What it will take the Water to let the Lotus go
What do you make of waters that lazy their flow, wait on the mud and the little rocks to silt up their bellies, and cast brown shadows over the blue of their soul? Your answer to this poser that has the ability to lay bare your personality can come in three forms: empathy, disdain and indifference. But the waters I know think little of the opinions of the farsighted and the nearsighted, and would wash your personality with matchless carelessness to the recesses when in their element.
The making of the lotus, like all beautiful things that nature gifts, begins with a sacrifice: a body of water wrapped in white cloth, willingly offered. The lotus’s sprout is initiated after the interment of its hardy seed in the water’s belly. And not long after its sprout, the blossoming begins that rises to the head of the water and graffiti, in each chord and artery and vein, the unmatched brilliance of its tender blossom, a heavenly fairy’s descent upon a world of ageless violence and ephemeral peace.
And each time the water beholds the lotus’s peerless beauty tearing through the morning mist at its wake, or the arching of its leaves like colourful umbrellas living their seasonal usefulness at noon, it waxes lyrical and sings of an enchanting lady in the evening sun, of a silvery fairy in the soft moonlight and of a revivalist¬—for the lotus dips into the grime and raises itself untainted—and of cycle of life, of death and the sudden immaculate rebirth of the lotus, diurnally, like the rotation of the heavens. But the water fears its voice walks with a heavy limp each time it’s reminded of an existing complex chemistry between rhythms and rhymes by the lotus, a nagging headache that it is yet to find its cure.
The lotus lives in the head of the water and the sun lives there too, like it does wherever beauty is resident. And each time it smiles at the lotus’s beauty, it warms the water’s heart and sets its blood rushing: secret of the making of the ripples on the surface of waters that lazied their flow.
The water has spoken repeatedly of the creepy politics and philosophies of things that live in the head: pretty, little devils, they move into your head—an estate—and rework each block slowly, slowly into a labyrinth, and when you try to get rid of them—like landlords do their erring tenants—you find the whole place in matchless defiance of recognition. And trapped in their complex system of paths and tunnels, you end up living with them all your life, loving them, too, sometimes.
Life lied when it told you that things with beginnings have ends. Nothing ends for real, even when life knocks the air out of you, nothing ends. The circularity and cyclicity of things are revealed in new beginnings: the falling of a domino in the game of dominoes: the sprouting and blossoming of the lotus from the water’s belly. But you are too farsighted or nearsighted for these things, beloved lotus, so you forge a necklace out of life’s hypotheses, christen it ‘The Only Truth’ and wear it on your neck.
The soul of the water lives in its heart. Its heart comes alive each time the sun smile at the loveliness of the lotus living in its head. So, what will it take the water to let the lotus go? Dry up and live out its life a heavyhearted lakebed and plant the cheap and entitled plankton whose lividness is unmatched when denied a day’s float or drift on freshwater? No. For you have taught the water your unwavering faith: the muddiness of your sanctuary unaffecting of your petals—your beauty blithely unaffected on the resurrection of your bloom each morning.
Fragrant, clean, tender and lovely, your legend is not unknown, beloved lotus. Your ability to waver the water by working the sun’s face like a puppeteer and your countless risings in the water’s head to activity after months of stasis is not subliminal.
In the water’s eyes, you symbolize its ability to emerge from a place of pain into the light. You are its only way to the light, unidirectional. So why fold your flowers like those prickly mimosas of the mimosoid clade on this water parting when night is not near?
Time has taught the water what it will take to let you go: loss of the bodiless, ungraspable part of it resident in its heart, that actuating cause of its sun-seeking life: its soul.
About the Author
Eze’s works have appeared in Praxis, Gnarled Oak, Antarctica Journal, Brittle Paper, Scarlet Leaf Review, Lunaris Review and elsewhere. A 2017 Pushcart nominee, he won the 2016 edition of the Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize and works currently on his debut poetry collection.