Tuesday, February 14, 2017

sweet hail for you

Keep singing, sister said,
like an abbas giving little brother monk
his cherished word.
Keep singing, she winked,
her eyes twinkled
underneath the strip of sky
that lined her sari
and lifted our eyes
far beyond the sea
green walls of the courtyard--
above Tangra,
above Kolkata,
above the JetAir-ruled
to loud empyrean,
stung with star-songs
of Shanti Dan voices

Keep singing, sister said.
So I did
--wondering why--
wondering what
grand imperial,
majestic magic place
the song would lead.

It lead nowhere.

But the words kept pounding,
so I kept singing.

It lead, Virgil-like,
through dark nights,
inescapable rings
of lonely desert self
It lead to Beatrice-pink skies
enclosed in one pure chapel
of delight,
shimmering with all the radiance
of dawn, alien to Indiana February
yet knit into its shining flesh.

It lead to joy. It lead to self-doffed
harmonies, shy symphonies of gift
--loud but trembling.
It lead to prayer when other words ran dry.
It lead to healing, peace, and Ireland.
It lead to home-heart hearth burning in my breast once more
It lead me back to unadulterated child,
too full of life for inhibition,
too full of wet world wonder to be scared

Keep singing, sister said.

Sometimes you must live stories before you can write them,
so we sing,
song writing story as its sung.

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