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A Sunday morning poem...
a loose homage to Wendell Berry
I have developed a habit, maybe some would call it a ritual or practice, and I suppose it could be called those as well. Sunday mornings are when I find a favorite spot, settle in with a few good books, and the good book, to work on and work out all the thoughts I carry around. Wendell Berry inevitably goes on these mental outings with me through several tattered copies of his poetry books. His This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems being my dogeared favorite.
This morning, as life around me assumed its Sunday pace-the sound of cars headed to the beach, neighbors firing up their mowers, my husband showering before heading to watch online church with his ninety-seven year old father, birds rioting in our dieing canopy of oaks-I sat. Quietly reading, exploring greek translations-I am so a geek for this-and finding my way to Barry. And, finally, to words.
My notebooks and note apps have sat unopened lately. Poetry took a vacation from my vocabulary until this morning. Something about the recontextualization of certain words that, when taken back to the greek, can mean something more than we have been led to believe.
Typically, I don’t share unedited work publicly. Today I am headed out onto the shaky limb of vulnerability only because there was the promise of sharing the occasional poem. This one is called Sunday Jazz and will probably synthesize its way to something different but, for now, this is what it looks like—
Who do you say I am? He asks, I have lost my taste, For warring words. Who do you say I am, then? The softest jazz, On a Sunday morning, A sprinkler going, About it's work, On the Sabbath, Hot, hot coffee, And the tiniest birds, Taking turns, for their daily baptisms, Of beauty, And stillness, and the quiet weeping, Of an old man, with his memories, Flashes of heat lightning, Silent across a night sky, I know, now, there Are no rugs in heaven, For you to catch your furniture on, reorganizing the world. Is that all? No, you are, so much more, Afternoon barbeques, Popsicle colored kids, Running between drink balancing, Parents telling stories, Of great fish, garage sales, And last days, You are childbirth, And parent death, Cold cherries in summer, And compost heaps, Fresh turned ground, And dying trees. Is that all you think I am? No, you are, Infinite, Blankness beyond, the Boundaries, of my imagination, The simultaneous firing, Of every neuron in a burst, Of light before that great silence, Of our unknowing. Then why do you not say this? If I were to speak of, All I know you to be, I would never leave this spot, For wonder, And despair , Of what we have made you to be.
That’s all for today-
Peace to you today,