‘Every day has something in
it whose name is Forever.’
—Mary Oliver, ‘Everything That Was Broken’
Poets are not being imprecise
when they finger God
with other names.
It’s just that they’re gobsmacked
at the plenitude
of Her appearances.
In a lover
or a creature
or a wind-sparked memory
or a laden scent,
She is there.
And the poet hesitates before the wonder,
hardly dares to call Her by old,
respects the veiled face,
would not pass the boundary
of the holy mountain.
But would smile at Her profligate incarnations,
nod knowingly at Her inability to leave us alone.
All this talk of end times
and yet a flower blooms in ash.
In deserts where no human eye will see,
a barrel cactus bursts into frivolous glory.
A calf will skip
for no reason at all
but that her legs are free and easy
and the meadow is springy and alive.
So call it Forever
or Cosmic Energy.
She loves the cover of an awe-struck stumble
to put a word on grace.
She thinks She can hide
in such a way.