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 Spirit Chimes

Another Kind of Prayer


When injustice tangles my
between here
and what is real,

I awaken to
the ordinary,
the everyday,
the devotion of
mountain laurels—

how could I have
missed them?

And the robins
throwing flames around
their twisted villages,
the hemlock
like ghostly brides:

it all appears
when the mind and the
rain-washed air
are one,
when the wind is
theater I want to
know personally—
a gateway to the
Otherworld or just
a better form
of now,

where the scent is
feverish activity,
where countless
tiny lives join
countless others in the
single goal to
just be here.

They know what ambition is,
and it has nothing to do
with the things
I care about.

And now they are
drawing me into
their tin chants,
their sky, their love,
their beliefs,

now rage is a waste
of limited strength
in a limited life,
resentment just
another hissing spark
on the river that
spits out the
fallen sky
and grumbles for me,

and I wonder if it's wise
to pray while the
river is teaching,

and if God,
who loves in a way
I never could, wrote
this epic of birth and death
and mystery in between,

then how should I speak
when the oaks
said it best
long before I was born?

So I'll enter the
and sit in a chapel
of grass
along with the crane who
thinks he is God,
and a thousand sun-gorged
quiet marvels,

and I'll step out of my
old shattered self
and stare and please God
with my wonder,

till the earth is small

a cluster of jewel tones
and souls
sharing the vastness,

a prayer

from this point of view.

Patricia Joan Jones

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