When flickers of sunlight
dance between aspen leaves
to land on my face,
my heart explodes
like a dandelion puff,
scattering love and joy
to sail to a million distant places,
and return to me
in flickers of sunlight
that dance between
the aspen leaves.
Who are You, and where did You come from?
You have thrown my heart’s garden into wild disarray.
Yesterday the flower beds were neat and orderly,
the climbing roses sedately wound around the trellis,
and the paths were clear and open.
It was safe, my garden, in its predictable beauty.
Today I see wildness everywhere:
flowers grow laughing in the middle of the path,
dandelions threaten the orderly beds,
the roses grow in tangled joy from trellis to tree
embracing all with gentle thorns.
Who are You, and where did You come from,
You who turned my heart into chaos,
who unleashed my complacency into wild abandoned joy?
Call to Prayer
I am neighbors to the geese,
I in my house, they on their sandbar in the river.
I have watched them through the spring and summer
hatching eggs and raising fluffballs.
They have, perhaps, watched me come and go on foot and in my car,
while not preoccupied with goosely lore:
how to swim in a regally straight single file,
to dunk and bathe without filling one’s nostrils with water,
to amphibiously lift off and land with a semblance of grace and no midair stalls,
to raise one’s voice in full measure amidst the whole.
Now, in the autumn light they rest, motionless on their sandbar,
content with their labors and the success thereof.
In between my own labors, I watch them
soaking up the sun, bathing in the air,
living in the elusive shimmer of this moment’s perfection.
Five times a day, perhaps, or more, in a wave of fullness,
they rise, an unmelodious multiphonic hallelujah chorus.
Beating their wings against the air
they rise in a graceful spiral that circles
over my house, over the trees and the cows and the
bumpy country road and the cyclists intent on the ground
beneath their wheels,
drawing us all in close.
Five times a day they rise,
a reminder, a call to prayer,
and I stop my labors
and my soul replies,