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Hibernal

Poem

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Yellow leaves light up the evening with their yellow prayer

which I fold into the thin dress of myself.

Late autumn being the attar of least resistance,

as I am made of this falling and that rising.

As I am turned by the turning.

Here the scenery means souls travel in packs.

And here the scenery reveals a certain illumination

that is grosgrained into me - directions for sleeping and dreaming.

A faith so simple it gently anoints my feet.

A faith so clean it scrubs everything into a pure blankness.

I dreamt of God for seven days.

Seven nights and days, expanding

into a densely packed silence in early snow,

sparse and white in which a single sorrow sang:

All rest and unrest derive from illusion.

The edges of dream in me. Their ocean-

like lapping one kind of this faith.

For staring out windows, I was called lazy.

Deep into the frozen lake, fish do not dream,

but are frozen to exist until spring.

Let each pain and cloud approximate distances.

Let now be the four-cornered table at which I sit.

Birds and monarchs dispersing -

They are like dreams or flowers in the air:

Foolish to grasp them.

(From The Republic of Self, New Issues Poetry & Prose,

Western Michigan University, 2001)

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