November hymnal (30)
I have cast these songs as a spell
Against the clarity of faith and doubt
Drafted the lyrics on fog
Or as water freezing on a windshield
Light still coming on through
Not broken but improbable
Temporary refractions where
Nothing’s lost to trust
I have cast these songs as a counterweight
To wings who’d take me from creek wisdom
And these songs I’ve cast like rocks
Through the windows of sunday
Thirty days leave like clouds
over cold jetty stones
Winter begins in the stones. In a dream the sky house
gets closer as if it is trying to hear a secret or tell me one
but when I can read its lips I see it is just pretending.
In the car: stones from a trip to the beach.
A thousand miles from where we found them
for months they have rested in a drink holder
with no discernible nature acting on them,
no car tides or car gulls have hampered their stillness.
Now when we pick them up on a drive we marvel
at how cold they are on this mild first day of November.
You can press them to your hand, your neck, your cheek
and they stay cold. They are telling me a secret
without moving their lips or pretending to tell me anything.
They are coming closer without moving, like snow clouds.
Dream of Finishing Something
For the first time you see the rough draft of your life
complete. You now know—it’s a whale; it’s a shark;
It’s a school of fish. Silt in a tidal pool.
It’s a shadow of the plane passing overhead,
of the cloud into which the plane disappears.
For a moment there is no telling which direction
it is going, but it is all there; or whether its depth
Is imagined but it is all there is. Imagined or not.