This article accompanies the fable
Sir Richard Burton at Miramare, Trieste
Sitting on the sea wall at Miramare
Sir Richard Burton is churning the ocean
and dreaming of Lakshmi above the waves.
Drinking the halahala poison
and caressing his bright blue throat.
When the sunlight streams across the hills,
Maximilian is on fire in Mexico
and Carlota leans out her upstairs window.
Who remembers their past lives really?
Have we forgotten ours
as we remember theirs
or are we creating ours from theirs?
The Age of Iron and Chaos is upon us
Kalki riding a white horse to Banbury Cross.
The tortoise is falling into the void
and the wheel will return to 1.
Sex was more intense when he was young.
Now desire comes only in the mornings
an old friend pushed aside
by food, alcohol, drugs, the other pleasures…
Absurd, though, to equate sex with death as others have donne.
Orgasm does not, cannot, shorten one’s life…
In Sanskrit, nirvana means annihilation.
The candle stops flickering or is blown out.
But the waves sweeping over this sea wall are exhilarating
a reminder that sexuality and spirituality are the same...
One could just as well equate sex and orgasm with birth.
The moment when something atomic is generated
in the heat of a fusion reaction.
Never had children though.
A question of fertility and grace
and the long slow slide back into the sea.
Alexandre Cabanel's Birth of Venus (1863)