I look out this morning onto the lake
while darkness desperately clings to the skies,
like syrup on a breakfast plate,
like a funny feeling that’s hard to shake.
I catch the moon growing sleepy at her post,
dawdling on high and wheeling about
the untroubled expanse of an indigo sky,
drifting away like a child’s untethered balloon.
A carpet of pine needles crunches beneath my step,
lightly coating the back porch’s deck;
they fell from the tops of motionless pines
(stern in their beauty, modestly soaring).
A thoughtful man might find in these strange leaves
a rustic vestige of the Trinity.
A silent eruption of reddish gold
spills upon the sky’s suggestive canvas,
like a knocked over bucket of shimmering paint.
Pollock would be proud of this caprice;
Hofmann, of these hues—
boisterous yellows infringing on pale blues.
I know it may seem like boyish wonder,
but it startles me when I remember
that the sun isn’t rising (as Hemingway said);
I, instead, am moved towards it
by a rush of forces I cannot feel,
caught up in a rotation I can’t resist,
that doesn’t require, to move me, my consent.
Here, like grace, physics is prevenient.
Something moves me out of my own darkness
(which is nothing but the absence of another);
I am whooshed out of my own absurd intransigence.
The darkness doesn’t dissolve into day;
the dreary realm of night is left behind,
like a summer cicada’s shed exuviae—
an ugly remnant of my former state.
I emerge, and now my song, my soul to grace habituates.
The dawn confronts me with a burning gaze,
as mine still struggles to stay open.
The steam of coffee rises with my prayer;
the keen caffeine descends to rouse my soul.
The two-way movement brings to mind a ladder
where elemental spirits make ascent.
The shafts of light enwrap the shafts of trees,
a heron, gray as rain, settles in the reeds,
a timid wind teases the water to waves,
the clouds and current move in separate ways.
And I, like to His loving image made,
shall I not take my place in love’s parade?