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Poetry

Among the marsh marigold and cowslip,
I found myself
speaking of the spirits’ fruits,
blackberries tangled on the vine.

Spire pointing skyward
proclaiming piety—
this is where I left you
to your tailored prayers.

At Kingswood Hill I climbed
and entered
a topography of grace among
the miners, unabashed,

spoke that all our gifts are wasted
if not tempered
by love. Only then in the widest field,
with such hearers, I became

free. I have spoken all my life
of holiness,
the stalwart denial
of self, now, only to find myself mislead.

There is something more than
salvation, a fullness
you cannot earn. I felt the sky
above me shake with mercy, call me

a zealot, for I am fanatical
to escape myself
and extend my hand to show you;
under this bright sky leaves brush

against cathedral windows;
there is no barrier between us and heaven.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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