From a Particular Height
From a particular height a stone bird is sought From another altitude silk rain’s beseeched From yet another more daring God’s…
From moon to moon the months go floating by,
one set for pilgrimage, one set for fasting.
Filmy pictures of our lives pass like a fly
buzzing out a window. Only God’s True Face is lasting.
Once a month or minute goes it can’t come back.
Memory calls up fuzzy pictures, but the taste is gone.
Water trickles through wide fingers, but hands don’t lack,
in slipping moisture, the always present moment to fasten on.
The present moment, mountain high, moonlight clear,
rises through the valley clouds of circumstance.
All altitudes are possible, all cliffs as sheer
as glass, or scenery gorgeous as a glance
in passing at a picturesque scene, quick flash!
God’s Face stays. Our moments turn to moonlit ash.
6/11/86 (from Ramadan Sonnets)