Tag Archives: Spiritual

besieged

 

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i am in
a crowd
of selves

talking and
telling,
standing

to close
i step back
my arms open:

a kind of
untethering,
resignation

letting go as they say,
drifting from the
shore, (what shore?)
unmoored into –
languor? buoyancy?

alone:

it all grows still
unknown, irresponsible,
not responsible

at sea

after days it occurs
to me

the only
thing left to do

is slip from the boat
and into my body.
(second attempt)

i used to court
sadness like
a lover

sinewy and
sensuous
beguiling

everything i wanted

we went
everywhere
together

i believed
everything

i gave her
a place

but she is gone

and that made
me sad
in another way

a beauty
uprooted

a possession, a toy

my keeping kept

something from growing
(final attempt)

she is back
in my life

unrecognizable

though not
as sadness

as someone else,

not sure who.

 

chris woodhull

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out of nowhere

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some days, the words

find me or i

find them and

 

they may or

may not open

the hatch,

 

the secret opening,

the place where

God is said

to be.

 

who made the hatch?

 

in one side, out the other

and back again.

 

forgetting the hatch

i am free.

 

chris woodhull

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solvitur ambulando

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never lose track

of your shoe-

 

laces in the

hand securing

 

the knot guided

by the eye

 

from above.

 

 

 

 

chris woodhull

 

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on the surface of things

 

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I

In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four
        hills and a cloud.

II

From my balcony, I survey the yellow air,
Reading where I have written,
“The spring is like a belle undressing.”

III

The gold tree is blue,
The singer has pulled his cloak over his head.
The moon is in the folds of the cloak.




poem by Wallace Stevens / art by Danielle van Ark
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je suis

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you

the invisible
who-ness
is present, bidden or
not bidden, so

i admit to feeling

(you prefer
lower case i’m guessing?

i do)

your nearness,

much more

than God – is that your father:
enormous, cliff-
like, unknowable shore line
everywhere and nowhere
or did i make him up? – and

you remain unseen yet noticeable
and quiet, as a young
girl, painfully shy

supine?

and here:

are you the swing? are you the hush?
are you the dusk

light, and why is your name such
a problem? i admit to feeling un-
comfortable with it
in public,

aloud

i don’t mind thinking it

je suis is as close as i get

why do you keep
showing up discernibly concealed?

what did you learn as a human? and
what do you continue to learn as a
God-formerly-human-yet-still-human-but-waiting-
for-something-i-don’t-understand-to-happen?

you are
the missing
person who
i look for
everywhere
in a stadium
crowd, far off,
other side of field
eye contact
we locate each
other, impossible
to talk, we wave,
sort of, our
gaze in a
pause
held in that
small holiness

just seeing you is
seeing me

you are the being in
a person without a
body, right? though in a
body, is that it?
that certain near-thing
we know is distinct
and unique
in me
here

like being in your own car, your own pew,
your own bed

how am i
doing so
far

stop me if
i’m going
to
fast

 

poem by chris woodhull / photograph by kumiko ishigaki

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wonder

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sometimes in the day,
sometimes at night
I walk outside and in,

all around the wooded property
not looking for anything
in particular, nothing really

but this and that, hoping,
no, not hoping: wondering
if the incessant searching

or hunting or waiting
for something to happen,
to move, from beneath
the thing I call my life,
will give it buoyancy.

 

chris woodhull

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glance

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glance:

she looks my way
and i look hers

eyes open
as windows

without a word
we think —
who are you?

windows open

eyes turning elsewhere,
mind moving
into privacy

where we
sit and
think about such
things as meeting

strangers, new

friends we
may enjoy —

i sip coffee, she reads

wondering and wondering,

we both
return home.

 

chris woodhull

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all this

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the bank of trees, in still wintery
nakedness, a closet

nothing open, waiting

all hidden, yet awake

each tree a finger, distending
holding something within

sleeves of snow scatter,
disappearing, ground breathing

listening

all this, soulful knowing
past and future

all of this, nothing alive and
yet alive

how?

how did this road get here?

I have been walking
this lane for hours,
cut between the wide stand
of poplars and pines

all this roadside
solemnity suggesting someone?

they say a baby
is the essence of a human

where did the baby go?

everything within me
whispers

here!

 

by chris woodhull

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the window

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A storm blew in last night and knocked out
the electricity. When I looked
through the window, the trees were translucent.
Bent and covered with rime. A vast calm
lay over the countryside.
I knew better. But at that moment
I felt I’d never in my life made any
false promises, nor committed
so much as one indecent act. My thoughts
were virtuous. Later on that morning,
of course, electricity was restored.
The sun moved from behind the clouds,
melting the hoarfrost.
And things stood as they had before.

poem by Raymond Carver / photograph by Shinzo Maeda

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I walked past a house where I lived once

 

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I walked past a house where I lived once:
a man and a woman are still together in the whispers there.
Many years have passed with the quiet hum
of the staircase bulb going on
and off and on again.

The keyholes are like little wounds
where all the blood seeped out. And inside,
people pale as death.

I want to stand once again as I did
holding my first love all night long in the doorway.
When we left at dawn, the house
began to fall apart and since then the city and since then
the whole world.

I want to be filled with longing again
till dark burn marks show on my skin.

I want to be written again
in the Book of Life, to be written every single day
till the writing hand hurts.

Yehuda Amichai

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