Out to the Garden at Midnight

Awake before the others I go downstairs and make coffee, turning now and then to the west-facing window, a corner of the sapphire sky trailing threads of pale cloud as if somebody up there really does care about our joy. It takes a while for the interior compass to adjust itself, for true North to offer up its balancing load of ore but it does, it does. What I wouldn’t do I don’t do, but what I can do I do do? Sparrows work the feeder, briefly Christ to my yet-struggling epistolarian barreling down the road to a Damascus he’ll never see again. What is One admits no fragmentation, and it takes attention to see this in a naturally sustained way. Depend on the Lord and all will be revealed, or just give until amidst the nothing-left-to-give you learn you can always give a little more. Sunlight is a form of starlight, though one can be forgiven for not seeing it that way. The last of the lilies for which nobody held a funeral, for which my grief at last finds expression in balky snot-filled tears. Going out to the garden at midnight where nobody will see or hear me weep, thus ensuring my continued role as the ever-uncomforted, lonely-but-for-thee poet. On the other hand, we write it, and write it in a way that others read it, so maybe not so much. Well, soon enough we’ll be out at the barn offering amends and trying to find an unobtrusive way to be helpful. How much comes up for the saved! Twenty years after the wedding one loses count of the reasons to be grateful that they married her. Keep your letters and your wordy bon bons, Sean, and keep your course in miracles and the loyal dead for whom you disparaged it. There are no lost dogs where there is no trail to God. This frameless Love is forever.

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Only the Impoverished

Apparently it’s 4 a.m. again and I am awake, drinking coffee on the back porch, trying not to name every damned thing and squeeze it into a poem. The neighbor’s porch light here, a wandering skunk over there. The faintest of faint breezes in the maple tree and a sense one gave insufficient attention all those years ago to liberation theology. To what end did I think it would all be put? These hands, these feet, this tongue, these ears? Dust rises as if to bless my ankles and the first bird – whose name I do not know – purples the dawn with hunger. It’s beyond “grace,” beyond “stillness,” beyond even “God.” We all want something, even if it’s only not to want something. I waved driving away but nobody waved back. Nor does he answer when I call though perhaps he will tomorrow. You never know. Perhaps it’s only a song when you say it is? A prayer when you forget to fall to your knees? Well, all hurts pass, all names are eventually forgotten. These wastelands I insist on visiting are starting to show signs of green, little blossoms here and there that only the impoverished would notice. I’m at the beginning again. You?

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