Father’s Lament

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Photo Brian Federle, Hawaii, 2016

Spring fills this dry land
With life, yet

I cannot see your face
or embrace you with a father’s love
as I did when last you filled our lives
with your easy laughter
and beautiful eyes.

Shall I speak to you, tell how
small birds gather
in the budding apple tree
hungry no more,
filled with joy?

I cry out to you
and the startled birds
fall into silence,

Let me tell you, then,
Of my new life without you.

Deep in my side I feel endless pain
where my heart once beat;
now I merely breathe
emptiness.

My son, oh, where have you gone?
Call to me from the brilliant heights,

for deep in darkness I lie
crying to see you just
one more
time.

(for Brian Federle, 3/4/86 – 3/25/17)

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Evening Prayer

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Wind stirs in expectation; it
softly strokes my face.

The March sun reassures me,
warms pale flesh
through layers of thick sweater
and winter coat.

Under indigo hills
new grass flows,
yellow and green,

as past distant ranges,
to the sky-bright, rounded sea
he flees and sends us
a gift of clouds,
aflame
in glory.

Peace be with the grass of the fields!
Peace
to dark hills and drifting clouds,
and to the sacrificial sun
peace!

The Goodness of March

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Photo: S. Federle

The goodness of March,
rain, strong winds,
buds swelling —
the everyday
resurrection.

The tree
we planted last year
on the first anniversary
of your passing
is blooming,

its small, pink bursts
quietly exploding
in the green glow
after the storm.

I smile to see it —
thin, wavering limbs
climbing to the sky, defiant
in the March wind.

Are you smiling too?

Immanence

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I know you stroll
beyond Andromeda
gazing on Magellanic Clouds,
but I cannot see that far.

I am stardust
to Earth-fallen.

Yet I seek you in the autumn rain,
hear you singing in the evening wind.

Your breath fills my empty lungs,
your smile lights
my darkened eyes,
and my heart overflows
with your sacred blood —

love spilling,
Earth-fulfilling.

Rush of Waves

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Photo: Brian Federle, Pacific Sunset, 2014

rush of waves, surging
ocean, atmosphere,
west wind filling night
with the sound of earth

careening through canyons
of empty, endless space!

(14 May 2013 – 2 Jan 2019)

We Sing

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“The rain ceases, and a bird’s clear song suddenly announces the difference between Heaven and hell.” Thomas Merton

Over bright fields
we fly.

Thin slips
of consciousness,
bounded by darkness,

we rise
on our song’s
golden glow,

not knowing
how descends
the growing edge
of nothing.

 

(7 July 2012)