End of Exile

Every mark of the pen
And push of the pencil,
Haphazard or orderly
Across the page; the search
For the right image,
Or sequence of punctuation,
Is an effort to understand.

It is of learning and being,
A wrestling with experience
In order to know
And to be known;
To be one and whole
With the given world;
Seeking the end of exile.

In Praise of Scattered Light

I want to live in the infinitely small space
       Where the light of the sun paints the oak leaves in quiet illumination,
Where the night is a herdsman for the stars
       That shine brightest in my periphery.

I want to ride wild on a dustmote
       Spinning in the whirlwind of rising thermals
       When the sun bathes the afternoon through high windows,
Or to wade through the waves of slow moonlight
       Between still clouds that whisper silence in the rising and falling tide.

Or, maybe, what I really want —

What I really want is to simply sit on the side
       Of the long pond and watch the light make love to the water
       That in turn blows luminous kisses to the Japanese maples;
To sneak into the dancehall of the time-unbound-threefold-unity,
       Where life bursts like light in the darkness and is not overcome,

Only to find that I’ve been invited in all along.

The Eclipse

Lord, let me sit with you
    Now in the time of doubt,
    When confusion paints the horizon,
    And springs stop up with absence. 

Lord, let me sit with you
    In the quiet of this room,
    As light spills in through leaves,
    And every second screams, “presence!”

    (But quietly, in silence, as you always speak)

Lord, let me sit with you
    In these two moments,
    Self-same, one over the other,
    Eclipsed; I sit in the umbra, penumbra. 

    (But the Trinity is still dancing in the corona)

Amicalola, June 23rd

I drove up here to find You.
Instead, I saw myself, broken and scattered,
Fragmented and cascading down.

But every waterfall, rapid-filled,
Stone-cut and turbulent,
Eventually narrows,
And joins itself again.

And there in the calm reflection
Of the still pool at the end of the stream,
The surface of the water is kissed by the air —
Unaware that, a mile previous, it was in its midst, dancing:
Living, and moving, and having its being.

The Long Hours of Non-Meeting

We hold on to numerous little things:

The final meetings, the brightness of the eyes,
The tightness of a hug, the “I miss you. A lot.”
The smiles, jokes, lightness of the voice, and
Tears on cheeks after laying our hearts bare —

And a multitude of other little intimacies.

Yet we can never really know
What thoughts run the course during the long hours of non-meeting;
If she looks up at a sky she wishes you could see,
Or walks with you in her mind through the spired streets of Oxford.