Before and After You Left

See my last post, if there is any mystery to this:

Before and After You Left

A new looming strangeness grows into the patterns our tired hands have woven since time out of mind.

Stand just a shade to the left of the lamp that keeps shining between us. I know you’ve designed

a tender memorial lesson both I and the knowledge between us should share and take home,

but then. When you die. As you have. I’ll be locked out, alive and unwanted, left only to roam

the graveyard and sad charnel grounds all this place has turned into since not only you but your hope

have signalled their woeful departure. I’ve hung on your every least sigh since the first mortal rope

first fished you up out of an ocean of lies, and lent you a bed by the warmest of fires.

Oh, but the heart always wants, and you rose up before early dawn and went out seeking—choirs.

When I was woken to such a cold morning, sky all in black like a widow in weeds,

somewhere far back of my mind came the keening of pain beyond language where every soul bleeds

because it’s been wounded beyond comprehension. Stem, if you can, the rich flow of its blood,

but write down its every least symbol of essence, and tell me they’re not both in fire and in flood.

You slept beside me as miracled essences danced through our dreams and our nerves and our skins.

Borne at mid-day to the place of black midnight, lean in your harness and hear who begins

the next round of visions: She’s standing; she’s flying. A new looming strangeness, she’s blacker than black,

yet she’s the one so hugely luminous, shining, and lyrical—Child, she’s your own soul come back.

Open the window tonight in your dreams, and signal toward the grey flock of soft birds

that gather and watch you by day and by night. Tender them chaste, subtle cascades of words,

then listen, and let them feed back to your hearing and hands all their messages, brighter than air,

and more and more lovely. They can’t take you with them, but they can remind you—all live creatures care

for those who would witness their being-alive, and open the window, and reach out, and touch

the ones who have gathered—to listen, and hear, and recall how our magic was made of so much

silent, watchful attendance. They’re birds on a ledge, but they’re angels when dreamers descend from on high

to shift our strange patterns of knowing and seeing to those that—flow freely through creatures who fly.

Before and after you left, the grey lattice of rain made a cage where an eerie song shone

in hearing, like dreams where a face turns to water and leans on an arm as it makes mournful moan—

but then, as if casting a stone through a pane that kept terrible knowledge at cold, fearful bay—

Since time out of mind, I have known you, and loved you; I love, though I’m tired, every next word you say.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
This entry was posted in imagination, literature, love, loving-kindness, poetry, song, spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Before and After You Left

  1. Pingback: Ignorance is equal to Sickness | Human Relationships

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s