Post to the World, LLC

National Cathedral

An unseen voice
far down the nave
new world chiseled gothic
beginning imperceptibly
toward midnight
builds a sinewed air
stretched the length, taut
chord flowering to harmonies
strain to take it in
bass to high soprano
sloughing off the years
around a childhood
hand chimes at the alter
small town angel slurring Latin
hoping God might talk to me
to midnight wrung from stone
now standing in for Lear
in all his tangled robes.
Before sunset
in its fade, Fauré
a lending from my sister
honoring his absence
a requiem brocade
of earnest sorrow, mourning
gathering an aural sea
beautiful and hurting.

at a drafter’s board
sketching in mind’s eye just how
his garden might be founded
through a shipping crate
for pencil, scale, and trace
what else could be done for him?
Moved long time
from a Carolina mission church
blue collar Romanesque
red brick adornment
poor for dreaming
high in the choir loft enrobed
in red one year, an altar
boy in white the next
a tradition carried forward
far as presents by a tree
for two boys in a townhouse
carted in from Burke at Christmas
to the present day
scented evergreens and singing
surrendering to hope again.
Ryan toddled two or three
from alter to the crèche, observing
what the story meant, always on
a field trip, the cathedral
was his audience.
Children to the manger come
with larger fear than working proof
as yet willing to accept the tale
as they know they are
these young recruits we pray
will learn the work of innocence
before they leave
their prayers and hand chimes ringing clear, holding their kind harmonies
through twisted days of ill return.
This thickening
wind, this pall, it blows across
a caromed life haphazard
in the most extreme,
choir, incense, fervent
prayers my desperate pleas
discordant harmonies,
this play
to longer requiem
–I have a sketch to draw–
before the thicket
one time garden
can be tamed, a path be made of meaning through a wilderness.
Not to draw
a line without his presence
strain to hear his laughter
silence would be lethal.
I have
this stone to chisel
deeper music wrapping me
and I will wait, attend.

Christmas ’02