Thursday, September 24, 2009

All Saints, All Souls


for William Stafford

by Kathleen Norris

I had disappeared
into grassland, the high plateau
where the Missouri begins
to claw its way south, where hail
wets the wreckage of fields.
I accept it gratefully, even this
bitter pill.

The chaos of the wind
had taken me, like topsoil
off a hill, dark steam
churning, away
from earth. But you kept me
on your radar, Bill--Kneel down
you said, explore
for the poem.

I love the saints,
Thérèse cried in mortal illness--
I love the saints,
they want to see--the other side
of death's bitter
remedy, Bill,
the sleep
of grass, both root
and blaze, the river ice waiting
as time forms its word, the garden
where we need not hide.

Home, you say,
as feasts wheel around
in the dark of the year, All Saints,
All Souls; all song
and story. Sing it now, Bill,
let it come.

Posted over on News From Nowhere

from THE SLEEP OF GRASS: A Tribute in Poetry to William Stafford

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