What Knows the Graceful Heart

The crescent moon wanes and turns yellow and floats in the sky roughly like a turtle shell. I pass beneath it both happy and sad – happy because the Lord is near but sad because you aren’t.

And now kindness hides in the forest, nervous and prescient, like a doe on the cusp of winter. How far we travel just to be lonely, just to reenact again the drama of lovers who dream their love can replace their God.

One wakes at a familiar hour, in luminous darkness, and kneels to pray. I taste your shoulder, trail the smooth extension of your collar bone, the satin shadows of your throat and arrive at your lips which part gently, pulling me closer to what knows the Graceful Heart

How gentle must we learn to be who were raised on anguish and hate! How devoted in a world that exists solely to debase the sacred . . .

In the face of storms, one hunkers down but refuses to leave the road. One renders in sentences what perhaps must go without.

And who stumbles stumbles the worse now, blinded by loss and the stubborn salt of tears. We are all fools and we all rise the way daisies do to the light.

Who promises forgiveness – who utters the world “love” – is bound by the promise to make whole what fears it will go forever broken. The mail arrives and goes out like the sea, like the light of the sun on the faraway sea.

No trail exists now that has not heard the gentle kiss in the syllables of your name. No lust billows that does not know it can safely exhaust itself in the country of your sighs.

Words are not enough now and nobody knows that better than me. And yet they flutter in my mind like falling leaves, each one whispering your name as it settles in frosty grass.

I write from the lonely chapel we built, in the clearing Christ prepared for us. My heart crying for you, who saw before I did – and yet knows better – the secret to union, this last step Home.

Categorized as Sentences

As Far As The Old Fire Pit

The gourds failed to grow. I think of this while pushing wide the curtains to see a garden streaked with frost. Tea kettles whistle. The broken heart is an image useful mostly for holding others responsible for our pain. She reads loveless poets now, she is gone away.

I don’t want to be read. The dogwood leaves turn yellow and spiral down, some reaching as far as the old fire pit. Graves, graves and more graves. Mice study me from the safety of the lumber pile. Ghosts pass.

Plot is narrative at its simplest – perhaps boringest. Yet my dreams last night were so entertaining I fell back to sleep easily both times I woke. In the morning, light falls a certain way through the window. You wake to and turn to face me and how natural it is to be with you. Who are we helping with our wordiness?

The dog and I go farther than usual, a sign of the need to expunge something. Kick polarities to the curb indeed. Fall Zinnias remain stubbornly the color of blood. The last door creaks when pushed open. Leave me, I say, and write happily in the open spaces.

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Like Grapes, Like Graves

One awakens to no light in particular. Memories of goats to which recent allusion was made. The Black River on which geese rest. The question is not may we move mountains – or can we – but rather, why move them?

White pines I planted twenty-five years ago now tower over the house. One stumbles through the bracken in a panic, breath hot in torn lungs, and falls shy of the longed-for brook. At dusk, blood in the snow appears purple, like grapes. Like graves?

Like the arbor in which we buried the calves without speaking. She writes, and her words elevate, precisely for what they do not say (but want to). You are always here and probably always will be. He recalls Emily Dickinson and wishes he could ask her about bread.

Bark makes for a smoky fire. Also, the odd juxtaposition of subject and verb to which she was congenitally inclined. Gardens in which apples were lost are not forgotten. The tiniest caterpillar radiates Heaven, seen rightly.

Like that? Or this? I linger over images which briefly – so essentially – delivered me from boundaries set by thought. Or so it seems, this side of the day’s first cup of coffee.

Categorized as Sentences

Our Particular Light

One pauses walking at 3 a.m. and listens to maple leaves falling one by one in the darkness. Not quite crescent moon. The sentences seem to come from nowhere and yet. The brook in autumn is mostly silent, the big dipper perched on its ladle in the northernmost sky.

I think of you, who no longer read this work, and see not a woman but a longing for wholeness that is itself the hindrance to love. We walked quietly through the museum, not quite touching. The fox lay on the shoulder, a bright jewel of red on its forever-silenced jaw. We are sparks unto those in need of our particular light.

Later conversations occupy my attention in the same manner as those from days earlier. We heft axes and imagine the trees shudder but it’s only the wind. Writing, too, is hard to explain. So much emphasis yesterday on metaphors.

One waits, though for what they can’t say. Narrative is a form of substitution. The winter sadness draws nigh. Bent on North, I missed absolutely the elegant nesting habits of flamingoes.

Specifically, this. There are bells only you can hear. As a man walking before dawn is brought up short by the falling leaves. Our home is the moth’s wing, the same color as last month’s moon.

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The Miraculous Plenitude

An abundance of Pokeweed, also hummingbird eggs. Tired children telling stories. Apples. Hours without you and then like a comet she lights up my brain. Neon ecstasy in a cold Vermont drizzle.

This field. Wanting light is another form of darkness. Also, don’t fall for that old lie about the early patterns of our relationships – it’s deeper than that and simpler. Letters matter in that we are all fools. A bell transferred from New Hampshire to Vermont and no longer rung.

Photographs of the blizzard of 1888 are oddly familiar. Perhaps it is time to let Emerson’s essays go. In the morning I call to the moon and stars and while they don’t respond it is easy to pretend they do. Damselflies whisper out over the misty river. Miles between us and no clear way home.

I am mapless, yes, but not lost. Her letters grew dark in the clutch of the old mailbox around which Morning Glories were strung. Wisconsin robins abound! We sail across the miraculous plenitude, driven by the filament sails of memory. You flower petal, you pine cone, you harmonious epoch of wind.

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Apples And Also Sadness

One plunges through goldenrod and thistle only to stumble. Jeans wet past the knees. You are not the woman I dream of, and yet you are the woman who is here. There are holes in the moonlight. There are animals in my heart.

While later on a rocking chair – the right arm of which is broken – the man without shoes sees again the loveliness of Christ. Moonlight is blue though the brain says white. Who lifts us, loves us, and who loves us renders us whole. The pasture expands to accept horses. Life follows us, it does.

Your letters made me happy and they also made me lie. Who knows what narrative means? The blue fire of which we are all composed radiated at your shoulder. All night I dreamed of apples and also sadness. We are carried a little way and then set down.

What glory is reserved for the faithful? Some rivers are not meant to be forged, or not forged at this time. We surrender to fear and it nearly kills us. The longing for light is a kind of darkness. If I move forward, are you there?

Categorized as Sentences

One Recalls Apple Blossoms

And so gentleness returns. Stillness. In darkness in September one recalls apple blossoms – their delicate essence – and cannot sleep for such beauty and fragility. How I miss Her, who brought the Lord so close.

And yet. He wakes early – earlier than usual – and goes out into the fields that are blue in the moonlight. The sacred is everywhere, as the center is everywhere. And all things – even this.

She writes at an old table, one that he washes every afternoon. The body is not the words that sail through it, as I know all too well. In September, apples restore the brain’s order that death is happy to confirm. Alone and unread I meet Christ and only after think, now what?

Now this. Again. The 4 a.m. composition, the morning prayer, the descent into “L” and “S” sounds, and trisyllabic bliss. There is no one to miss, and no one to leave, and yet the brain wanders as through a field in which a diamond was lost, lifetimes ago.

My tears fall heavy and slow! Watts Brook offers its hushed whispers, owls remind each other that all nights end. Because I am so bent on following Him, I am utterly unfollowable. Oh my empty hands, oh my wordy heart.

Categorized as Sentences