Through the Gate, to the Heart
Mastering technicity avails me not;
Enfeebling sterility, with thumbs all hot
Pursuing new novelties of wanton wot.
Rather, deep in enveloping grasses, I tread
Rejoicing barefoot in the sod
As I consider communing dead.
The dead, below, beyond, above;
The dead, more certain than the dove
who sings lamentations in the grove:
Certain, they are, of the good that called them;
Certain, they are, of the love that begat them;
Certain, they are, of the truth that upheld them.
Certain, am I, that as soon as my days’ spent;
Certain, am I, that I go wither they went:
Through the Gate, to the Heart, piercèd, rent.
Resting in the red earth, the dead, oh, the dead,
Remind each of their own birth, the dead, oh, the dead;
Teach all the cause of mirth, the dead, oh, the dead.
As the rain falls, long I’ve tarried
Reflecting on those dead and buried
Who call out that I be carried
To the chamber and be married.
College girl of flax and flash
A sun splashed friend to make
Smiled my way first day of class
While stomping on a snake
Stopping traffic on the lane
She swiveled heads en masse
Beauty futile to explain
Of pure extravagance
Her local charms, her mountain ways
My fancy friends did sneer
The serpent she would hold at bay
Past ectothermic fear
A pregnant teen she fought for me
That townie from the glade
A dragon smashed so valiantly
By Grotto garden maid
Ferocious female shibboleth
Of golden robed array
Wielding life and dealing death
In a most maternal way
All of life is an act of letting go,
the way an autumn leaf is suspended
between the soft-edged skies of October
and the dying forest floor of the earth.
It falls, slowly, and in that moment,
there is music in its descent: a tremolo
of light, a crescendo of wind. The world
stops, a blur of scarlet and gold passing
by, and we don’t remember a time
when the leaf wasn’t falling.
We only remember the bend of the air
as it shapes the leaf, the hint of a sunrise
on its everchanging surface, the beauty
held in the last breath it takes.