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Image by Dean Keller

Spitting mad one night I asked
the rain how, yet again, the good
had dropped away, how pools
once full and fountaining now
gaped, the rusting pipes of nymphs
grown sordid, deaf to majesties
of song perpetual and flow.

We’re good at bringing low,
I said, of angling away
and pulling toward us what
we don’t appear to want, then
shoving it with myriads of
reason for our blame. Where
did we learn this paltry game?

The rain, she did not answer me,
though every drop hit perfectly
upon the rock and spikes of grass
and sparked a connectivity that
didn’t ask of every drip to justify
its time and space, or doubt its
capability to drain the banks
of cloud and never questioned
how her future moistures
would arrive. This I did note.

I visited the woods electric
blue of tamarack and yew
still damp and shivering
with memories of you and
wondered what the chances
were of once again discovering
that life is more, not lessening,
and while I formed these thoughts
a spark of something tremulous
ignited at my ear, and I could
hear the laughter of a worry-free
and blissful creativity. For me?

A plop of gooey sap, it fell upon
my nose; I wiped it off and in
the stickiness opined that what
we think coheres and swiftly
multiplies, the more of same
until we reach a tipping
point, and like the rain,
yes, like the rain…

but then the night grew cold
and bleak, a harshness circled
round me, taunting names and
grudgeries I’d held for aeons
past as if in expectation of a
judge somewhere awaiting my
accounts of who and why
and how and when; and if my
evidence fell short again I’d
fall to someplace lower than
I sought my right to be.

Where lives this judge?
I looked around.

Soaked to the skin, awake,
it mattered not to anyone
how long I stayed, and
though the ghouls they
snapped and frothed at me,
the hellhound tags hung from
their necks aclattering, I smelled
their feebling transparency.

How rank you are, I said with
no great urgency. Those tempting
parts you offer, pull away, then
twist to make the weakness mine
is nothing more than self-occluding
voice, abundancy’s swift measures
to avoid. I shrug you off!

For now that I in lover’s arms
enjoy what grows and bountifies,
I need no longer name the ghosts
of what we tried and failed to grow
in worry’s enervating bitter holds.

Upon that self-affirming thought,
the harshness fell like ebon drapes
and from the east arrayed a sharp,
near blinding brightness, so I turned,
wide-eyed, to greet and saw the
multitudes vibrating, and I walked,
slow smiling, toward the light.


© Elaine Stirling, 2012