We interrupt our regularly scheduled Lenten/Easter series (which, BTW, has one more segment to go) to present our second annual “while it is still April” post in honor of National Poetry Month. The poem I am posting below is a prose poem, another happy reject from the local literary magazine. So good, so healthy for the soul, to be rejected!
I would consider it an honor if you, dear reader, care to critique this poem or post one of your own in the comment section. While it is still April… (The invitation extends to any original poem you wish to share – it need not have a spring or Paschal theme.) Enjoy!
there is a darkness, a starkness, in me and around me, a nighttime of nothing, seeking something for which there is no fill. in its hunger, torn asunder, the heart impales itself upon a tree. “wait here,” the prophets whisper, “the holy One is near”. heeding, bleeding, the heart howls its pain, surrendering in vain the last of what it clings to. “i cannot bear it alone!” the heart’s final moan, soul from body rending, in the end descending – until there is no air. it is finished.
(at this point, the poet pauses…”dare i tell them what happens next? will anyone believe me?”)
there is a calm, a balm, in the morning’s breezing. from night’s despair, a fresh new air tells of life unceasing. living light, dawning bright, pierces cloud unknowing; death retreats in its defeat, everything is growing. from their height, birds take flight, beyond the river’s flowing. flowers blooming, unassuming, set the bees a-buzz. arise! arise! the angel cries, do not be afraid. love unfolds, my heart beholds a King whose name is beauty. beneath the shadow of His wings, all is as it should be.
I agree with Ros, very beautiful. The music, the pictures, the feelings — powerful! And the layers of meaning: rich, lasting. This one works, and will keep on (for those who save poems for rereading and sharing, as I like to do).
Favorite parts: “nighttime of nothing,”
“heart impales itself upon a tree” (ugh! And that’s why),
“descending – until there is no air”
AND THEN, “from night’s despair, a fresh new air,”
“unassuming, [ to describe flowers, I love that!]
“set the bees a-buzz,”
But especially this, because for me it describes spring as well as faith:
“a King whose name is beauty”
Thanks, Al, for your reflections. I did not start out to write a poem about the death and Resurrection but it became that. I sometimes think that poems have a sort of identity of their own and are waiting to be born. If I allow them, they let me know what they are meant to say and how to say it. (If I don’t, I end up with a bad or abandoned poem.)