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 Spirit Chimes

Memories of the Kingdom




More legends of the earth
were scooped out today,
more trees trampled
like disposable populations,
and I had nothing to say
about it, but I could
watch, the way we watch
stock footage
of battles.

How many times have I
come here to find
that untouchable something
that roams in the wilds
of nothing human,
here,
where all the ingredients
of deep living
are found:

the stony path I walked
like Saint Francis on his
pilgrimage,
but without the stigmata,
the penitence and shame . . .

And after a rain, the bleary swamp—
one black, pondering eye
for everything blue and green to
slide into, stare for a moment,
then flicker away.

Here my body was the body of air
and sifted dawn, red earth and
bark and leaves—
forests above forests, foaming
like fountains,
throwing down
green light and shadow light,
breathing light and spirit light . . .

so quiet,

as patient as we want God
to be.

And here were the neighborhoods
of my sisters and brothers,
both soft and fierce—
it was all here in the anthology
of what was, for a while,
a complete and ancient story.

The bulldozers, the backhoes,
the chainsaws and chatting men
have left for the day.

Love bleeds out on the clawed dust.

I want to crawl in the emptiness,
shrink in the dripping sun,
ask the sky
to take me like that cloud,
all broken and elsewhere,
the one that once
looked like a dove.

Patricia Joan Jones


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