‘Hidden’ by Mara Lemanis

‘Hidden’ by Mara Lemanis




What is hidden lures me

to rival showrooms

goading me to buy

facsimiles of gospel truth

They point out idols

of the marketplace,

They warn of false conspiracies

false prophesies

that hide the fossil heart of faith,

the diamond heart

that forged a covenant

with ancient carbon

our master builder 

grounded in our greening


I turn away and plunge a stethoscope

beneath the floor of smiles

hiding smirks

and poke inside the skin of thought

to smelt the bone out from the ore

that twists from nutrients to wastes

I slip past layers furrowed

with the fortitude of sullen sacks

puffed up with sludge;

They scorn my trespass

a web of winking threads, dense, chaste

They tempt me with minute openings,

false doors, locked vents,

I could cut through

wield a scalpel

peer inside the mother of all pumps

my warrior liver

laboring to purge invaders,

but it would be a cheap invasion

and show no other secret

than biology already knows


What is hidden lures me

past the limits of my hominid eye,

It sees beyond the rented light

that stains my retina

and takes me to the king of carbon

the Tree of Life

whose roots sink centuries deep

down crusts of earth to molten seas

down to the iron core;

no word my mind creates

can find the hidden variable

that spurs my thought;

It is the tree that speaks,

It is the tree

whose foliage, without a word

wafts fragrances of

jasmine, citrus, evergreen, musk

whose branches sway

with a steady undercurrent of decay;

my eyes have seen the whitest snow

surround its trunk,

press down the blackest ground

enriched with bodies uninterred

unconfined in managed plots

freely welcomed into mulch

to mingle with the scents of pine and rose

the odor of disintegrating carbon

mining flesh


What is hidden lures me,

endures in me

like maggots nestling inside mulch

that feed life’s tree

or like carbon crystals tightly packed

inside a diamond

that is not forever

just till the end of hominid time


What lures me endures

hidden in plain sight

inside my carbon thought

it sculpts a diamond

for the showroom of my truth,

exhales the words


that shake the tree of life.


    Mara Lemanis


Images: 1) tree roots, 2) diamond out of carbon