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hymn

I was able to share this piece recently at a reading with Words Matter in Pensacola.  It was written in memory of my dear friend Clarence Bell, a man who meant a great deal to me.


a hymn bubbled up
some years ago
wholly unannounced, like a newspaper
on the porch
which hadn't been summoned

hummed over and again
completely involuntary
like the soul'd sneezed

and Clarence would ask
before he died
from whence it came
to which the response was, "who knows?"
and he'd laugh, and laugh
eyes closed and mouth wide open

maybe it stirred from the same place
the redwood draws from
as it reaches to the void

perhaps it saunters
in the same space
where grace and despair
come at one another

or in the soft mist
of breaking bread
among new friends, while memory
of an old friend makes way to our lips

the hum calls the beloved home
divining a way, amidst the so much
beckoning laughter again
from the departed blind saint
at one small, if honest answer
to the grandest of queries

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