Monday, August 27, 2012

First Meetings Since the Song time

Raincoats Finlandia, raincoats and lakes
My room by the tree. You and me. you and me.
Light and dark as honeydew and pumpernickel bread
Bread molded in the hand and broken between us.


Words passing hands, passing books, passing looks and first
meetings since a long time, since the song time, since the wrong time to say
what I will say now, what I won't say, what we can say.
And we will stay. So I won't say it at all.
The best words I take along in my fieldbag.

The Innocence Mission, "North American Field Song"
mewithoutYou: In A Sweater Poorly Knit
Sufjan Stevens: Futile Devices
The Innocence Mission, "North American Field Song"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Arab Hands

You kneel below 
the balcony and pray,
your Arab hands 
make honeyed signs,
smooth the air 
around your face,
thumbs curled back 
and palms spread wide. 


My baby face
    my old soul
for You, for only You
    my legs my feet
my arms my hands
    my face my eyes
my everything
    inside outside tired
on fire
    on grace on stone
on ice
    alive and living
daily dying
    failing trying
yet again
    my truest friend
I think of you 
    as my brother.

(We all surround you
    when you come and love
your weakness into something almost strong:

You won't be bent forever
     you're young you're young
you're older now
     than last year
and that's alright.
     You are a child
of God and once
    is enough for ever and
ever and...)

Quote: Sufjan Stevens, "Futile Devices"

The Ocean is Wooden and Pale, the Sky With Child

Prophecies peel back the sky
      and stars
are seen in daylight

Heavy eyes tip the scale
      toward the day
when everything will divide
and one side become everything

Quote from Buried Beds

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Owl and the Jay

Among the creatures seeking shelter from a rare November storm,
a blue jay dove into an oak tree where an owl was keeping warm.
The owl watched him preen his wing and shake the droplets from his crest
amazed that such a brilliant creature chose her branch on which to rest.

His azure blue and sable black, his stripes of white and jaunty tail
enthralled the owl so, she shook herself, and then began to rail:
“As every owl knows, there’s not a jay in this whole forest stack
that’s worth the egg in which he grows or worth the feathers on his back.

They’re all the common sort of cocky cosmopolitan display,
With all their mocking hawks and crows, there’s not a word of truth they say.”
But as she spoke, she heard the blue jay trill an old familiar tune
(a song her father used to whistle as he scrutinized the moon).

And all at once the owl melted in the feathers of her neck,
and thought, “if he can sing that song, there’s something wrong in what I said.”
But as she spoke, the blue jay turned and saw the owl where she stood
and stopped his song to hop along the branch and make his greeting good.

The owl shyly turned away, her talons trembling and weak:
she’d seen a smile begin to spread its way along the blue jay’s beak.
“As owls go,” the blue jay mused, “this one is not quite like the rest.
I’ve heard they’re pompous, dull, and often fail to leave their Mother’s nest -

But this one’s got a most intriguing cast of eye and honest face;
I must admit it’s quite refreshing to behold her homely grace.”
And in a moment owl and jay began a friendly tête-à-tête
that lasted 'till the storm was over and the ground no longer wet.

And by December, when the forest floor was carpeted with snow,
they’d built a nest inside the oak tree and were fostering a crow.*

*Unable to have chicks of their own, the Owl and the Jay opted for adoption. Crows, always in need of a good upbringing, are a natural choice.

Salt Island

Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester.

Three figures looked like spirits crossing
back and forth across the sand bar to the island at low tide.
Salt Island
piled like a cairn upon the sand, surrounded
by round slick stones and seaweed
fresh and slimy green, strewn spaghetti, lasagna, linguine;
discarded shells and scattered arms of crabs.

Melodies and virgin morning joy press barefoot
into folds of firm and undulating sand.
Grace and favor romp like a blithe child,
named and not understood,
bright with glory.