Elegy for the Tree of Life, a poem by S Francis

An individual, indivisible angel
Raises his voice out to God and
We follow with our cacophony
Seeking its ethereal path throughout
A fading existence in weathered flesh.
So a chorus erupts to fill up the small
Universe we occupy. Solitary souls adrift
Among asteroids like a comet’s wish.
We reach out for the voice to lift us.
Yet eleven… eleven voices now gone
As if Judas sought a revision of his story:
Instead of the Singer he’d take the chorus
To leave none to tell the greatest story
We’d never hear.

Could my words ever be worthy
Of the voice that reaches out
And finds God?

To Collect Roses, a poem by S Francis

Now,
I am going to collect roses,
Seems they have always been
Yet never held in my hands,
Not like a good rose is meant to be held.

Beauty never appreciated as it should,
As though it would fade,
All does…

All does.

This should not stop the collection of it,
and Though I choose with words
To vase the flowers,
I seek all their color,
A full palette.

I can imagine my small room
Filled with their perfume
And rest.
My eyes closed to open
A stilled mind
No longer wandering woods
Its clearing found
A nest to be built from these petals
That fall like silk around my feet…

and Silk does blanket me
Inside where, at last,
I chose to call home
This sanctuary.

and now,
I am going to collect roses,
As they have always been.

“Tea with Tumnus” a #tbt poem by S Francis

With great appreciation to Lewis, Yeats and Berninger

My love we will go, we will go, you and I
Away into the dismantled cedar woods,
The reconstructed closet where the Mother
Of the House boxes and stores memory.
We can push through the hanging coats hiding
The best secret, my love, let’s go, let’s go.

Some didn’t believe in Lucy when she returned
The same moment she left, even with Tumnus’
Tea stain on her collar, but broken windows
Build solidarity in the quickest way, Innocents.
We can push through moth-eaten coats hiding
The best secret, my love, let’s go, let’s go.

I believe enough to craft a memory of snow
Whisper so feint I do not know from where we came
Nor know to where we will go, only a quiet so clear
We hear a solitary bird sing, longing for his love, we
Discover warmth that melts coldness in our hearts
Uncovering secrets, my love, let’s go, let’s go.

You and I, we’ll set out into the shimmering world
Blood flushing in our cheeks, red like roses
Our footsteps a new Kingdom’s first definition
Snow a down coat softening all life’s sharp edges
Tonight, come be my Tumnus, and serve me the sky.
The best secret, my love, let’s go, let’s go.

“Into the Woods, Once Again” a poem by S Francis

Like an escape, the slight opening in the brush
That will only be seen by he who looks up
Seeking the bird squawking at him, hidden
Like tormentors of freedom, not earthbound,
But aloft on top branches where God’s whispers
Sound like conversations among friends. Or looks
Down, the moat that separates him from wildness
Deep enough to invite him to stay on the path,
One sprained ankle or worse, an inconvenience.
And yet behind the branches, something moves.

Alas, the bird does not mock, but sings invitation
“Jump across this gap, risk it all; see it now,
The opening?” Beyond, will be thorns and burrs
There will be hidden holes and disguised mud
There will be, and this is the important bit, giant
Rocks to stand upon and see the world like a god.
Stumps of fallen trees to stand behind like a priest
At the altar of decay transmutating once hard wood
Into dirt for ferns, for wild purple flowers, for bees
Who rejoice: “Hallelujah, for he has fallen and rots!”

No, I will be neither god nor priest, but slip alone
Through that opening and walk among the giants
Who dared to Live! Many lives never recorded,
Trodden paths unknown to those who followed,
But Alive! A delicious life even angels tremble
As they crave it for fear of God’s anger, His Order
Disrupted. Yet, the bird, in on the conversation,
Sings invitation to me from branches that paint
Clouds on the blue sky, “Jump over the gap,
Into the woods, Child, explore once again.”

Buy me a Guinness, a #tbt poem by S Francis

or maybe, I think,
a bottle of wine –
red wine.

[blood]

I have always been partial
to the intoxication red wine brings.

