One Morning after Rainfall in July

Little things that touch me now:

The mesquite at the head of the yard,
Gathering the whole of it into its bosom
So, like a mother

The garden post protruding, lazy-eyed,
From the fencing it was
Made to support, saying,

            “This is who I am,” and
            “Now love me for it”

And the sparrows at my feet (little busybodies)
How they work the earth,
Singing like harvesters at field

And lastly: that solitary dove atop the phone wire —
I think she must know me, judging
By the way she gazes at me now…

Would that this quiet, cool morning,
Damp with last night’s showers,
Offer some measure of solace for all

Whom life would seem to have abandoned,
Some respite for hearts haggard
With hardship and the strain of living


Trying to Justify It, if Possible


He wonders whether
or not it is enough to
admit simply that the blood
in him
is thrilling
because it is July in the desert
and the rains are coming

Questions whether
Or not he ought put
to words how the gathering clouds will 
exalt into a column over the horizon
and become heavy with
a darkness that hovered
once over the face of
The Deep

Or whether it is necessary
to elaborate on how the desert would
not be the stage it is, upon which
the Powers play,
were it any less empty

Or even to go into
how the best music
has ever been a ceaseless
call-and-response between harshness
and beauty, Life and
Death —

Difficulty measuring it all
up, because he feels so very small,
in the face of it 

On the Margins, Beauty


“— for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” 

– From “As Kingfishers Catch  Fire,” Gerald Manley Hopkins 


Go to where the secure, for security’s sake,
have banished the seedy and the unseemly,
the crooked and the vile: God’s maimed ones

Go to where sleazies
settle, hustlers
hustle, and beggars do their begging

Go to where hope’s outskirts border wastelands of despair,
where the well-to-do have discarded
the disfigured children of their lust and ambition: 

Otherwise known as the groaning, wandering
forgotten, who celebrate an eternal scrap-metal Shakkot upon
the coiling, roaming dusts –

Otherwise known as the dispensable,
unavoidable holocausts
of the dreams and successes of a few…

Go there, to the margins,
and find your beauty.
For the face of the Lord shines in sodden faces
and in dirty places

Scenery of the Heart

All spoke
Longing, world’s
Mother-tongue – confided
It softly, in whispers;
All, in short, was the
Scenery of the heart: First,
The iron-work door, deep and
Ponderous – over there;
Then the sill, yonder: an eternal blue;
Next, visible through the window,
The birds: their
Song what
In me was unsingable…
And finally, the vintage divan,
Redolent of seasons passing
– Just opposite:
Scrolled feet, from the deepest
Core of some ancient oak;
And the upholstery,
Resounding, as of the sea…

Yes. They were your eyes. All the color
Of rest and repose not yet attained.

Was everything
In me
And a vision
Of you,
Beyond all telling,
Past all guessing,
Further than the far side
Of all previous imagining;
A gift that made me to remember
What I had never,
And yet have always,