomes.
Let the little men ponder something more:
Come up gnomes and dwarves
of the underworld;
with the salamanders and sylphs.
There is more above
the mantle and core.
© 2022 Andrea Lawrence