Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Arts

Dream of a Bear
It loomed there outside the picket fence. The heavily falling snow
Dusted the broad shoulders and massive head, matted the shaggy cinnamon breast.
Whence or for what it had come no mind could divine,
But with mute purpose it shattered the yard’s perimeter,
Wooden slats falling away in fragments before it.
With lumbering grace it moved forward,
Traversing the drifted enclosure with mighty strides.
It then steered its bulk up the hillside,
And I realized with regret that this visitation would be brief.
(Such magic cannot stay.)
Some bestial inner compass impelled it to press onward through whiteness
To disappear into the dark among laden spruces
Beyond the painted human pale.

I watched it go.

It left in its furrowed wake the consolation of a mystery to muse upon,
And Spirit knew despite its rue that in some unfathomable way
This glimpse of majesty would long leave traces
Leading to the gate of my frozen heart.

I long to travel into the darkness
To view one by one
The radiant objects suspended there.
Golden, bejeweled, finely wrought;
Some high, some low, some far away, some close at hand;
Revolving with a sedate grace
They reveal themselves to the marveling eye.
Of splendor absolute, existence eternal,
Their crystalline forms and shadows govern birth and death.
At times they cast off sparks like blinding daggers
Which penetrate the shroud of temporal earth.

Intricate structures,
You are that remote, indifferent source of all imagining.
Your glow from within suffuses the void with light.
I, poorest of pilgrims, beg your leave
To prostrate myself upon this floor of stone:
Your witness.

*“Milagros” is the Spanish word for “miracles”, and also refers to the small golden emblems which are affixed to cathedral altars throughout the Hispanic world as offerings of gratitude for answered prayers.

- Submitted by Emily Peña Murphey

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