Friday, July 23, 2010


I think sometimes of the possible glamour of death -
that it might be wonderful to be
lost and happy inside the green grass -
or to be the green grass! -
or, maybe the pink rose, or the blue iris,
or the affable daisy, or the twirled vine
looping its way skyward – that I might be perfectly peaceful
to be the shining lake, or the hurrying, athletic river,
or the dark shoulders of the trees
where the thrush each evening weeps himself into an ecstasy.

I lie down in the fields of goldenrod, and everlasting.
Who could find me?
My thoughts simplify. I have not done a thousand things
or a hundred things but, perhaps, a few.
As for wondering about answers that are not available except
in books, though all my childhood I was sent there
to find them, I have learned
to leave all that behind

as in summer I take off my shoes and my socks,
my jacket, my hat, and go on
happier, through the fields. The little sparrow
with the pink beak
calls out, over and over, so simply – not to me
but to the whole world. All afternoon
I grow wiser, listening to him,
soft, small, nameless fellow at the top of some weed,
enjoying his life. If you can sing, do it. If not,

even silence can feel, to the world, like happiness,
like praise,
from the pool of shade you have found beneath the everlasting.

I feel as if I am reading the Sufi poet Rumi this morning who could have easily written about a thrush weeping herself into ecstasy. For Rumi, for Mary, and for you perhaps there is glamour in the death that brings everlasting union with the beloved other. What I want to know, is how to do that now, and not when I finally lay my bones in the drained swamp grounds of Florida. How am I a Swallow-tailed Kite, now, who swirls on updrafts of grace above my backyard pines? Why am I not now an indigenous person of this area, shelling oysters, building middens that won’t taste oil for another 500 years? How can my mourning of perceived separation fuel everlasting love? It just does I suppose is the answer, not found in books, but in the heart of longing, and of belonging.

Have you ever wept yourself into ecstasy?


  1. Well I find this very interesting, in light of the juxtaposition of my friend Barry's death, and the ecstasy I felt at a gypsy jazz concert Monday. I had not thought about them together like this, weeping into ecstasy. I have weeped with ecstasy.

    Mary's poem is just extraordinary. And your words echo my own this week, after reflecting on the ecstatic experiences in two musical concerts. Why can't I, or how can I, live in continual connection with the mystery, the divine? Why are my senses heightened in some places geographically, or around certain beings - trees in one place, but in another they go ignored? These have been my thoughts this week. And now this from you. :)

  2. I'm guessing that you long, like me, not to miss one moment of divine interconnection - to never lose the fast hold onto love that Barr, music, and trees bring to you? I wonder too if you doubt that this is the most important thing to do/be in life - to love and to be love? I know that I often lose sight of this, though Mary is ever helping me grow in this faith.