A Simple Question

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“While I am asking questions which You do not answer, You ask me a question which is so simple that I cannot answer. I do not even understand the question.” Thomas Merton, A Merton Reader,

“And He continued by questioning them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” Mark 8:29

Clear day
golden sky
gives way to
black clouds
and I ask,
“why?”

It’s a child’s question.

Within cities
hard edges, pavements
grey receive the red
tide, heads fall
and lives split open,
spill into
gutters fill,
sewers, fill
the sea,
and like a
persistent child
I ask “why?”

In the morning
through bright
windows I see how
spring leans
to summer, timid
leaves open wide
glow in silver light
and green fire
fills the wood,

and by this beauty
silenced,
I hear
in tones
beyond my hearing
a simple question;

“who?”

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One thought on “A Simple Question

  1. Steven, this is wonderful! The Merton quote is powerful and meaningful, but your poem fulfills the deepness of the quotation in a way that sets you to pondering inside images that burn into the mind.
    spring leans
    to summer, timid
    leaves open wide
    glow in silver light
    and green fire
    fills the wood,
    This is such an imagistic passage that it fulfills something basic in the way I think about the world. And then the question, who? and the revelation that you don’t know.
    There is a mystery here, but it is a mystery filled with the grace of the poet.

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