my brain bends
bars of light
with aplomb,

shifting universe
a simple excercise in
relativity; no excuse
for helplessness


c. Kate Gough


From For the Light


There is little snow on the ground
when you begin your morning walk
on this the shortest day of the year.
This is the season of gathering cold,
the fading memory of spring.
Light flows slowly through the woods,
a light you could harvest like grain
or scoop into your astonished mouth
the way a bear scoops honey until
your bones dissolve and you can never
return to the life that you were living.
You could do this if you dared, but you
have things to do so you keep on walking
telling yourself that this will happen again.

~ from Tom Sexton’s Collection For the Light


I recognize this from the bottom of my soul to the tips of my fingers and the cells in my face that stick together so tightly I can’t relax even there, where the light burrows into your heart like motherhood on its inexorably welcome warpath of love… gouged by a lance of total sweetness. I wonder if embracing death is the existential truth of that feeling. Thus we will never really live, telling ourselves we’ll have the chances we need again, trying all the while to outrun death — when what we ought to have done was contented ourselves enough to live harmoniously alongside its demanding nature, loving. We must let go of striving for our own goals at the expense of all else, must die to gain, in order to really live. And on many other levels this is true.
I just find it nifty that it shows, even in this one moment recorded.
‘For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ ~The Bible

language ii

the trees are speaking a new language today. a tongue i’ve never heard.
it’s white and brilliant, sparkling in the wind with infectious energy;
a million tiny bolts of lightning,
or anti-
matter and matter
colliding, disappearing and creating light that
penetrates the soul;
it’s a klicking akin to the language of dolphins,
neither as supple nor as dry as i’m used to hearing from these
swaying branches and fluttering leaves;
they’re coated with ice, fresh water
like drops of honey frozen still and
clear upon the slick blackened limbs,
marbles webbed in twiggy fingers like
jeweled ornaments.

c. Mary Kathryn Gough
Feb 2003 /edit: April 2004