This home’s creaking floorboards foretell under footfall,
of the cool blankets of Autumn’s coming
when crisp leaves leave in waves of colorful retreat
from the swaying bone chill of the old tree limbs numbing.
The glaucous sky is crisscrossed by jet contrails
behind ten thousand starlings in whirling murmuration,
below the migration, scurrying gatherers of winter food stores
lay down their beds in hollowed trunk cores, tufted pillows for hibernation.
Hunter green seeds blush brittle, then turn sleep-gray dormant
there beneath a farmer’s haggard hands, dropping his scythe,
and in its place, the sharpened pen is swung each way, side to side,
to reap the message gestating in the golden grain of the Great Author’s sigh.
Seasons change in patterns of impassioned respirations,
performing the romantic dancing orbit of sun and earth;
lovers in flux, as pundits and poets fly to higher branches,
perching resolutely to sit this one out and simply observe.
Vacationers settle in low at the height of each solstice,
veiled from the promise over time change remains constant;
but dwelling on either side of the seasonal midterms,
for writers of variation, all but the edge of change, is truly dormant.
From the wings I watch,
The ghostly contrails of wayfaring souls,
Long smears of life before they come,
Then wept in light waves, en echelon
After they go.
We question, which is human
and which is specter –
Who is weeping where, click,
and where is their laughter?
Low, I lie, in wait, and click
Clandestine, a hunter hidden
Body and lens
Who watches me, click,
Whilst I watch them.
lost in life’s montage,
Aloof animation frozen in
The trail of wind
Behind the train,
The click begins to sigh
As the picture drains.
I am still, my eye the bait
For the beast hidden within
Every traveler’s fate,
Snared in each viscous camera frame
Soft gasps forgotten faces, click,
Never to be seen again,
Yet leave a memory, click,
That of the chimera of a lost friend,
A brass singing bowl, click,
whose waning eerie song never ends.
“Write about God and this love,”
but of what do I write?
I softly protest.
What is the color
of Her absence?
what is the scent
of His breathlessness.
She is the weight of the path
pressed into the “soul” of my feet
taken by the hand,
led toward the heart
no sooner does She appear,
than I am left waiting,
wanting to depart
on the spiraling rise
of that which is beyond the horizon
of our earthbound reasoning.
I’ve burned my lips
speaking Your ninety-nine names,
just to recoil to the well of my heart to sip
Your cool waters, and soothe the searing pain;
In my quest to quench this thirst
I sweat tears into the soil
as I dig beneath the earth
yet ’tis tears which make the waters…
the waters for which I search.
This is my toil.
This is why You came.
This is what drives me,
this is what explains.
This is the desire to fall in love again.
Is it the heat or is it the fire?
To whom does this quest pertain,
do I seek Her shade in the heat of the moment,
or search His bellows to fan the consuming flame?
What leads me toward Your secrets?
Is it the eloquence of my questions
uttered in my sleep,
or the promise of Your answers
beyond my woken reach?
are tricks of dreams.
Awakened to God’s whisper,
this is what I hear.
In the morning shadows of tiny hours,
’tis Her gentle nudge
that pushes me
from the lofty tower
of the mind,
and I fall
to the depths of my soul
dissolved in the source of Her blessed call.
We cannot return to the precipice
after we’ve leapt from the edge of the cliff,
entrusting our fate to gravity,
We hurl toward the hollows
may we surrender all our fractured religions
along the way
to the Master of one Religiosity.
Let us be mad as we fall into this;
pray, go softly as we land
growing wings for flight
through the abyss.
Oh, the power of a metaphor
is the latitude in a voice
heard with a diversity of meaning
poetry is among the longitudes of choice.
In this crazy tavern,
the truth is painted by the tongue
and heard in the colors of our ears.
Poetry pours the wine that slakes
but we are drunk on confusion
not the fermented grape.
There’s a key in our heart
to the lock which protects it
we wait for a turn, a tumble
the rhythmic click.
Writing of God and love is the realization
that the truth of beauty
is the beauty of truth,
only unlocked by those
captured within their own heart’s creation.
Live poetry. Beauty is what is carelessly spilled over the top of a drunkards wine cup. Not in gluttony or want, but rather appreciation. A sated appreciation of those who can appreciate thirst. Beauty is the mess we leave in our excitement, it is the distraction to a colorless canvas.
In the time of our ripening the Divine Designer saw a pail blue sky before any knew blue, and the invisible wind that tears the eye… He saw the snow before it fell, your art before its conception – Al-Bari, Al Musawwir, Al-Khaliq.
He has made our mouths into windows, our fears into walls. He has turned our gaze into doilies, our love paisley and has lain stepping stones of amethyst polished thin by the soles of our own shuffling feet. With a mere kiss, we create windows to see, with an all seeing kiss, we are shown blinding light. And so, each work of art is a shielding of the eyes, a warm breeze through a cool shadow, a black pepper edged silhouette on a multi-hued horizon of apple, tangerine, pomegranate, saffron, and turmeric.
His design work does not begin before nor after the brush is dragged; He is the steadiness throughout the stroke; can your hands, dear artist, feel the warm cupping of His? You are the mundane canvas painted on the Divine canvas – you are the receiver of your own compassion – there are two layers to every painting, yours in as many colors as you are prepared to discover, His in all colors that have ever existed or shall. Your frame is a frame within His.
Yes, this is live poetry; this is the irretrievable release of a sweet perfume. Our hearts are non-forsaking canvases – they resist none of what we offer, they do not turn-away mistakes. The carpenter is remembrance, the architecture is prayer of forgiveness; not for what is done, but how it’s done.
So many layers, so many strokes of the brush, not one made with malice or envy or lust. You have mixed clay and water and painted walls, then windows, and then stepped through and for every side of a window and wall, there is another apart from you. The “unpainter friend,” the one who uses opaque acrylics to unpaint empty walls into murals and then into these, windows. You have made hearts into portals through which all to see from either side of, or beneath the threshold. You have unpainted away hopelessness.
Through the phosphorous window of a writer I go in, and through the door of the painter I come out… each click, a heaping spoon eased through wanting lips. A thirsting brush, a parched canvas. We nourish ourselves not on desire, but on what desire brings… this is how we know… we do not miss what we cannot have, we miss what we are given.