Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Room Is My Refuge From Light



When can we go out to the fields,
Where light does not hurt, where birds do not shame?
We have lived too long in lots.
Cannot we, who have ruined his name,

Find a new place? cannot our justice
Go beyond?--They do not labor, he said,
Meaning the lilies. Must we,
Then, hold high the scribes and Pharisees?

Somehow, when ready, we shall pass
Under branches that touch the narrow gate;
And we, of single eye,
Shall see the pass, though we have come late.


As birds
fly
from wires
to roofs
to sky
planes
go down
behind
high buildings

Hurrying
home
with
a new book:
its smell
mixing
with
the cold air.

Not many on the streets.
Afternoon.
Late November.
Houses
Close
Together.
Sick.
Must get home.


My seeing is bad: things merge;
And I've come to darkness.
I've no wish to live. There are no birds
To sing, I fear, my going down to hell.
And, also, the dead,
There, who've sinned, too, will they ban me?

Now that I'm dying I see a
Path that bends toward a church door.
Once, when the sun struck
The nearby hills and fields,
I walked that path, where, to the right, under
Moving branches, on benches, nuns prayed.

I shall never again see the way.
Always, even among the damned,
I shall be sightless, and shall curse the Tree.
But, there, I thunk, I shall know
The past, as it pertains
To me, which is death.

An objective love,
Yes! but the mutability of
Man precludes Man from knowing God
Thru Man--and the psilan-
Thropic shepherd seared my mind.
So I think of the Well of Styx and cry.

And the peoples came down from the mountains--
And they built cities
For the rich--and the poor, who've
Suffered much, thought that if free from want,
They, too, would be gods--and the rich,
Who knew this, had laws made.

Go down, gladly, my soul.
Does it matter that I haven't long to live,
That there is none to weep for me?
No use, anyway,
I've lost the line that measures the mind,
I've failed to partake of being.

I'm done with it all--
So I'll kneel before the cross and pray:
How long, Lord? a week, two?

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