Night song

Night song

Your god is the back of a bluebird
Song of the inside of night’s clear lid

Your god is the thing before it’s seen
Color of waking from the dream

With an image cooling like lava
Into the shape of an empty hand

as full of air as the starling’s wing
Yet solid as the slow shore of dying

Your faith the driftwood to which I cling
Established proof of land if not direction

Broken map of the edge of each breath
And the way back to morning


Note: Last night my wife Mary was preparing for her first Sunday as a eucharistic minister, Pentecost Sunday being a fitting time to start such a journey. As someone who has long ago abandoned any sort of communal religious ritual, I nevertheless find that many of my closest friends are those that undertake spiritual paths whose directions seem authentic to me in a way I can’t quite register but can feel. This poem was a nod of respect and admiration for how others’ faiths often keep me afloat.

7 thoughts on “Night song

  1. Lynne Burnett

    This is such a beautiful tribute, Jeff! Wouldn’t you like it as a broadside, hanging on a wall or door? I keep reading it over and over – “And the way back to morning” sends me to the beginning! And sounds a note for all beginnings…

    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      Thanks Lynne! Anytime someone imagines a poem of mine as a broadside that’s a serious compliment… thanks again. If anybody wants to do that, you gotta give a free copy to Lynne…

      1. Lynne Burnett

        Oh yes please! So many of your poems I fall into, never want to leave! Your facility with words and images is awesome and an inspiration to me🙏

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