Image by Louise Dickinson-Brown
By Lewis Turco
Some call him Uroboros:
He is the chemist's worm, things in a circle,
air and fire, water, earth,
a mouth of darkness devouring
its own bright tail. Sarsens for
his spine, scales of blue stones, he wheels
upon himself, and nothing is consumed. All
wisdom and all matter: These
are his. We may transmogrify
his image in the dark glass
of our minds — he may become the
worm in Eve's fruit, asp at the breast, Wyvern in
the tower hissing out
of Merlin's spell; nevertheless, he
is the Hermetic dragon
Uroboros: All things in one.
One may not transmute his elements unless
he dies. Where shall one bleed him?
How can we sever everness?
He is the Worm Who Lives,
each thing and All: Water of life,
torment's fire, wind-breath, stone and soil from which these
green things spring. Uroboros.
Look inward where he coils in blood.
From an unpublished manuscript, A Book of Beasts, poems by Lewis Turco, illustrations by Louise Dickinson-Brown; the poems may be found in Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932842-19-7, cloth; ISBN 978-1-932842-20-3, paper. Also available in a Kindle edition.