Sunday, February 14, 2010

POEM: Ash Wednesday

The church burned bright without remorse
Without the trace of any guilt,
Without the grace of a second thought –
Undressing with celestial sheen that reflected off the lazy hills
In what could called be a cleansing heat -
Transfiguring as it brutalized early morning.

The crippled and the paralyzed watched
The spectacle: tongues of fire in the yawning sky
Bound all in the solid disbelief -
Like the collective sadness of this world
Gathered like a laundry bundle,
Left to burn before these witnesses,
Anointed in the chrism of the smoke
That the burning wood of pianos releases -
Or the disintegration of fibrous quilts -
Of the farewell sung by silent song books,
Never to be sung again –All lost,
In the rivulets of streaming water
From thick armed lengths of fire hose,
In the grime of smoke and moisture that was
Etched into every firefighter's hardened face -

That little church burned with so much muscle
But also with the grace of floating ash
That rides so fragile on morning country sunlight -
Escaping as if its very soul was ascending to heaven.
It was passage - from one form into another -
A deathbed, where they waited for that moment
When spirit leaves body to be left with just the clay
And bone and minerals and ash from which everything began.
And was it ever so beautiful, too.

It was a feckless heat, melting even
The nails that held the wood snug as skin
To the upright studs;
A heat that popped glass like fractured ice -
Took everything until it had nothing left to burn
But the smell of black
And its charcoal frame
And the smoky quiet winter cold.

In the silence, even the hills offered up sympathy
As they cradled the little church like their only Son
Pulled down from that cross, sagging and draped
Over wooded slope in primal grief –
Over matronly hills, this shattered Sunday morning
Surrounded by all her children, in tattered disbelief.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

POEM: Ars Poetica

One cannot write poetry if he cannot recall the words
Calligraphed long ago on the walls of his own heart.
The poem is unearthed more than written –
Scratched out in exquisite long hand -
Discovered as the blueprint for the Truth.
In sloping curlicue script of whimsy,
These dervish lines look more like tracks in snow
More than words - made by the winter snowshoe hiker -
Intent to make his way home after a day of discovery.
One does not write a poem so much, as one transcribes
The music that is always playing in the deepest places
that is the dark matter of a human.

We must be willing to release a powerful silence
Into this noisy world, like young brook trout
That are released back into the wild, full of the lust
Of early spring, hoping to feast on flies and spawn.

For if the poem is a flower, then silence is the rich earth.

POEM: Sonnet Exercise: (Deepest)

One day I shall be free
To love as openly as I dare.
Three strikes and I’m in.
No one expects to be a failure,
I bring everything to all beings at all times.
What I hold in reserve is the deepest part of me
The deepest part of me is God.

The deepest part of me is God
What I hold in reserve is the deepest part of me
I bring everything to all beings at all times.
No one expects to be a failure,
Three strikes and I’m in
To love as openly as I dare,
One day I shall be free.