Archetype of the Soul

The sky,
more than the sea,
its ever-present refrain,
at any moment, can
heave a cumulus sigh,
bellow tempestuous,
darken with fear,
flash, shake, boil,
ignite with rage,
sustain in calm,
drift despondent,
awaken ebullient,
linger monotonous;
a kaleidoscope caravan,
restless metamorphose,
wayfaring toward
its daily denouement:
sepia-shutter shades,
seeped in desert dusk,
from ebony interludes,
to reiterative pitch,
til curtain opens in
soft-fold surprises
toward canopy reign
over minute movements
of another day.


This poem is a response poem, a reply that disagrees with the many poets through the centuries who have claimed that that sea is a reflection of the soul. I posit the idea that it's the omnipresent sky (the sea's ubiquity is relegated to those clustered around the shore). 

The sky reflects the transcendence within each of us, it's reign over our lives is much more than physical. A few years after I wrote this poem, I stumbled across the following passage in Karen Armstrong's excellent little book, A Short History of Myth:

Some of the very earliest myths, probably dating back to the Paleolithic period, were associated with the sky, which seems to have given people their first notion of the divine. When they gazed at the sky -infinite, remote and existing quite apart from their puny lives- people had a religious experience. The sky towered above them, inconceivably immense, inaccessible and eternal. It was the very essence of transcendence and otherness ... The endless drama of its thunderbolts, eclipses, storms, sunsets, rainbows, and meteors spoke of another endlessly active dimension which had a dynamic life of its own.