Surely this is all still part of anniversary grief.  He was brilliant, but more than that, he was infinitely imaginative and kind.  My forever friend, you are always welcome to dream with me, and tell me everything.

26 April 2016


Why Are We Still Here?

Oh, the measured essence, well-distilled from boundless presence: When

I woke up shaking, cold and hungry, ghosts had left the light on—then

my mind withdrew, and sleep regained its tenuous designs on me.

Deep behind that sleeping—sleepless—mind—a new door set love free.

You rose huge in beauty, knowing all that’s ever filled a song

was born confused by confluent streams that overran their banks. Among

the lyric rush that maddens every hearing mind it ever meets—

and all the wisdom lying side-eye wide behind a mouth that greets—

with ancient dread of blessings that will never cease to work their will—

tell it to the clouds that rain inside, love keeps on rising still—

When measureless devotion meets with shyness under skies of rain,

answer me: How long have we gone walking out? Is love not plain

in this plain face, behind these eyes that swim with tears when you look up?

There, amongst the highest trees, whose highest branches hold the cup

that holds the eggs that soon will hold the tiny winged beings we

love more than our existence? We were born before love sowed that tree,

and when its branches bow before the wind that shakes its leaves full wild,

music breaks out, mad as magic, singing, shrieking we’re its child,

and anyway, we’ll turn our eyes toward the greatest source that glows,

and hear what it has always tried to sing through us: A cold, wet rose

has only lately opened all its petals, and caught frost’s last hard,

impartially illuminated presence in love’s temple-yard

so bitterly its scent cannot be borne abroad by sea-winds’ air,

I was there; I held his hand. He’s led me home. We’re now nowhere.

Maybe, when I wake an hour from now, the window-panes all cracked

with sad off-season frost and ice, he’ll show me where we’ve always tracked

the signs and marks that lead us—nearer final home than any place.

When I wake up cold, remind me—Why can I still see your face?


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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