The blood of the gods poured into the heart.
intensifies the senses,
numbs from the inside out.

Intoxicated,
we reach for Rilke’s angel.

Unafraid,
our flight rivals the eagle’s.

When the great Gods of the ancient people
left the earth to
Adam, Eve, their sterile God and
his virgin queen,
they retreated into the dirt.
their flesh grew into vines.

We harvest their tiny hearts to
arrive one step closer to paradise

Inside our flesh the skin
of the immortals grows into armor.

We will not be defeated by these fragile
bones holding us up on earth.

We touch the angel.
We do not recoil in fear,
a surprise,
so close to perfection.

We grasp this perfect moment
in our hands and give it the wings
off the angels back.

A Love Song, a poem by S Francis

Why should we not touch our souls
With one bow and hear
Separate strings sing one melody?
One voice to dive into
An echo
From hills carved by Masters
Who could not have known.

Somehow,
They began our song
Before words stirred our tongues.
Like a kiss
Born inside
A flower pushing up through dirt
To follow the path of Helios

Its pedals,
Dripping with dew,
Swallow one ray of light.
Lips trembling,
At last,
Strong enough for
Love. 

Written after reading ‘Love Song’ by Rilke from New Poems as translated by Edward Snow and published by North Point Press in New York, 2001

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019

Flannel and Fleece, a poem by S Francis

1.

We wait in flannel and fleece
But wind cuts through sun-cries
To remind us of winter’s
Warlord of discontent.

Robin-bird hopped yesterday
Picking thawed earthworms
That had emerged sun-smiling:
Their moment had arrived!

The warlord whispers, “Not yet.”
We wait in flannel and fleece
Our smile carrying a heartbeat
That will be worthy of its moment.

2.

Do you recall
The hopping
Robin-bird,
Yesterday?

Hop along with me today,
Down the narrow trail,
Into the wood.
Let’s dig up the cool dirt
Soft mud for fingers to feel
The messy source of life.

Peak up at the sun
Taste its persistence
Finding a way into the soil
To kiss the dirt we dig up
Just to feel a little bit,
This messy source of life.

We shed flannel and fleece
Stripped naked, we bury sins
In the dirt. Smile at the sun.
Smile at the mess. Smile at
The robin-bird and hop along
Our heart in our tender toes.

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019

Sitting with an Angel, a poem by S Francis

Allow me weightlessness
And I will drift into clouds
Seeking the wing of an angel
Whose feather once drifted
Down to earth into my hand
So I could paint tender skin
With the dust of a life
Finally succumbed to fire
Its spirit locked in lines
Freed to fly from ashes
So passionate, its flight
Like a dance of lovers
Still discovering
Little bits to die for.

A forgotten spot on the collarbone

Unscratched skin on the back

A depth of iris still needing swum

The weightlessness
Allows me to sit aloft
With the angel whose tremble
Shook free the feather
That whispered words to me
“You have to write.”
I had to write
Words that whispered back
Fly up from the ash
To discover fire that lit
Dry kindling collected
From the forest floor
Wandered alone searching
For little bits to die.

Completing the Angel’s trilogy begun with:
Angel’s Metamorphosis
https://sailorpoet.com/2019/01/31/angels-metamorphosis-a-tbt-poem-by-s-francis/
and
Angel’s Honey Dust
https://sailorpoet.com/2019/02/07/angels-honey-dust-a-tbt-poem-by-s-francis/

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019

Angel’s Honey Dust, a #tbt poem by S Francis

one feather falls
from the angel’s wing
into my open palm
I dip it in honey dust
and brush your breast
with a sweet taste
for lips discovering
softness of skin
for the first time
a new spirit
rises from
our delicious oils
one breath
ignites a womb.

We drink this delicate nectar.

We hear music of bird and bard

We rejoice the sacred bond

dancing with angels
in deep, penetrable
rhythms, richer than azure
constellations rise
from the mendacity
of earthbound life
to love wholly
this Woman
born from dust
into a renewed
dream of life
lit by chosen stars
and created
in tender union.

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019