Thursday, 23 November 2017

GRATIA PLENA

by Beate Sigriddaughter


All prayer in the end is gratitude
without exception shells wait to be sand
as life recycles poems at my feet in purple
moist exuberance while seagulls practice solos
with wings made transparent by sunrise

yes in the morning the crows fly west
and east again at night I love that
everyone is so busy being alive heart-breaking
even the sound of water on pebbles receding
click click turning stones into music

a heron fishes precise in his hunger
he takes no more from the sea than he needs
though the lush orange and yellow maple leaves
some larger than my hand whisper there's more
and a flower flickers white behind a vine

if life has petals that large what can it
possibly not do despite the wars we conduct
or tolerate or do not speak against or not loudly
enough afraid of miracles we avoid the eyes
of all angels we try to nail down death first

rather than open hands to life the uncharted
the unfamiliar the patient courtship that begs
to listen to pray with each footfall to praise
and to believe it possible to change the world
by trailing a grateful hand in water   


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"Gratia Plena" was first published by Hawai'i Pacific Review.