Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Having Forgotten the Question

"They told us that 'the poets have the answers,'"
Sarah tells me when I return
from a considerable ramble

with Sequoia in the car seat at twilight,
past a parade of muledeer and whitetail,
assorted ravens, a cow elk, a black bear,

the nesting pair of bald eagles near
Fish Lake, and so forth, a good drive,
curvaceous, green, and glimmering.

Sarah hands me a flyer that the instructors
in mindful meditation had passed around
to the practicing meditators, a poem

by Mary Oliver, titled "Mindful,"
though I might have called it
both clever and joyful, as well,

and as I often am, when I am
anything at all, I'm contentedly
envious or enviously contented

to read her submerged opening
couplet rhyming "more or less
kills me with delight" with

"a needle in the haystack of light."
Outside the window, the moon,
frail crescent lacy as spun sugar,

decorates the rich creamy light
of summer sunset on the glacier,
the whole scene hanging over us

like a trompe l'oeil of the Face
of God, or worthier, and I wonder
how it would feel to be a needle

in that haystack of light--not
the light itself mind you, not
perhaps even shining at all,

this needle, just lost, buried,
aware of how unlikely to be found
thanks to the marvelous beauty,

the disheveled, tossed-together harvest
of sumptuous living and dying, turned-over,
tumbled heaps of light, light, light all around.

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