Daniel James Sundahl

epiphania

 

Praise the world to the Angel, not what's unsayable.

You can't impress him with lofty emotions; in the cosmos

that shapes his feelings;  you're a mere novice.  Therefore show him

some simple object, formed from generation to generation

until it's truly our own.

 

--Rilke, from "The Ninth Elegy"

 

Looking westward through the porch screen,

White light from the full moon shivers

On snow crust, on a glaze over fields.

The silvered-seconds, the whited minutes,

The wind-chimes euphony, the wavy-warped drifts,

The attempt to capture that luring call in the rising moon

Only to be jostled back beyond repeal....

 

*

 

Maybe it is simply like tipping the head back,

Eyes rising, tracing the pale-pearl flush over head,

Untouched, skeletal, almost fibrous in its network

Across the sky of dark-blue drape, a mysterious beauty

That promises what with grace we must become:

Marginal angels, immortal transients, fresh tracing

Of that lost beginning grafted to the sweetest words.

Easter Morning, Luna Pier,
Two Men Fishing In A Boat

 

And over them a gray calm,

Fog folded fatly over the water,

A hundred yards or so of visibility.

Their bait stalks along the bottom,

Gracefully misbegotten.

 

Strange how the mind

On a morning like this

Looks for tone and terminology,

A sad attempt to understand God’s

Timelessness giving forth Time.

 

Someone at the pier’s edge faces east,

Listening to the water

Slopping the stones below;

An alien conscience or another

Phantom of loss and gain.

 

On the boat, a match spurts;

A finger held too near the flame

Brings that old curse of pain

Cleaving the fog-bound air,

Patience hardened to a pittance.

 

In the hover of a white bird,

The light begins to shape and feather.

A respite from fear some poet might think.

But the wait’s begun again, the water

Rounding the stones in penitence.

Prime Mover

Years pass, and I remember still

A girl with one leg draped over a balcony rail.

I think of how it has been;

I think of how it will go on:

 

Steadfast evening skies,

Spacious the first evening star

Riding radiant and pure,

The flame points alternating,

 

A part of infinitesimal Time

Taking the shape of all I know:

A voicelessness, a leg draped, a name mouthed,

An old woman sweeping her stretch of sidewalk . . . .

 
 
 

THE COURTSHIP OF WINDS

© 2015 by William Ray