It Will Not Let Me Rest

I won’t let it rest, either:

26 June 2017


Love Held Strong

I don’t know how to work a heart that pounds like hooves all night, all day,

and won’t lie down and let me go to sleep no matter how I pray.

I call the name that called me first, and still the race goes on and on.

I won’t lie quiet; that is not within my power. I’ll soon be gone

if this continues. Who are you to block my way? My throat, I mean—

I don’t know how to work with you. It seems to me you’re in between

self-sacrifice and under-handed curiosity. My friend

who waited by my side when I felt faint—who’s waiting now, the end

in sight—he knows the airy ways between the worlds grow warm with spring,

lean across the windowsill like spilling-over grace, then sing

the little humming lullabye that hid behind your sleeping mind

whenever it lay so awake, it took us for a ride—the kind

you never wanted, nor will ever welcome—but are you still here?

Listening, and giving voice to everything that calls through clear,

clear casts of mind, that wants to know you feel it as it rises, breath

a little bit mistaken for a choking sound that portends death

in other stories; not in ours; will you still lean across the sill,

tell the wandering ghost your tale, sing to it, and aye—fulfill

an ancient promise in the doing so, although you feared the next

admonishment lest it should follow—readings from an elder text—

and voiceless superstitions given language here in many ways?

Even if your only ghosts speak your home tongue, their hymns of praise

will come across as foreign sometimes. In the interval, if heart

must lie just pounding, thrashing, hurting so, so much, the morning art

the helpers who attend fierce souls between old worlds—they’ll find and share

our blent endeavors. Rhyme and dance, old words so strange and weird, their care

has fallen here to us, to me, to one who lives on Earth where sweet

green trees give way to blossom every spring—Rise to your singing feet,

dear poet child, and make your telling marks with either hand as draw

all over lovely living’s face with shining masks upon the raw,

hurt, lonely, very sinking place where smiles were made before death came—

That heart was made to push us through. For god’s sake, don’t lie down, no name;

This heart won’t burst for too much love; if it falls dead, it’s for sheer lack

of all the beauty you were sent to share with us, here, in this black,

black hallway in between bright shores. And there’s—the door; and here you—stand.

When the rope was weak and broke, you held out—and love took your hand.



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.

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