There are walls, stone walls that fix
the distance within which I move.
They reflect noise. They provide a surface
for sound and thought to radiate to and from.
They protect me, stone walls manmade - selfmade -
steelcold - thoughtless - unfeeling - true.
They are pitted with time, little fissures run
throughout their seams and they break.
Through them pour all they held at bay; sunlight,
the rush of clean air, the open space.
There may be a place without them that is safe.
I don't know of it. Without a wall there is no inside.
The Indian built a pillared altar where their dead
were offered to the sky above the ground.
There were no vaults for them, no holes below the
earth, no boxes to confine their remains.
This is very brave. They must have looked within
and understood how to wander, without a wall.
There are walls between my thoughts and feelings.
There are walls between my knowledge and wisdom.
There is a wall again between myself and myself.
Without it I am exposed and afraid. I am alone.
The business of thought has been my wall muralled
with protective fantasies. It is without something.
There is a time between knowing with your walls
and not knowing without them. Indian rites.
A.J. Heskett April 86