GRACE

Each day I wake up early and sit before a blank page to practice my discipline of writing. So, I wait. This waiting can become very quiet, even to the point of silence, which is an empty fullness. Sometimes nothing else happens and I give up after a while, get my coffee and get on with the day. I’ve learned not to push matters. But on occasion, such as this occasion, I feel an emanation out of the silence—a very subtle feeling or mood growing stronger, more and more present—a poesis moment that happens more rarely. This happening is also a descent that I could feel merging with my body. I was ready and the following poem flowed, and then, to my surprise, a sharp memory of Dante’s Divine Comedy entered:

GRACE

each choice
entails loss

someone or some thing
pays the price

one step forward
death follows

inevitable

choosing
facing forward

mostly unknowing
suffering is
left behind

for now

but the dead do speak
heavy stones descend
adorning neck and shoulders
moving forward now carries its burden
head bowed over
shuffling feet

enter purgatory

passing years
slowly winding

up the mountain
no hope no way out
one grinding step after another

inevitable

along the dusty path
meeting with one
long dead

o no
i am not here because of your choices
i jumped into
those black waters
by my own choice
just as you made

your own choices   
you reached out for me
but it was…

inevitable

stones released from
shoulders and neck
tears splashing wearied feet
cleansing hands
lowest of the low

choosing the inevitable becomes grace

released from purgatory
now turning to the master…

 

 

my son, you’ve seen
the temporal fire and the eternal fire
you have reached
the place past which my powers cannot see
I’ve brought you here through intellect and art
from now on, let your pleasure be your guide

you’re past the steep and past the narrow paths
look at the sun that shines upon your brow
look at the grasses, flowers, and the shrubs
born here, spontaneously, of the earth
among them, you can rest or walk until
the coming of the glad and lovely eyes—
those eyes that weeping, sent me to your side
await no further word or sign from me

your will is free, erect, and whole
to act against that will would be to err therefore

I crown and miter you over yourself

              

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