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au mieux

(for the best)

Before the Elements

all things consist as sounds consist

of the elements

[Here follows the history of the four]

evident then,

what we have said before

all men seek causes named

we cannot name any described before

not at all.

the Subject lisps

it is young and bone by virtue

the essence and substance of

flesh and tissues

the elements and

the names - fire and earth and water and air.

He has not said clearly.

Our views have been expressed before;

but let us return the difficulties

perhaps we may get some help towards

our difficulties.

The Subject of our inquiry:

we are seeking the universe.


the fire, forthcoming

as flame would follow

moth to candle

vapor to lust

lust to yearn

yearning to dust.

A fire’s flame, inquiries made

the perfect deep shade

of rust.


crumbling to ferrous, ferric

streaks in the Earth

the earth.

O humble, o depths

of rich and mysterious mud

o magnum mysterium

overturned with resounding


and iron streaks richer than blood.


but crumble it shall

in many waters, rivers

the orbital, the oculus

the eye of all clarity

and all washed away

it is time

it is time

the Subject: washed away


into vapor

into air

into wind

the howling, the holy

the Subject lisps

and it is holy wind

holy flame

holy earth

holy water

wholly: the Universe

and nothing more

and nothing less

than its elements

than sound

Here follows the mystery of the four:

they are holy, inherently

and wholly, inherently pure.