Words that Reconnect: “Hieroglyphic Stairway”, a poem by Drew Dellinger

It’s 3:23 in the morning 
And I’m awake 
Because my great great grandchildren 
Won’t let me sleep.
My great great grandchildren 
Ask me in dreams 
What did you do while the planet was plundered? 
What did you do when the earth was unraveling? 
 
Surely you did something 
When the seasons started failing? 
 
As the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying? 

Did you fill the streets with protest 
When democracy was stolen? 
 
What did you do 
 once 
 you 
 knew? 
 
I’m riding home on the Colma train 
I’ve got the voice of the Milky Way in my dreams 
 
I have teams of scientists 
Feeding me data daily 
And pleading I immediately
Turn it into poetry 
 
I want just this consciousness reached 
By people in range of secret frequencies 
Contained in my speech 
 
I am the desirous earth 
Equidistant to the underworld 
And the flesh of the stars 
 
I am everything already lost 


The moment the universe turns transparent 
And all the light shoots through the cosmos 
 
I use words to instigate silence 


I’m a hieroglyphic stairway
In a buried Mayan city 
Suddenly exposed by a hurricane 
 
A satellite circling earth 
Finding dinosaur bones 
In the Gobi desert 
I am telescopes that see back in time 
 
I am the precession of the equinoxes, 
The magnetism of the spiraling sea 
 
I’m riding home on the Colma train 
With the voice of the milky way in my dreams 
 
I am myths where violets blossom from blood 
Like dying and rising gods 
 
I’m the boundary of time 

Soul encountering soul 
And tongues of fire 
 
It’s 3:23 in the morning 
And I can’t sleep 
Because my great great grandchildren 
Ask me in dreams 
What did you do while the earth was unraveling? 
 
I want just this consciousness reached 
By people in range of secret frequencies 
Contained in my speech 
 
©2003, from the collection of poems “Love Letter to the Milky Way” by Drew Dellinger

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