After dinner, I become afraid despite myself. I know I should be joyous, for this reunion is the proof that love can still be ours, but I know the bell has tolled this evening. The sun has long since set and the thief is about to come, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. So I stare at her and wait and live a lifetime in these last remaining moments.
The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds-the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors.
SUCKERS WHO FLEXED YO, THEIR DEATHS GOT TOLLED UP, HOLLED UP 'CAUSE I'M NOT THE NIGGA TO TOY WITH BOY WITH THE BIG MOUTH YA GOT TIME TO RIFF? THERE'S TIME TO TAKE YOU OUT PUT A COUPLE CAPS IN YOUR ASS, CUT YOUR HEAD OFF SEND IT TO YOUR MOM WITH FLOWERS 'CAUSE I'M SO SOFT LAY ON YOUR WACK CREW, SMOKE THE WHOLE BUNCH BURY 'EM IN MY BACK YARD AND THEN I'LL EAT LUNCH 'CAUSE I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU OR HIM OR HER WHENEVER I'M IN THE HOUSE A DEATH JUST MIGHT OCCU
I opened the doors of my heart.And behold,There was music within and a song,And echoes did feed on the sweetness, repeating it long.I opened the doors of my heart. And behold,There was music that played itself out in aeolian notes:Then was heard, as a far-away bell at long intervals tolled.
They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.
As a people, we have been tolled farther and farther away from the facts of what we have done by the romanticizers, whose bait is nothing more than the wishful insinuation that we have done no harm. Speaking a public language of propaganda, uninfluenced by the real content of our history which we know only in a deep and guarded privacy, we are still in the throes of the paradox of the 'gentleman and soldier.' However conscious it may have been, there is no doubt in my mind that all this moral and verbal obfuscation is intentional. Nor do I doubt that its purpose is to shelter us from the moral anguish implicit in our racism-an anguish that began, deep and mute, in the minds of Christian democratic freedom-loving owners of slaves.
Today is the winter solstice. The planet tilts just so to its star, lists and holds circling in a fixed tension between veering and longing, and spins helpless, exalted, in and out of that fleet blazing touch. Last night Orion vaulted and spread all over the sky, pagan and lunatic, his shoulder and knee on fire, his sword three suns at the ready-for what? I won't see this year again, not again so innocent; and longing wrapped round my throat like a scarf. 'For the Heavenly Father desires that we should see,' says Ruysbroeck, 'and that is why He is ever saying to our inmost spirit one deep unfathomable word and nothing else.' But what is the word? Is this mystery or coyness? A cast-iron bell hung from the arch of my rib cage; when I stirred, it rang, or it tolled, a long syllable pulsing ripples up my lungs and down the gritty sap inside my bones, and I couldn't make it out; I felt the voiced vowel like a sigh or a note but I couldn't catch the consonant that shaped it into sense.