Pen in hand

I grope in the darkness
seeking the lineaments of your face.

My fingers made for handling matter
your divinity passes through untouched

except for my longing, which
registers, I trust, with you.

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Ready, set, ––!

Be gentle. Be slow
until the moment comes
when all is fast, and so will you be
fast, fasted as you are from all detritus
that had clung like barnacles to your psyche
and held you apart from all you would do
and be. Now is the hour to act. Scraped
clean you are able beyond your knowing
to fulfill in the simplest and most satisfying
ways the call on the rest of your life

Videbis, you will see

As you enter the woods, there––
There I want my memorial service.

As you enter the woods, go up
the rise. Then stand there.

There is where I’ll be
waiting for you to enter the woods

to be lost, then found
by the hunter/gatherer of souls

who will carry us
through the woods together

then on into the fields of heaven.
You’ll see.

 

O Holy Day!

What then I saw is more than tongue can say.
Our human speech is dark before the vision.
The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

As words failed Dante to describe Paradise
words fail me as I look to the woods
except for the barest verbal skeleton––
trees, brush, sunlight, shadow.

How common. How plain. How failed
a poet, who can only say thank you
for this holy day in mid-September
rife with aster and goldenrod
before the killing frost.

Hurricane Aiming at the Carolinas

The plywood hammered into place
over plate glass windows.
Survival kits of band-aids, flashlights
canned food––
sandbags at the reaches of the tide.

It’s a monster, they say, the coming
hurricane, christened Florence––
a name for a friendly waitress,
a name that might tame some of its power.

At the hurricane center, who names
has power. (Remember Adam
walking in Eden, naming, naming …)

Forecasters hang their hats on
multiple fictions. Powerless before
Nature, what else can they do but hope?

September 11, 2018

On this day of destruction, the Word comes down
as bodies came down through the sacred air
as the towers themselves came down in fire and dust

choking those running away in donated sneakers
those running barefoot to Brooklyn, to Bedford Stuy
running, running away to the future, to this anniversary

when we remember the runners, the jumpers
the hostages on the planes; the lovers of fire
who commandeered those planes, those misguided

ones who worshiped death. But a new altar arises
today, when the Word comes down as life, new life
these 17 years gone; new life in the womb

of the present moment. New life that is breath
for those in New York and beyond.

A Wedding Song

Let the book fall open where it will.
There, your direction for the day.

Deaths listed on the left.
On the right, the title page:
The New Testament

begins here today as
The Renewed Testament.

From this day forward
what you write will be
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness and in health

my life being lived as a woman’s
life is lived on the planet now.