Another poem from my 2012 book Burnt Offerings. Recorded for the release.
Things That Are Beautiful
In the tradition of “The Pillow Book” by Sei Shonagon of Japan, written in 1002
The bottomless blue of a glacial pool surrounded by craggy walls of ice.
Crackled frost on fallen leaves plastered to the hood of one’s car.
Twelve pounds of purring tabby cat nestled on one’s lap.
The glistening red nursing blister visible on a baby’s upper lip in sleep.
Wax stalactites formed by candles dripping in a sanctuary on a Sunday morning.
A mile-long ribbon of Mexican free-tailed bats looping across Austin in the summer dusk.
The top-forty song one sings while showering and chopping onions that is secretly a love song to God.
The sound of one’s name whispered in the dark low and soft as a caress.
The exhale—loud and forceful as a hundred tired men—of an orca surfacing off San Juan Island.
Gleaming raspberries in a clear glass bowl and a cherished friend to savor them with.
One who holds open a door, physical or metaphorical, for one who is burdened, physically or metaphorically.
The music of the Holy Spirit that trills up one’s spine like fingers on piano keys.
Any flower painted by Georgia O’Keefe that entices one to become a bee, crawl inside, and suck out the nectar.
The perma-bruised rice-paper skin of the grandmother’s hand one holds.