Sunday, August 21, 2011

To Our Children Leaving Home

Photograph by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia
Photograph by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia





















Bob Ambrose 
and Susan Richardson
Athens, Georgia
August 21, 2011
Reflections on a vision given to Susan
of Kelsey going to college; and on memories.

It is always so,
they go forth
bearing our biology
passed on from dawn
of life’s first day.
But so much more
they bear our dreams
on loan since Eve
awoke to wonder,
pondered, suffered,
lost her Abel.
Ever to the left
behind who love
enough to let
them go, may God
grant visions, offer
signs.

        Of fair spring skies and foals in fields
        enclosed by fences, sturdy gates
        restraining safe the bounding colt
        and bright-eyed filly. Safe, but kept
        confined too long, they’ll never be
        what God designed, and so to grow
        and tame proud hearts, we lead them out
        to wider fields across the hill where
        far-off fences, unmanned gates give room
        to run consumed by joy, constrained
        till strong. The same our young.

But God steals hearts
and leaves gates open,
gates unguarded
but by love, a love
impressed inside
the growing, love
that’s fit for wider
fields, a love more
fierce than wildest
demon, love beyond
our gentle vision.

        Within our gates are wide green pastures,
        lush enough to feed a soul, sustaining
        life a while, forever. Open gates, though,
        promise more: they hold back magic,
        mysteries, wild valleys, distant shores
        and shadows, room to roam beyond our
        vision, we who love them desperately.

They will go
through gates in time.
They will pass
beyond protection.
They will wander
far lands guarded
but by love.
And they will find
new fields to favor,
pastures they can call
their own.

        So stay a while, forever with us, safe
        in fences, you who go. You leave behind
        you ones more fragile than you’ll ever come
        to know. But go with God and bear great dreams
        beyond the gate if that must be. If that
        is now your destiny, we will await
        your coming home.

Yet all this, naught but
idle thought about the
sacred course of life
from hopes and fears
of aging hearts. We
open wide the inner
gate, remove the reins
and give a pat, then
leaning back we watch
you take short halting
steps. With somewhat
noble toss of mane,
your stately stride
turns into trot
then frisky canter;
prancing forth, you
lightly trample
tender trails through
meadow grass, and by
the time we turn
away, you’ve
disappeared
across the
hill.

        I latch the inner gate, and my heart 
        catches, recalling how it felt to prance. 
        When you come home, let’s plan to dance. 
        I’ll let you lead. Please take my hand.


"Solitary Horse," by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On The Fate of Unloved Facts

Photograph by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia
Athens, Georgia
August 3, 2011; revised July 8, 2015

1

Words claw
phrases hammer
mangled kludge 

of tangled logic,
cause confused with what comes
next. Opinion 

masters manufacture packaged sets
they call effects
to satisfy firm made-up minds

which mine and sift
their facts to fit false
premises that promise life,

pin narratives to archetypes
while inconvenient, unloved facts
cold chiseled from empirical truth lie

shattered, scattered, swept aside,
rank losers in the fight of memes,
just dirty shards that never fit

on golden statues. Awkward 
facts are rude debris
about the base of carved-thought idols

blessed by masses, washed in clamor. Worship
or be swept away.

2

Weary, swept away 
I cry: release me 
from insistent tides, 

let shifting currents loose their grip
and beach me on a bed of shards
aside a sunny side-stream bar

my toes to torrents rushing by
while straining treasure from debris – 
the rare insight, the common joy 

alike bear meaning yet to be
discerned, invented, argue
which, but truth transcends

our categoricals, colors 
past our careful lines, it binds 
new bars where downstream dreamers 

contemplate just what will be.  From
ruins of our worshipped ways we’ll
never see those new worlds rising 

on foundations built from idols 
shattered, ground, 
reconstituted, 

bound to truth 
by stubborn facts
that would not wash away.