Saturday, March 12, 2011

Heron in the Wood

Athens, Georgia
February 14, 2011; revised December 28, 2014
See also Heron World.

We loved that bird 
and nothing more need be said 
but surely should 

for what compelled 
his final flight from river banks 
that gave him life – 

that same wild instinct 
makes me write of ancient soul 
and awkward grace 

that launches four foot 
frames to flight, to glide above 
the mud and pools 

the weathered rock 
and rotting log, to stand unmoved 
amidst stagnation 

plucking silver 
shards of life, patrolling shoals 
that sparkle, cleanse, 

to tend his world 
until the end, and in the end 
to find retreat 

in hush of lowland wood.
Yet some will claim birds have no soul 
(some say the same 

of you and me) 
but say not knowing one bird well. 
Do you not sense 

a presence more 
than hollow bones and handsome feathers? 
Can you not see 

through dimming eyes 
of a wild bird waiting in the woods 
for what must come 

in long morning shadows 
where love and resignation forge 
bonds beyond kind? 

When I returned 
with fragile hope to find 
his resting place,

silver feathers 
graced the ground that launched his soul 
to final flight

to soar above 
what lies behind on woodland floor
and in my mind.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Reality of Sunsets

Athens, Georgia
March 7, 2011

Scientifically speaking, sunsets
are unreal, nothing but
electromagnetic oscillation
diffracted by dust
detected by cones
delivered by neurons
       upside down
reorganized just so
you can pull your beach chair
next to mine and watch the sun
cross an imaginary line
and together we can reconstruct
what never was, yet
brings forth tears. Shall we
say a word or just enjoy?
You can call this what you will
but I would say it’s love.

Scientifically speaking, God
is unreal, nothing but
historical construction
discerned in dreams
dissected by logic
deposed by knowledge
       bottom up
as we reconstruct 
from foundations of facts
new towers to heaven
while ignoring again what
philosophers have found,
that no proof can forever
bind firm temples of truth
to ever quaking ground.
Cerebral God of new tribes
of the civilized savants
who slash the soul with
unassailable argument –   
that God has died, so long
live what lies beyond,
what comforts tears and
calls forth song, what
sustains more kindness
when none is due, what
surprises your heart with
unearned joy. Shall we
say a word or just rejoice?
You can call this Adonai,
Al-lah’, or Father God. From
what I read and think and feel
I would say it’s Love.