Saturday, March 19, 2005

Jedidiah's Brother

Tiny suckling body cradles a fever
of unforgiveness, then succumbs.
The passion of a king was loosed
in the Spring, when lambs are born
and lie, their coats slick and glistening
like oiled olive skin.
The blameless bred lust and riled
rape into being.

Power’s prerogatives are covert.
Innocents are pierced without
recourse. From dying lips a question
escapes. How many lambs
are required for redemption?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bust of Wisdom

…where there is doubt, faith…

The book was placed
on a slant-top pedestal
like a Grecian bust
of Sophia

I decided to take inventory of her
checking from many, (though
surely not all) angles

Dragging a wooden stool
from the nursery, I step up
to peer down onto the top
of her marble head—so hardened
was the surface, I discounted there was
anything beneath that was worth gathering
a hammer and chisel for—and step off my stool

Squaring off face to face, I stare into the contours
of her inanimate eyes, the unbreathing nostrils,
the unspeaking lips

this illuminates?!

In a last effort, I whisper into her
stone ear, hoping, praying that
Sophia will hear, and by some miracle,
wake up,
reach for me,
reveal herself,

but she does not,

so cold is she,
even a nod she doesn’t extend

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Enemy Camp

Here in the enemy camp
my hand is bulleted with
small cups
indentions from grasping
rosary beads over the last hours
in which your heartbeat has slowed
to an imperceptible drumming
even softer and slower
than the tick of my pocket watch.

I think of the years I’ve listened
to the whisper of breath you
drew and blew into the nights
as we spooned
like matching ladles in the soup.

For months I’ve been amazed
how vividly my memory has videoed
your face as on hot summer evenings
when we groaned together,
you above, me below,
our hands clasped together
as you rode about on
our carnal charger.

The ruminations that occupied our lives,
the hours spent hashing out the details of our days,
our speculations and ciphering over long-range finances,
the wonderings about the exaggerations of the enemy,
our prayers in the midst of conflicts,
all these our quiet mortars of resistance.

I’ve held the ramparts for too long
watching the end encroaching,
our territory threatened,
the space allotted to us by the Timekeeper
plinking away like the sweep of a Sten gun.

Maybe, my breath will cease just when yours does,
and maybe, my heartbeat will stop.
Embracing we’ll retreat
unseen from this fire line of days,
go together
far beyond the enemy’s battlements
and build a bulwark impenetrable.

Winter Window

Before prayer meeting
they fidget and scurry
the minor Tit-mice perch up front
on Oak heavy arched-backed benches
looking like scholars in their peaked hats and dark-
distinguished suits.

The Blue Birds scramble around
in the spotty brown grass gathering the naughty
Juncos, the belligerent Robins, and
the wild Jays, standing them in lines and
daring them to back talk.

The Nuthatches are in the fellowship
hall, making coffee for later, and plopping
seeded cookies on round platters for the
visiting Cardinals, and the Downy
Woodpecker, who drops by on occasion.

The Goldfinch choir is in the
choir loft warming up and
bickering over the placement of their
chairs, the temperature of the room, and
which Amen should be sung at the close
of His sermon.

Then at the peal of the gathering
carillon, which some have said,
sounds like
the rush of a mighty wind,
all are inside and seated,
even the black-capped Chickadees
have sneaked in
through a crack in the door.

And when He arrives,
all are awed and behaved, because
the expanse of His wings
fills the whole house.