In the Field
I'll meet you there, in the field, the field
where the earth will cradle your tired bones
and the scented sweet of grass and sky
will sweep your mind of dust and dark
and blessed sun will kiss your cheek and gently open your shuttered doors
and a wren will lift a single care and fly it away on a ribbon of song
and a thrush will choose a lingering fear to line its nest at the edge of the wood
and a swallow will snatch the decision,
and feed it to its hungry young
and a goldfinch pair will take a regret and return to retrieve a slip of pain
and a hummingbird's wing will brush your cheek as it gently sips your tired tears.
And your sleep will be heavy and long there
and the silence will be full and round there
and truth will hold your trembling hand
and smile soft at your safe return.
And you'll tip your head to the sheltering sky
and breathe a breath that's long and kind
a familiar calm will whisper your name
and you'll answer back with a quiet song.
And I'll be there, healed and whole
feeding the last of my fears to a finch
and we'll smile long, with wonder, that we found
the field beyond rightness and wrong.
And we'll empty our pockets of aches and crumbs
whisper a blessing for friendship and light
gather some flowers and a handful of hope
for the short walk home.
"The Field Beyond"
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in the grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase `each other'
doesn't make any sense.
Loren Eiseley, "The Star Thrower" (1978):
We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in wood nests or hissed in the uncouth guise of waddling amphibians. We have played such roles for infinitely longer ages than we have been men. Our identity is a dream. We ar process..In modern terms, the dance of contingency, of the interdeminable, outwits us all.....Instabiltiy lies at the heart of theworld..form is an illusion of the time dimension...the eternal struggle of the immediate species against its dissolution into something other..The power to change is both creative and destructive--a sinister gift which, unrestricted, leads onward toward the formless and inchoate void of the possible. This force can only be counterbalanced by an equal impulse toward specificity. Form, once arisen, clings to its identity. Each species and each individual holds tenaciously to its present nature...The evolutionists, piercing beneath the show of momentary stability, discovered, hidden in rudimentary organs, the discarded rubbish of the past. Man is himself, like the universe he inhabits, like the demoniacal strirrings of the ooze from which he sprang, a tale of desolations...But out of such desolation emerges the awsome freedom to choose--to choose beyond the narrowly circumscribed circle that delimits the animal being. In that widening ring of human choice, chos and order renew their symbolic struggle.....
from Loren Eiseley, "The Star Thrower" (1978):
II. complexities of relationships which can hold one other back,
or help each other across....
You recall the cheerleader
removing her glasses, vain, at halftime
cheering the boys, watching, watched
You carry her with you, still, in your 52nd year
and she watches and cheers sadly
from the sidelines
as one paints one works one writes
and she cheers, sadly, from the sidelines.
But we who watch you work
who have felt the soft tug of your hand
of your quick mind
know well that you no longer
cheer from the side but
from the center
an idea a thread a thought
yes, this voice yes, this painting yes, that poem yes
a book a friend a story a child
these, your wool, your silk
your scarlet strands
you lay them, lay us, all of us
side by side
until we touch, until we sense, and see
what we hadnt
what we couldnt
until we mate, writhing, like snakes
duplicate like chromosomes
graft like fruit trees
draw life from one another
Trust me. I know. I am one who was woven.
and the work of your hands
works its own
expanding organic alive
we, your warp, your weft
we are your work, a
living thing this
And more, you open, you invite all
to your loom
child, spouse, student, friend,
writers living and not, colleague
all hands, all voices are
welcomed to this circle.
You weave a blanket, comfort.
You weave a carpet, foundation.
You weave a bridge, and we all cross.
You lay us, all of us, side by side
until we glow
and you make us
and we make ourselves