Poems of Farewell

I

Epithet For Anna Marie White

She has turned her back to us

To kiss the earth.

Yet something of her nimbus

And her shadow

Stays with us as a blessing

And a curse.

 

“Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell.”

1990

 

II

To love is to experience

The kiss of noble birth.

Yet even as God crowned me

With the nimbus of this blessing,

My beloved cloaked me

With the shadow of his curse.

 

Such knowledge arms

All angels in my garden.

Will I choose a path

To heaven or to hell?

1990

 

Fragment

(Beginning)

Already it is dusk.

I stand by the gatepost waiting,

For in the afterglow of twilight,

My memory of them is very near.

 

(Transition)

But this kiss from a ghost

Imparts both a blessing and a curse.

 

(Ending)

God destroys us,

Destroys us, utterly.

1990

 

III

ICON

Dedicated To Bede Smith

In a painting on the altar,

The man is perfected,

And the woman smiles

With beatitude.

 

Her nimbus and his shadow

Are glowing with the ichor

That sustains an inner life.

 

I kiss this icon

As an act of veneration.

May these saints be

Guardians of my soul.

1990

 

 

 


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