You must learn to say prayers
that become time travelers,
prayers that can trumpet past
a guilty conscience, past our attics
of guess and superstition.
You must find a way to enter
into the flash of nerve processes
that blink like road signs in the mind
and see the world from the core
of what makes them tick.
You must pray past the mantra
and beads, past the guru, the priest,
the sounds of little bells, the wonder
of fire, the clean repetition of air
rushing in and out of your lungs.
You must find a way to turn the inner
citadel of the soul into a thing
of light, then follow it above, beyond
and through the merchandise
of matter, the clatter of regret,
the distractions doubt brings on its
frail but deadly wings. You must
coax the ego and id to follow; lead
them like lambs into the mystery,
and let them graze until they’re full.
Fredrick Zydek, author of Tacopachuk: The Buckley Poems (Winthrop, 2004) and Dreaming on the Other Side of Time (Holmes House, 2004), lived in Omaha, Nebraska when this poem appeared.