To matter & thrum

When I looked in the book I found:
Time is the temple — Time itself and Space —
observed, marked out, to make the sacred place
on the four-quartered sky, the inwalled ground.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, “Contemplation at McCoy Creek”

If I’m good, Lord, if my karma serves,
will you bring me back as a bass guitar?

     Known by the fingers, slung from the shoulders
     of Adam Clayton, Esperanza Spalding,
     Robbie Shakespeare, some nextdoor kid,
     whichever altar you choose…

     If I’m good, Lord, if my karma serves,
     will you let me embody your sinous groove
     the one & one & two in one
     of your snake-limbed dance? Reassemble me
     from spruce & steel, pass me from hand
     to hand, give me one purpose only?

     To underpin. To intone, hum,
     to murmur, mutter, to matter & thrum
     the flow notes, womb notes, Lam, Ram,
     the low tones that ground the Om.
     Make me make the floor of the chord,
     the salt & ochre, the heavy water,

     the earth, the rock, the dub, the step,
     the harmonics, waves, weaving fields,
     the neutron, proton, quarks, gluon,
     the Higgs, the mystical boson.

Will you bring me, Lord?
If I’m good, Lord?

From A coat of ashes
“Contemplation at McCoy Creek” is on p. 17 of Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014 by Ursula K. Le Guin, PM Press 2016.

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