The Alchemist

Below my feet the path waits
for the earth to open me–
the layers of brown and green
remember the moon, its circles
orbiting continuously
through both dark and light.

The chill of morning warms
to birdsong. The seasons
endure.  In spring the autumn
seems far away, but life is
always preparing to die
and start all over again.

What is the secret of transformation?–
ancestors embedded in every root,
in every branch rich with leaves
that will blaze in a sudden last glory–
nourishing what follows
with what has come before.

We know so little, after all,
of the workings of nature,
of its consciousness.  Does it
even have yesterdays or tomorrows?
Does it acknowledge return, or is all
but a single endless moment in time?

We mirror our own inner maps
as stars–the dust of elements
contained in our bones–
merely vessels, seeking
the essence of who we are
inside the question itself.

The Kick About challenge this week was the alchemy book “Splendor Solis”. Out of the 22 images, I chose to work with Plate 2, The Alchemist: “Seek the Nature of the Four Elements”. 

The Splendor Solis of Salomon Trismosin - 2

First I did a collage based on the painting alone (above), then, after reading a bit about its symbolism, I made my own, looser interpretation.  I was especially drawn to the Alchemist’s connection to the natural world, in particular flowers and birds, and his alternate identity as the Deity of Celestial Light.

13 thoughts on “The Alchemist

    1. They’re truly stunning, Kerfe. I agree with Muri 100%. What do you do with your millions of collages? you must have an apartment full of them!


      this line made me pause:

      for the earth to open me–

      because I was expecting the earth itself to open…



      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks David. The collages, in fact all my art, are here there and everywhere. If I ever feel safe taking the subway to the storage room, my plan has always been to try to organize them somehow. Unfortunately Covid keeps getting in the way.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is luscious, and your thinking, about the nature of time is very similar to what I’ve been writing about lately. I think you’re onto something with the idea that nature is always poised in the each moment, the same, not expecting or regretting. Everything that grows and changes is right for that particular moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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