Sunday, November 5, 2017

Poetry Sunday: "All Saints Songs"

This morning, many Christian churches will celebrate the saints.  For some of us, we'll celebrate everyone who has died.  Some Christian traditions have a stricter definition of what defines a saint.

I find myself growing increasingly uncomfortable with this Sunday, and I'm not sure why.  So, today, I'll ponder that question.

In the meantime, here's a poem for today.  It first appeared here, on Dave Bonta's wonderful Via Negativa website.

All Saints Songs
"with all the evening music
great as a prayer" 
        Dave Bonta, “Red-Lined
I awake early on the Feast
of All Saints and take
my coffee to the porch.
Once I would have stayed
awake until this hour, wringing
all the celebration possible
out of our All Hallows Eve.
I say a prayer for all those departed,
the ones gone much too early from the party.

Once I would have lit the candles
and declared my love
of thin spaces. Now I fear the hunger
of ghosts who are not ready
to leave and the hooligans
who take advantage of the dark.

I touch the pumpkin’s crumpled face
collapsed from the candle’s heat.
I put the gourd on the pile
of tree limbs ripped from the body
of the tree canopy during September’s storm.

 I hear one lone bird singing
either a prayer to greet
the morning or a lullaby before sleep.
I look to the sky, still dark,
no message in the stars.

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