The Names (A Chant)

Throughout the physical universe, through every atom and star, flows a continuous current of names, yours among them. This sub-atom stream of sound is the meeting ground of physics and religion.

Om Tamuz Shambu Ra!
Eloi Shiva Christus Ma!

O Nameless Tao Eternal Name
Thousand-Petaled Thousand-Hearted
Name with a Thousand Eyes, a Thousand Tongues of Flame!

Father's name and mother's name conceiving the name of the Son,
Mother vowel and father sibilant twining flames of black
Calligraphy in white fire suckling verbs of virgin birth,
Their Word made flesh in merest neuron and synaptic flash!

Do not forget the name of their daughter Lilith laughter
Of violent Titans dwelling in the hypothalamus
Of galaxy Andromeda naming enormously from chaos
The tiniest seashell Opalescent Nudibrank!

And do not forget the name of her hands that hold
The squirting nipple in our mouths the names of her fingers
the pseudo-zygo-dactylous gesture of Mary!

Or warrior-eyed and wrathful dance of twin names Jesus Sophia
Wisdom necklaced with names of skulls their terrible gazes
Turning anger into names of tribes on the Upper Ganges!

Glorious armies of names in white cells devouring viruses
Who are the sworn cursed names of outcast angels
Briarius, Allecto, Hecate muttered ancient and abysmal
In unfrocked priestly heretical prayer

Learned from a singing tree in the garden of names
Each fig womb-full and bija-ripe with countless
Uncreated planetary names of husbands seeds ancestors
All through chaos swimming straight to the name of the egg

Hebrew names, Mormon names, Celtic wailing Druid names
Pouring from cairns, mounds, nipples of Appalachia;
Names of creeks trickling into names of rivers into the name
Of the Great Pacific name hidden in stones or whispered
In prairie winds forlorn through swamps Arapaho
Shoshone dreams of Meriwether lying close to Sacajewaya's
Name wandering back to the place of emergence
In secret desert canyons named for a mother's parched lips

Prayer names holding blossoms folding names in hands
Each breath a new name in bright venous blood
Dying names changing color in October names falling
From withered vines names flying south for winter
Names rising from the dead and burning in the solstice
Names glistening in rings of ice around Saturn

Half names quarter names new names full names
That cry dance naked touching the sun, crawl creep or swim
On worlds newly-created names that go on all fours
In forests and slouch upward toward the frightening name
Of Homo Erectus names limp names buxom anorexic names
Vomiting older names until they are nameless and empty

Buddha remembering names he was given before birth
The name of one hand naming thunder the other name
Dropping from clouds to nourish the names of wheat and wine
The names of rice the brain-damaged names of Viet Nam
Veterans who cannot connect names to things and ask
"What is the name?" when you show them a box that says
"Bread" or the name of the rice-paddy flower Kashyapa
Could not name but only smile on when Siddhartha
Twirled the Name in his fingers a final nameless sermon

Spoken over food names spoken over the dead names
Of body parts with no dog tags and long arterial blue names
Like rooted orchids disappearing into the thigh of a corpse
Trickling Latin names secret names that blossom under the skin
Like "carcinoma" names that smell that families do not speak
But doctors name in gnostic circles of power names of stainless
Steel instruments hanging in operating rooms with names of eyes

Of hands of unknown organs on the floor of brains dreaming still
Of battle names of beautiful silent birds who carry our bones
Like bleeding severed names of Orpheus washed up softly singing
On the shore of Methymna scarlet tanagers warbling names
Of soldiers fallen in their lovers' name of Er awaking
From his spindled sleep in the meadow of Asphodel

Naming fog and sea moods barely remembered muffled
Or mumbled in dreams whispered to the newborn name
Recalling gardens of wisteria hemlock poppy soothing numb
Cold names leaping up the sound of waterfalls toward spawning
Pools milky with names threatened with extinction names
Of forgotten animals calling from old stories of firelight full
Of drums and names carved on the tooth of a whale

Partially seen in meditation swift as thought names misted
On the breath of Radhamanthys and the tongues of maiden
Oestraes riding names of white horses in the waves of dawn
Where clustered effervescent songs of stars recorded
In hieroglyphs on walls of lost cities name the temple rising
Out of jungle silence, secret rites, drowned runes
In a green and gloomy name of living water

Covered with sand with coral names untarnished golden
Names adorned with cat's eye and onyx rediscovered
By children without names playing by the ocean of birth
Where one ever-expanding name moans singing breathes
Through pale shuddering lips of a man just dead....

Translucent coruscation of chthonic names
Barnacled to new names on voluptuous heavenly boats
That ferry one name to another across the crimson river
Of voices pulsing in your throat where a nameless hand
Presses, pardons, heals all your ancestors kneeling
At the throne of a terrible atavistic name in the amygdala

Lost names of tribes still thriving in tiny aneurysms
Of the cerebellum, fissures smoldering in the colon,
Names of future generations freaking in bolts
Of dopamine across the lightning dendrite of this moment
Dance of limbo names of stillborn sons the hobo and aborted
Names of cretin faces in their drunken mothers' brains

Names of mastodons now crushed to coal and diamonds dug
By black thirsty miners in the Transvaal names
Throbbing for centuries through families in a sacred djembe
Dwelling ten thousand years in one house named for the father
Whose anger is the name of fire the name of a whole
Incinerated goat offered to the name of sperm

Name that cannot be spoken oh magnificent
Name whose blinding gaseous trails explode
In radiant clusters of suns with names like dust
In solar wind on measureless and desert slopes
Of God's one wild and violet-petaled echo

This! my fragrant prayer whose secret smoke
Of rising ululation now distills
The burning names of vanished angels
Lost in silence.