Sick and tired of being
sick and tired, I told
my wife I was looking in
to joining the Franciscans.
Knowing I am temperamentally
Trappist or anything discalced,
she said what do they make you do
and I said nothing then thought again
and said preach good news to birds
and she said you do that already
and (discounting the possibility
that she meant nothing) I said
nah, they preach to me.
I just say amen and
all this came to mind today
when a friend reminded
me this is Saint Bonaventure's
day and in his honor she is
trying to ignore little annoyances
but I suppose those would be
the ones a Franciscan scholar would embrace
(suffer the little, you know) and that got me to thinking
about the mind's journey, the mind's journey in,
as I recall, not up, to God, present wherever
it was, said a preacher of another order
but a like mind, you left the divine,
which could be anywhere.
Turn, turn. Take off your shoes.
Every step you step you step on holy ground.
every step you step you step on holy ground
Refusing shoes, the poet
makes his way without protection,
letting the ground tell him yes, I am here,
letting the toe scrape, the twig snap sharp
as water tells you dark under its stars
dark and shifting when you swim without a suit
swirls of warm or cool against unaccustomed skin
and you are alive, alive in the summer night
as the ground beneath your foot is alive, is holy
the cracks that wander the cement, holy
the nubs of drying cedar needles, holy
feel us, know us, they sing, awareness is all
and the night water, holy, gleaming
slaps the underside of the dock
cool touch of the water all around
saying this, this.