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Dawn and Dusk Poems




Morning Hawk


Brown feathers, smooth as frosting,

conceal taut, predatory muscles.


Bloodied wings sheath precisely

as German knives in a block.


The streetlamp perch where this hawk

dominates dawn burns with quiet gold.


Another day on Earth

heaves back languid arms,

but no flinching whatsoever

is seen within this watcher.


An enigma of stillness,

well-honed emptiness,

native lord of silence.


Smaller birds chirp and twitter below

through garden ornaments of tinsel.

But the master does not look down, alone

in the wind and listening for subtler things.


Gathered within himself and telling no one,

restraint and simplicity the marks of great power.


If crimson morning shimmers on his shoulders:

he is ready.

If night again absorbs the world, as it will:

he is ready.


Every force and rhythm of time is seen

from this solitary height, and accepted.


Then suddenly, at some inner impulse,

or an invisible shifting on a mountain

vague and enormous five miles away,

his claws surrender the metal post

and wings gracefully grip the air

through which I always fall.


It is a movement of such stillness.




Aye


Wheat at Ramot Gilead

this rustic desert evening,

and smells of camels and sheep

upon my awareness leave


Feelings of war and peace

that, entangled, somehow agree,

as if civil war were a status quo

within God and within me.


The sun hoarsely whispers

its will over the harsh landscape.

I get low to the earth, rub soil

through my fingers, and meditate


On the wanderer Abram,

follower of flock and Voice,

the father of faith demanding

I choose how to make a choice.


His presence and problems

are suddenly right here,

and over an old wine of pain

dangles my paradox of tears


That swear loyalty to instincts

which somehow already know

ambition must be baptized

in endless tortures of No.


A thrust toward the all

to the one must still return

by an oath with lethal love,

even when it burns.


Jewels of fire, dangling

danger through visions of "I"

your teacher is the herdsman

who to the Voice said simply

"Aye."

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