Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Astonishment in Angels

Are sorcery and sanctity
The only means of withdrawal
From the common life? The hermit

Of dusty waysides wants to know.
In old, orogenic ranges
Worn down to serial foothills,

Life’s crimes against humanity
Settle like spores in the sepals
Of returning wildflowers each spring,

While crimes against wildflowers, foothills,
And assorted ecosystems
Writhe in human dreams. But up here,

Where the mountains are still growing,
And the wings of the rock wrens rush
Right past the wayside hermit’s ear,

A kind of traffic, excited
With life and by the reflections
Of sun in the valuable pines,

It’s hard to say what is to blame
For the beauty of aggression
When a nuthatch scatters the wrens

With its manic, head-down pounding.
No. Sorcery and sanctity
Are only short-term distractions

From the self-evident answer,
Which is hunger. There’s hunger here,
And hunger where the world’s more tired,

And hunger in crimes of all kinds—
Hunger in peaceful withdrawal,
In the whispers of wings through air.

Hunger was an astonishment
To angels. Why introduce this?
Lucifer asked before he fled.

This morning, from a hungry tree
Being eaten by hungry beasts,
The morning star shines visibly,

Which isn’t a star, not really,
Lifeless, reflective, not hungry,
Lovely, withdrawn, astonishing.

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