Poems: M.C. Gardner

WEST

Seasons roll,

Fall and Spring

From summer’s bright decline

Emerging rent by Winter

In a world run out of time.

In the beginning was the Word

She had not uttered

Whose light now fails the afternoon

In an eloquence of silence

She turned and left the room

II

So it’s strange to think of now

In terms of then

And stranger yet to wander thoughts down roads of when

When summer mornings meant mid-day outings

And the fires of July were cooled in the wet velvet runnings

Of enormous apricots

Beyond belief in the magnificence of their song

The eyes of our fathers

Were deeper than the sky

With more luster than a promise

We knew of them no lies.

Green was the smell of all touch

And touch the taste of all vision

In a hunger that knew no liquor

Yet drank till the dawn had sighed

Each day walked toward night

But the passing of the light

We never knew.

III

But tonight I see the shadows fall

And envelop the burnings of the world

As December’s crystal hues

Softly, in their flights descent

Round the vision in my breath

On this windshield

Moving

West.

 

 MORNING

Strange it was that night

When the Yuletide airs of birth

Were companioned to the earth

With a father’s toiled passing.

The infant Jesus

Is often pictured

With a tiny cross

Held sweetly in that hand

That will one day know a knife,

And the Magi surely knew

That their journey to that cave

Was also to the grave

Of their loved and splendid Gods.

And the turning of the world

Was the winding of a shroud

That Christmas throe of birth

In a dying dispensation.

 

On a field outside of Midland

The snow glistened and was gone

Dew scenting sweet the hour’s

Anticipation of the dawn.

Death came like a soothing Magdalene

Releasing in a whispered

Anointing touch of flame

The burden of the fever

From its charge to there remain.

And a wind stirred softly on those waters

Darker than  a depth

Than those known by any sea.

Each night faith wings in caverns

A captive chrysalis of dreams

And what is often reenacted

We’ve rarely since believed.

Three timbers wine-stained wood grain

And a boulder barring entrance to a grave

Are among remembered fragments

When flesh returns to clay.

For in the end

The man some call the Christ

Was laid again to stone

As if returning home

Where as an infant he had lain.

 

Only the dead

Can speak knowingly of death

And perhaps

Lovingly, as well.

Of this family’s father

I knew little more than name

But I’ve come to love his daughter

And believe that love sustains.

For the windows of her eyes

Now seem the portals of his feeling

And what in the end was ash

Was mingled to the clasp

Of an infant evergreen

Growing deathless in a field

Which once knew only stones

But now it seems a home

As if a cradle in a cave

Where a stone was rolled away

In the quiet lilt of morning.

 

A ROSE

A rose arose

and soon had risen.

And what was once a sleeping bud

was now the blossom

of a bosom

Which arose, arose

and soon

had

risen.

 

 

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