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 spirits of wind and flame frolic up and down.
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?