Glen A. Mazis

The Alchemical Secret of Movement

Zeno, master in his universe of logic, proved
that the inspired sprinter, making up half
the distance per measure of elapsed time,
would never catch the meandering tortoise,
for making up half of anything endlessly,
never makes it. The thinker’s glory was another
case of right answer, but for wrong reasons,
of a blinding quick deduction encased in
the amber of pure reason.

If Zeno had let the turtle race the athlete
across the agora, instead of through his
mind, he would have discovered that moving
is not about a change of place. The glistening
body of Achilles would shatter the philosopher’s
tidily arranged mental units in a blur of earth
and sky funneled through the heart into his
feet. Achilles would reach the marble columns
first but still not be moving as fast as the wise
terrapin. Its slow steps match its knowledge
that movement is more subtle than pumping
limbs. With more careful thought, the tortoise
knows that to remain who or what we are even
if we happen to be passing quickly through
a piece of space is still to be stuck in the
same spot as the world whizzes by.

Whereas, to truly move is to find the new
inside the old, to wake up in a different
galaxy, even if still in the same room.
A true destination slips into the blood,
so fire in the veins burns a new shape
for the outside by expanding from within.
It’s an insinuation by vibration from kiss
or caress, from the rhythm of tree branches
as they sway or within the gray blue speckling
of a rock. In the deep viscera where we
really live suddenly a shift occurs that
makes me be you or also the brown robed
monk rapt in prayer. A voyage of eons
has occurred between the moment
I looked at you in hate and
I looked at you in love.