I remember this funeral hymn,
Its melancholy sung in a chorus unmelodied.
It’s the note the angels evanesced by holding their breath
A little longer into the thin, church air,
Holding the hope
That they could carry the next note
Across the stain-glass shine,
Lighting up cares like candles
That shape the evening’s pattern.
The silence swifts through space between chapel-glass doors,
Sneaking into my hour's adore
Old voices flying on the wings of a psalm, saying,
There is still time, yes, still time enough to fill
The heart with a new hollow for growth
To seed its fledgling youth in a harvest of craving,
And the six-foot long past from which it sprouts
To collect like Church dust on Easter Lily-cusps
The stuff that gathers after
Our farmhand steps kick up life like dirt
In pursuit of many a missed surprise,
Hastening the work-day’s end
Toward tomorrow morning’s sun.
All this before it has a chance to star itself
Into night’s utter dark where desire lurks low
To thief the souls of holy men
And steal me with them
As the gold-treasured bounty of its bed-tide pillage
Under the spell of a spring-turned-summer moon.
There is no praise to hymn high enough
The unrefrained movement of this dance at survival,
Surviving all the ever-suffered stuff of poets,
So adept at choreographing God in tough-love-thrusts
That plumb the plush womb of eternity,
Offering their tastes of bitter grapes-made-wine
At an altar fit for humble feasts of bread-made-body,
Seasoned with Easter and the unleavened yeast
Of a human moment,
For its brief encounter
With levity’s life-long libation
To the seriousness of the brevity
Which takes us all.