Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Knight Errant (March 2004)

Lord, I do not know
how I err so wide
riding the back
of so narrow a pen:
How, when I attempt
to describe the vaults
you have filled
in my day -- feverish
spring, the drift of
a nap on the courses
of a breeze, dreams
of breasty valences
breaking yeasty waves --
You resound in my
yesses with such
echoing no-ey egresses,
your refusal of home
in a wave’s recessional
pale foam. Striving for
a precision of alms
I keep confusing the ends
-- are you over or
under the great water,
inside or beyond the
the next room I dream?
Are those fragrant bells
of orange blossom now
tolling through revery
window your envoys,
or are they augurs
of fullness whose kiss
shrieks of dregs down
the bottommost plunge
of abysm? How would
I know, O Lord, without
Your blue graces
sprinkled over me in
the trough between
the lines, east of good
porpoise and west of
divine shoals -- salt
ablutions You sieved
from texts housed under
the North Sea’s
northernmost wash,
revealing the other’s
undermost ravines,
maulings of basalt
which somehow
balance the wings of
every cloud-harping
stooge of empyriea.
Your corrective croaks
from the dirt of every
cathedral I have presumed
to build. Song strung
with human wires still
taut with heart balls
& mouth, it all seems
so half-understood
flapping here on the page,
still wet with salt
infinity, the eyes I see
with draining of
undervaults into the
blindness of day: A
cockeyed organum
for wind, wooer and wave,
harrowing a threshold
that moves every day,
like a barrier island
or itinerant god whose
name tides the sea.
Make fragrant and
wild, O Lord, this
aging man’s music
in Your surf’s choired skulls.


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