poetry

at the sea

Image 1 Heaven rises on horizon And I with her am bird and brightness through clouds Over open sea That opens me

I begin a pilgrimage west Leave bags, sandy shoes And don’t look back, not once

I see and see and see Endlessly Talk to self, talk to God In silence Out loud

Listen to the past Replay words given Hours ago Days ago Years ago

Listen to surf Listen for something Demand something Ask outright

This is where the sound breaks loud & clear at my feet.

This is where no gulf exists between us.

Image

Here you are ocean And I lay a foot trail at your side

Here you wash my feet And I let you.

Here you are unavoidable.

Here you overwhelm and overtake, And imagination can no longer compete With senses.

I want to not turn back.

I want journey I want what I haven’t seen I want to make new tracks Without retracing

To walk until some final weariness Turns me fully to your navy depths And I enter with gladness Without waste or regret

Image 3

The Risk of Birth, Christmas, 1973

Last week, my friend gave me a book of poetry by the late Madeleine L'Engle.  She knows I'm a fan of Madeleine, that one of my favorite books, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, came from Ms. L'Engle.  So she gave me this book, which was one of several recently gifted to her, all of which were personally signed by the author.  This one says:

for Gretchen - joy in all weather - Madeleine L'Engle.

Tonight, eve of Christmas Eve, I offer you these words from page 47 of The Weather of the Heart.  May your celebrating be only at a beginning tomorrow, and may each of us risk loving in this coming year.

 

The Risk of Birth, Christmas, 1973

This is no time for a child to be born,

With the earth betrayed by war & hate

And a comet slashing the sky to warn

That time runs out &  the sun burns late.

 

That was no time for a child to be born,

In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;

Honour & truth were trampled by scorn--

Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

 

When is the time for love to be born?

The inn is full on the planet earth,

And by the comet the sky is torn--

Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.