Sea and Mountain, Body and Mind

I. sharp love / ἔρως ὀξύτατος

as circles move through the grit of sensation
what is within dissolved
mimicking blood, mirroring life
the image of the mixing-bowl
Hekate’s retinue of meandering spirits
the root of all quenchless desire
a growth that blooms, that sheds
a red rose within the walled garden
we hide from ourselves unspeaking
shame nailing us, shackling us

II. urgent love / ἔρως ὀξύτατος

each page beneath these fingertips,
their sharp edges teasing dry skin.
raw erōs active within, its pulses
starlit landscapes: alight, vast, hungry.
intangibly keen, this feeling at its core
a mountain-peak altar embering traces of
fragrant sacrifices at the meeting-point:
a body of stone bereft of even trees,
appetition quenched to cold illumination,
yet even here remains breath and bone.


Inspired by an endnote in Proclus’ On Providence about the term “sharp love,” which I then looked up in the Laws Book 6 (783a) to figure out what the term actually was. I don’t know how adjective endings are constructed in Ancient Greek, but ὀξύτατος is in the superlative (sharpest, most urgent/pressing) construction, and it seemed best to keep it that way, so be aware of that dissonance in the bolded headings.

4 thoughts on “Sea and Mountain, Body and Mind

  1. Love the imagery mixing the focal points of birth, death, and desire with the intersections of animate and inanimate spheres of existence.

    Liked by 1 person

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