My mind chatters
like a squirrel in an elm.
My silly heart follows,
wishing not to take the helm.
But nature has a message
if I but quiet down:
"Do I hustle?" asks the oak--
" I am sentinel to the sky."
"Am I rushing?" asks the lake--
"I reflect as time goes by."
All of creation
joins in the song:
SIT REST SILENCE
that you, too, may BE-long.
And images, long curled in fetal stillness
Stirred, and stetched,
And nudged against the womb-walls of my mind.
It seemed the ripe-time,
Very edge of birthing!
But mid-wife, Beauty,
Somehow lacked the gentler touch.
She was TOO swift,
And that first ecstatic cry came forth
To be forever swaddled in a
Winter- - -
In your bitter ragings
And your whitened shrouds
Endless seeming - - -
You are yet less powerful
Cold and rigid, now,
you neither run,
It seems that
all your need
is just to cling
to some sure thing
and yet ambivalent,
your thrust is downward!
treacherous, too, as you hang—
a suspended, frozen longing!
Perhaps you air to bridge the gap?
not freeze on freeze!
Could you not chose
by icy drop
To lose that glacial form into warmth
Under the snow?
slipped into the coffin with me.
He didn’t move---didn’t even say a word---
Didn’t even rustle the shirred taffeta
We listened to my accolades—my grand
Accomplishments known far and wide!
(Once when it got too preposterous,
He poked me in the side.)
Really honest friends recalled
(of course in “sotto voce”) some
details that were far from grand.
(Made me damn nervous—till He reached over
And squeezed my hand
These things don’t last too long.
We were both impatient for the final prayer
To end the whole charade.
So, a final sprinkling and a
Fastened lid set off the slow parade
To some blowing noses.
Listened till the last grin, and we
Right on into the DAY!
Observe the Life Lover!
He tends to travel barefoot,
On the sands
And if he stoops and lifts with gentle hands
Some cast-off from the shore’s debris
Watch him carefully.
He’ll seldom focus on the texture
Or the hue
But tip and turn the “treasure”
To assure himself
A better view
Of what’s inside.
With strange intensity he’ll peer
into the pink and hidden folds
He holds it to his ear…
How life-lovers tell of catching
or a tempest swell
while others laugh at one
who’d listen to an empty shell!
You bend and bow
Curtsy and lift
Laugh and Shudder
And lift again.
sets your rhythm
brace and stiffen
“I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.”
We like precise parameters
and clean, clear closure!
But it’s in among those OTHER letters—
All twenty-two of them---that we
live our “lives of quiet Desperation”!
If only once those inconclusive jottings
would arrange themselves into a word,
a phrase, a sentence that would MEAN!
Merely a suggestion, God, but have You ever
thought of shortening your alphabet?
MUST IT BE IN GREEK?
(Luke 17:18-30 or John 5:33-36)
I don’t usually
run to crazed men
ranting about repentance,
sandal straps and
But he seeded in me
a desire for someone
to assuage my hunger
and to slake my thirst.
One shouting, glory tree enough—
Or, better still,
One singing, petaled branch enough—
Or better still,
Beauty spare, lean, whittled to a size
By world, when you turn prodigal,
Spilling splendor in such riotous array,
I can only close
As against a gathering storm,
And move cautiously away!