“The Bible is the beginning, the source. But every beginning is also in us, thus you carry in yourself your own Bible, your own Book of Koheleth [Ecclesiastes], and your own Apocalypse.”
Anna Kamienska in Astonishments
What a fortunate frame of reference
with its beginning, middle and end
from creation through growth
and years of work until the last day
a day of revelation of what it all meant––
the purpose in living and now in dying
unless some unforeseen event
has cut the ribbon of life short
as with Thomas Merton shorting out
in an electrical moment. Snap!
But no, let’s go for the fan unplugged
for the lights turned safely on
when we see clearly that we were
called, and to what and why and
how to fill the remaining pages of your
life’s book with text and illustration
of what you have seen and what you
have tasted. Tell it all. Share the wealth
waiting to be written and drawn.
Something beautiful from the woods
into the field at dusk
stepping lightly in the snow
until she startles and lopes
away from an open moment
to protective cover, hidden
but not before having been seen;
and having been seen, having
been known in the seeing.
Judith Robbins’ latest collection of poems, To Bury or Burn, sweeps
across the spectrum of life, leaving in its wake moments of joy and
grief, childhood and motherhood, poets and their poems, and the
company and loss of cats, all of it against the backdrop of the
The book is available from Amazon
from the publisher, North Country Press
from Barnes & Noble
and from most bookstores.
Humbled by a spider whose web
I compromised, I apologize to this mite
a thirty-second of an inch in size.
Having noticed its perfectly formed web
with the spinner at center, resting up
for the lesson it was about to teach me
the possessor of greater size but lesser
sense compared with this fellow creature.
An exploratory poke undid perfection.
Repentance is hollow, as I know it’s too
late to undo the damage I’ve done.
But not too late to learn this lesson
and to leave untouched the rest of the web
whose author is once again resting––alive––
I hope––to possibly spin again.
The warmth of sun straightened my back
from the question mark of older age.
In my seventh decade, I found the sun
worshiped in all places and times
of the living earth and understand
why as statement rather than question,
my straightened back all the answer I need.
Three watchers dressed in black
stood shoulder to shoulder in dream.
They looked at me through a building
of brick, no visual barrier for these
who had come from another place
to reassure me I have no guilt
in telling the truth. I take their gaze
with gratitude. It isn’t love, but justice
in their look.
Second sight is having an eye
that can see through the glass darkly
as if a natural light were lit, and what
had been hid from others was seen plain.
Another kind of second sight followed
the removal of cataracts. That first morning
after surgery, eye patch lifted
I caught my breath at what I saw––
No visitor from the other side but the clear
lines of trunks of trees, individual blades
of grass, daisies awake, white and gold
and looking me in the eye.