Sunday, June 14, 2015

33rd Letter: Ample Cause

I'm reading at Mass
later this morning:
Ezekiel's majestic cedar;
St Paul's 'We walk by faith'.

What am I doing now?
Waiting expectantly
as Mr Coffee makes
his low pertussive grumble.

Miss Marianne Moore,
the Presbyterian Confucius
of Brooklyn, once said:
Grudges flower less well
than gratitudes.

Sometimes I hold
a grudge against myself:
so much distemper,
so many things done amiss.

But I have ample cause for gratitude:
a friend eight hundred fifty miles away
who has made and sent me a birthday card
adorned with blue hand-painted morning-glories!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

32nd Letter: At Some Point, Elena

At some point, Elena,
I must stop using the words
poetry and art
to describe your work
and must speak more truly:
grace and benediction.

Veteran trespasser through cornfields,
elegist of barns torn down,
hymnographer of peony and calla lily,
reverent toward ancestors
both poetic and familial,
I praise and I prize
your priceless gift, your perceptive eye,
your insightful heart.

Today is Sunday, a day
of eucharist, of thanksgiving:
grateful for what you have given
and for what you continue to give,
I sit and write over early coffee
in the cool June foredawn

suspecting that you won't mind
an unexpected letter.

Monday, June 1, 2015

31st Letter: Dedication

I owe you better poems
than these, dear friend.
But trusting in your charity
to bless my insufficiency,
I make bold to present to you
these ungainly verses of gratitude
for your many gifts to me --
those inexhaustible excellences
wrought by your graceful hand,
by your wise and shining mind.