Better Living Thru Alchemy

Spring and we stay busy, our projections bright
as Sunday morning’s sunlight shining through these bottles
darkly colored—cobalt and umber, tinctures of mercury
and of silver—the sharp thin scent of solvents dissolving
the forest’s vegetable grace—transmuting its fecundity
into matter more profound—an intimation of enlightenment,
or the surcease of pain that seems so similar.

Pray the weather holds, and grants to us another quarter
of continued growth: honeycomb and amber, velvet petaled
inflorescences and wind-borne bits of insects or seed;
the pieces of the older world that fuel this cottage industry—
trading fungal assets on the woodland floor. Gather up,
in mossy handfuls dripping water, the morels growing
by the rivers edge; they say they’re goblin’s tears, to heal

an injury done through love, though too much at once
may cause the heart to harden into stone—and this too
may serve its purpose; there is room enough for a calculus
within our common cause: to cure stories with stories,
construct what meaning we find from what we bring;
densify each thicket of grass with reason to be, a purpose
worth its birth into the sacred world thickening:

a twig, a branch, brambles, sudden dead-end paths,
the creek where the trees—aspen and willow—crowd in close
and hungry for the sweet, heavy syrup of light distilled
into new life, the fleshy mystery and buzzing of the invisible
college among the leaves, its atoms numinous in twilight,
composed of selves, repeated and reflected, a truth hidden
concealed within the empire of unexamined things.

—Don Raymond