Imbolic (Candlemas) Day
Halfway there now, the light
returning, my soul begins yearning
for the soul of nature, giver
of all life. With reverence
and humility, I seek to know
the Mystery, close my door
on the chaos to compose haiku
and a five-bu candlestick, all
the while wishing I were brazen
enough to scrawl graffiti across
a government wall, like those brave
young Syrians stirring an uprising.
Halfway there now, I’m sensing
all life stirring Denali to Death Valley,
Siberia to Arabia, along the flyways
and ancient migratory routes
land and sea – every single creature
loved by me. The light returning,
I spend my days discerning
poems the shamal scrawls across
the desert, whirling to the rhythm
of the scant rains’ refrain.
At night, halfway there now,
after the day’s lengthening light,
I settle into the nebulous dark
and wait for questions of faith,
the revelations, to come –
swayed this is no time now
to succumb to doubt or fear.
We are almost there.
When Muslims encounter God’s miracles in or
through nature, they whisper this Arabic word.
If you complain the desert is drab,
I’ll know you’ve never watched it
transform under the sunset’s glow.
If you insist heaven is a place above
and beyond, I’ll know you have yet to open
your eyes and ears to what’s right here –
gods dwelling among us – have yet
to reverse the belief that the species Homo
sapiens is the center of the universe.
If you wail all is ugly and broken,
I’ll know you have failed to go
into the service of beauty – to yield
to curiosity and the mystery
of the god within, the divinity
of Earth herself, to spend
a night on a forest floor in the sight
of bears and owls, to awaken to the call
of birds and the warmth of the rising sun.
If you decide you’re done, there’s nothing
more to live for, I’ll know it’s time
to take you by the hand and guide you
to the seashore or riverbank where you can
witness both heron and fish thanking their lucky
stars to be alive right where they are.