Even the Firs Glance Up

Geese form lines in a grey February sky.
The sky is the color of a goose feather.
Pools in the fields are the color of a goose feather.
Last year’s corn is stubbled at the edges of pools.

The geese can read the signs.
From a thousand feet up their lines
etch deep into the cornfield pools.
Starlings watch their own pictograms
form, melt, and re-form toward the name of spring.
Each bird is simple as a child, but the flock is literate and savant, and this is a wondrous thing.

As the sun sets, a cold rain drives in.
Cold, but not too cold for the twitching roots.
Even the stiff firs stretch, and glance up.

Advent Retreat, Gethsemani Abbey

At first you force your silence,
then it smothers all your verbs
and burrows to the inner edge of words.

At first you force your silence,
then it ponds the stream of thoughts
like rocking sleeps the child.

At first you force,
then even reaching for a spoon is pianissimo.

So let legato breed legato, then, but note the danger signs:
the thistle’s nod in matin breeze seems like a secret handshake;
you see the clover’s fourth from far across the courtyard;
your own name sounds odd.

You’d best start back toward the surface.

And Smoothed, the Cicatrix

Now God has stripped His cutting garden bare
to color tables for His wedding day.
His bachelor and somber rooms now flare
with you, my dear, now strong and gay.

And what it cost to say
The seep of blood is dried,
The retina, aroused by light
And smoothed, the cicatrix.

It’s good that you have gone away.

Alle, alle, Alleluia.

And Then Go Out

Among Dominicans at evening in Milan

we raise a hymn to Leonardo

then go out to drink among the buried saints

and then go out to drink goodbye to hymns.

It is the morning of a world and evening too.