Daily Archives: December 21, 2002

The Vessel

Sometimes it seems that the brittle clay
vessel used to carry the clear water
from inspiration’s well is so fragile,
flawed and useless, such an ill-suited thing;
the priceless, sacred fluid it transports
accents each error, highlights weaknesses
that the shadows hide; in its clarified
light, such a carrier seems unworthy.

Such is the poet – from strands of nothing
weaving a tenuous basket of thought
to hold the spirit of the universe;
and once the spark of creation is freed,
they return, bitter and worn, to plain lives,
that seem so uninspiring and normal.

Sometimes it seems that the poet should
be able to fashion the world they see
(in flashing dreams and moments of vision)
from their own lulling, ordinary life,
and at times, when the morning light is good,
to wake and find the universe alive,
vibrant to the touch, pulsing with meaning
in every small flicker of dawn breeze.

For me, that does happen now and again.
But more regularly, it takes a lot
of looking to see what is really there,
of seeking beyond old and broken pots,
where the language of whole universe
hides. And there I find a poem, sometimes.
Most of the time, however, it finds me;
and I try to not spill too much of it.

21 DEC 2002

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Song for Today

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour
— William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

I sing a song for the day that is,
that is, the day today;
although the hours and minutes fly
and quickly slip away,

approaching and departing with
the constant speed of now,
the day that is remains, it stays
always right here, somehow.

I sing a song for the world that is,
that is, the world right here;
although the tides and times roll in
and out, I have no fear.

There is no other place for me,
no farther shore I seek –
for this world is a part of me
and I can hear it speak.

I sing a song for the ones I love
who live their lives with mine,
and through their constant and true natures
grow, like root and vine

to fill the world with hope and grace
and my heart with their song,
and give to me the greatest gift –
the chance to sing along.

I sing a song for the day that is,
that is, the day today;
and all my thoughts of past and future
start to pass away.

For I have seen eternity
in just a moment’s span,
and held the entire universe
inside a grateful hand.

21 DEC 2002

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