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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Black Rook in Rainy Weather

Black Rook in Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers
in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather
some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly
A certain minor light may still 
Lean incandescent

Out of kitchen table or chair 
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects
now and then -
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largess, honor,
One might say love.  At any rate,
I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape);
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow.  I only know
that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality.  With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts.  Miracles occur, 
If you dare to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles.  The wait's 
begun again,
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent.

Sylvia Plath

A close friend gifted me this book several years ago; an Advent read.  I'm somewhat unconventional when it comes to typical Christmas practices, and perusing daily devotional books is not a practice I normally engage in.  But I've found this book to be quite different.  Sylvia Plath's poem, an excerpt from the book, is a great example.  If interested, you can find it here.  

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