Finely wrought poems woven together by themes of angels and ceremony.
The still parlor beckons the hours.
A sickle rusts in a corner propping a drowsy angel’s arm.
Until something transpires the celebrants lounge on the
davenport, stand and sit again in turn. Suddenly, this
is the seventh of days, the hour of weaving and unraveling,
of lamplight swaying out of the lamp.
Over the ironwork and over the bricktwork
cranes fly and light on chimney pots
and sing in the language of
tongueless creatures the song
the wind plays along their wings, for
this is the seventh of days, moment of
tearing and making, of a door closing to
one side and opening on the other.
Angel Rolling the Heavens Together
At the end of time this will happen: when
the souls of air, dust, stone, plants,
creatures and men stream toward the
gate and all the words and sounds
and letters signing sounds crown the sky,
when everything seeks gate and passage
through the sky, in a place of the
world, a point in air where no
one looked an angel appears. Other angels
surround him- some no bigger than fleas,
but white and whose wings beat loud
as thunder; some the size of men and
women, robust and smelling of work
and long flight; some big as
stars, showering the dark
sky with, threads of fight. One angel tears
the tongue from a man’s mouth, another
buries living sinners in dust, a
third drops a ship on a court
yard filled with thieves. But this angel
does not move with the other angels
toward a distant point singing as
they fly. This angel will roll the heavens
together and so stands still, his eyes burning,
his jaws shut against the
strong and growing stink.
Skilled in knots and cloth, a sail maker or
one who coils baskets from plaited
straw, he begins to twist the
universe. He bends to his
knees and winds and furls the air. As he
winds he names God from the least name
to the most secret and when he says
the last the world becomes a snail shell,
the moon and sun at the rim, the
planets and stars clustered in
tight swirls at the center.
The angel enters the shell coiling
backward and comes out years
later where the snail would, horns on
his head, himself a snail now
who drags the heavens