MERELY BEING IS A MIRACLE
Merely being is a miracle.
Each is both aware and unaware.
Running underneath one’s thoughts, a canticle
Repeats one’s silent gratitude as prayer.
Yet life does not allow for much devotion,
Claustrophobic in its constant need.
Hunger puts the mind in constant motion,
Reckoning the harvest from the seed.
In ritual and art one finds a moment
Still enough to peer into the deep,
To see beneath the will the wonderment,
Music of such joy that one must weep.
As angels sing, so sing that you might hear
Silence that no mortal long can bear.
EVIDENCE OF PARADISE
Evidence of paradise
Veils its rainbowed wings,
Enters life like one of us,
Like spirit wrapped in things.
Yet angels sing in Bethlehem
No more than in Mobile,
And kings careen through Rocky Mount
No less than through Jezreel.
Dream, then, of the bitter wind,
Nights for which one yearns
In sorrow and unsullied joy,
Child on whom life turns,
Older than the universe,
Love haunting, hurting, healing, worse,
An anguished joy one can’t reverse
So long as blood still burns.
LATER ON, IN THE LANGUOR OF THE MARRIED
Later on, in the languor of the married,
Each comfortably alone because together,
Sleep lies just offshore, its blanket carried
Towards you like bliss in gentle weather.
Easy hours, moonlit, open pages
Read peacefully, their dissonance suspended,
As a child’s cry moves silently through stages,
Now piercing, now remote, but never ended.
Do you, can you know how love has fashioned
Choice and chance as weather shapes the land?
Life reveals few secrets so impassioned
As those which long-term lovers understand.
Revel, then, serenely, as the night
Enfolds the meditative dust of light.
SHINE LIKE A MOON UPON YOUR FIELD OF SNOW
Shine like a moon upon your field of snow!
Each buried root awaits the touch of spring
As you to your own celebrations bring
Such glory as reflects from down below.
Of mirrors let us sing, and holy light
Not ours, that yet we spread across the darkness,
‘Twixt eternity and nothingness
Shining to illuminate the night.
Gardens wait, and naked stands of trees;
Rivers wait, and lakes, and frozen streams.
Eden waits to try again its dreams,
Enduring underneath our cruelties.
The world reflects your moonlight, white and still.
In what you see is what you are, though time
Needs cycles of the wind and of the will,
Granting to each sentiment its clime
So you may each sense of life fulfill.
HERE THERE ARE NO HEARTS NOT TOUCHED BY JOY
Here there are no hearts not touched by joy.
A star illumines all, who see or no.
Peace is like a pang across the plain,
Passing in a moment wrought with pain,
Yet echoing in places few can go,
Harbors hard to enter or destroy.
On those who love there is but little lost.
Love’s an open door to life and death.
In seasons of great joy there is a strain
Dear to those whose efforts must maintain
A sense of some bright bourne beyond each breath.
Yet even those who calculate the cost
Still dance to more delight than they can know.
I MISS YOU ON OUR ANNIVERSARY
I miss you on our anniversary.
It’s lonelier than most days I’m alone,
Even though we manage on the phone
To touch with words the face we cannot see.
You away are far more dear to me
Than anyone who might remain at home.
My love is in the places that you roam,
Being with you where I cannot be.
We do not choose the objects of our passion,
But passively await the holy fire
That immolates our past and lights our fate,
Twisting through the alleys of desire.
So I am yours, and will contented wait,
Allowing love my life and will to fashion.
HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON MORE THAN YEARS
Happiness depends on more than years.
All one’s moments gather to a wave
Passing in a rolling swell of tears,
Passions too immense to name or save.
Yet New Year’s is a crest on which to sing,
Now poised between the future and the past.
Each awaits what course the fates may bring,
Winds that never touch the things that last.
Years turn and turn with an hypnotic grace
Even as the depths of life lie still.
Although above one cannot silence face,
Remember that below the divers will.
Nicholas Gordon is a poet and the webmaster of the popular poetry site, Poems for Free at http://www.poemsforfree.com. He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. For most of his working life, he taught English at New Jersey City University, in Jersey City, NJ.