Isolation, self-inflicted far from home
Liminal ridges of starlight rising
Heat spills like a flood across the surface
The desolation basking in the glow
When this heart stops beating
With memories and beliefs burned inside
This world will serve an ample stone
To sit upon the grave of the man who was alone
That impossible night above us
So fathomless even in its measurement
And paralleled by the emptiness within
To give us our passion and our longing
A dying sun in the throes of desperation
Casting crimson with grasping hands
Seeking meaning in the blackness
To find a way to make it last
But rushing sand falls ever downward
Cutting short the lifespan of a star
Unremarkable with a hundred billion brothers
But only wishing to be loved
The air cut short and final moments closing in
Rushing in with the morning light
Waiting anxiously to be extinguished
And have the anguish end
What rock do you and I call home in the end?
Alone in a sea of desperate tranquility
Who is left to marvel at the contents of your spirit?
Spilling out so loudly in a void without sound
Silence comes with appetite blazing
To swallow every empty syllable we speak
How do we define that which carries purpose?
Is it only a matter of what tastes sweet?
Can the saccharin satisfy the void that indwells us?
Or is the existential dread our natural selection?
Engulfed under the brightness of the pure sun
With no atmosphere to dilute the illumination
I saw you dancing in the dunes you devilish mirage
And thought I'd lost what little mind I had
On the horizon of the moon I beheld your visage
And felt myself rising into orbit holding your hand
Can love redeem a man?
What phantoms haunt this head of mine?
To divorce myself of reality divine
To seek the wraiths that dwell inside the mind
As the scarlet beams of daybreak return
Who will hide the head of the broken?
When the meanings inside are all we ever learned
Who is to demand that we survive?
The prison I built is burning now
Ash is all that's left
From the chains of fear I fled
Into the arms of death
I saw her dancing in the shadows
Before the sunlight stole her breath
And sought the beauty of her cold touch
Beneath the blazing lunar sand
There are two layers going on in this poem, the first is about an astronaut on the lunar surface at the end of our sun's lifespan waiting to die. He sees a specter, a heat mirage, of a woman dancing who turns out, in the final stanza, to be death. The deeper layer is about various existential longings and explores them through metaphors and outright statements about isolation and waiting for death. The idea is that in the end we have a very brief time to come to terms with life and reconcile ourselves to the reality around us. Some will seek the wraiths inside their mind and forsake reality in the end.
The title comes from the idea of ritual, Liminality is the middle portion of a ritual, before crossing the threshold into the end result. The sun is about to enter its final phase which represents our lone astronauts final phase of life. He has isolated himself away from the world and in the end chases the ghost he saw dancing in the dunes to free himself from the chains of life.
Many of the questions asked are never answered satisfactorily. Are the passions we use to make our lives fulfilling truly satisfying in the end? Does it all even mean anything when the silence at the end of time takes us all? When the meanings inside are all we've ever learned who is to demand that there must be something more, that we must survive eternally, that oblivion is not, eventually, a return to the proper order?
A parallel is drawn between the vast emptiness of space peppered with stars and worlds and life and the emptiness inside us, complete with oases of meaning and depth but – perhaps – empty in the ultimate sense – or perhaps not.
Hope you enjoyed the poem and got some meaning out of it, thanks for reading!