my house’s stairway is seized
Matter having forsaken its laws,
we land in hell,
ascending to heaven.
Shadows move along ladders
under the silence of ordinary things
there is another silence:
it belongs neither to the leaves nor to the
with a crown of birds circling
a child is running in an abandoned
the stairway takes the measure of
its own emptiness
I myself am the stairway that
Time has used in its
Etel Adnan, from “The Manifestations of the Voyage”
from The Spring Flowers Own & The Manifestations of the Voyage.
Copyright © 1990 by Etel Adnan.
Reprinted by permission of Post-Apollo Press.