Fear's truth should out

Fear we truth to tell? Still do we so?
Our buried guilt rid selves will gape wide
To painful words that grope harsh inside?
(They fear of us what we of them do.)

In terrible secrecy schooled thus,
We hear our friend: "I cannot meet you"
And hear beneath "I will not meet you",
And, wounded, think he does not love us.

We need not fear what we of him do:
With courage put feared fear to rout;
That cruel unwitting gift, guilt, throw out;
Trust our own truth has its own strength too.

Then that stance, secure and clear, gives view
Of friend as true friend, who tells us true.

1992

 

Turning point

In that dark pool where coldest secrets are
A needle point of heat has had to form:
Through time unmeasured gains against the dark:
Slow forms a roil, in long still waters born.

Vague insubstantial presagers of change,
Small messages let loose by turbulence,
To consciousness by secret routes ascend,
The fifty thousandth, only, making sense.

These signs, foreboding ends and startings, heed.
Do not think to quosh that aweful pressure,
Formed sure, from in your life's beginnings, deep,
Which could then erupt in frightful measure.

No, that fate upwelling fear not, nor blench.
Face fear and yield: therein does lie your strength.

1993

 

Begins my day

I wake each morning with the memory
Of you (your body's fineness: delicate,
Sweet, smooth and strong) actual against me;
Firm softness—fingers with a careful touch,
Small hesitance deepest feelings stirring.

These things deserve not any wordiness,
Except our spirits intermingled are,
Through the wide doors of our bodies' wholeness:
Not spirits only, bodies merely, but
Both in one—fingers with a prayerful touch;

Spirits weaving. The windows of the soul
Still trustful shut, I wake each morning with
Your spirit, bodily against me, whole.
So, deeply touched, a smile begins my day.

1992 

 

On meeting after thirty years

Words of convention (our ready shield)
Set next impulsive revelation
Half said, half changed or hid in caution:

Approach, withdraw, the natural shape
Of merely five small hours, that meeting
Compressed charged vortices containing

(Potent and bewitching) compelling
To long winds of half a life, entranced,
Alchemy of gene and circumstance

A crucible on whose coals years past
We briefly met and, briefly, parted,
The furnace fueled, but gold not started.

Blown by the past, anchoring our present,
We did well, in five long hours, and went.

1991