“The Poet Holy Divided”


On this day, as all days,
One reads, thinks,
Reflects — one dreams,
Pausing not once, it seems, but often,
Seeking Voice.

          In the garden, beyond the window,
                                        the chestnut trees await.

But when all one hears is Silence,
Of what may one speak?
And if one should speak,
What might one say?

Judgments must be weighed
And made not lightly;
There are terms, inescapable.

          The wind alights in the chestnut trees
                                        but does not answer.

Desire for Voice,
Will to become;
Greater Will to hold still.

To listen: submission of Voice to Silence.
To speak: a Holy, defiant act.

One Will bends the Other,

          The sparrows collect on the chestnut limbs
                                        but do not say.

Once, we were taught,
The Lesser shall become Greater
(If so, we insist, when?)
By Grace, not Volition.

Thus we wait;
Thus we listen,
Apprehensive: terms are inescapable,
But promises have been broken.

          One morning the wind did not come
                                        and the sparrows stayed away.

Silence, one Divine,
May be coarse, mere Holy absence.

This, too, is possible:
          (I heard the chestnuts moan)
The Voice may grow hoarse.

Thus poet struggles with saint,
And Voice, Silence.


(Date unknown)



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