I Have Spent a Lot of Time…

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I have spent a lot of time
building houses for people,
weaving wood around them
to keep them safe and give them rest.
I have built temples for friends
to dance and weep and pray inside,
and treehouses and playgrounds
to hold children’s smiles,
made tables to carry good food
and fireplaces where we can unfold our stories
with the flames.
Sometimes though the hands are too obvious an instrument
and I must exchange the hammer for the pen
beginning to carve and open
spaces inside of imagination and feeling.
I point to the images written
on the pages of the earth
where trees thread the blue
and crows announce rough perfection to the morning.
Have you seen the way that the light
moves on the waves or how the heron waits
wrapped in a silence
deeper even than the slowly breathing stones?
Even if you say you have not
then I know that they have seen you
life turning to witness life
as the dance reveals itself in innocence and folly.
I remind myself as I turn my eyes
to the kind evening clouds
that this is my home
this swollen harmony of beauty
this heart of grief and gentleness
this body moving through
and within the one wave
that opens like some impossible
field of flowers across a universe of stars and darkness.
How could you ever be separate from this?
Your heart hearth the centre around which
it all turns and spins.
Intimately, perfectly, strangely one
with iridescent beetles and the fish that flash in the shallows,
one with tyrants and saints,
and soldiers and priests,
with old men’s joints creaking
and the dreamy wonder of belly fur and puppies.
This home I need not build,
for it is given freely,
every leaf and twig
every forgotten breath
every merciless fall
every tear of redemption.
I need only take my words
and carve at the places where our dreams
have hardened and darkened
to wood and resin
opening cracks where light is remembered
if only for a moment.
Polishing the grain of love,
this heartwood
where grace and grief
have traced our lives
in essence,
the song we sing a perfect, broken note
in the one vast harmony
that is home to us all.


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