A Visit with Mr. Blake


William Blake across from me sits here
insisting on whatever it is he insists on and a

great red cape opens up to show an illuminated city he says
is Jerusalem

Not quite the one over there in Palestine
but translucent walls and gates of light as only
Blake can envision

Even pinkish and silvery angels elongatedly
bending above it barely discernable in the
clouds and blowing on long glass trumpets

I look into the lively fire in his eyes those
limpid English blues of his and his

mild-mannered countenance and his almost
whispery elocution of these weighty matters in which

the whole cosmos is swept along in calamitous clouds

and he levels a look at me his right hand raised by his
face and says

Behold the things we feared have come to pass
but the things we feared the most

may still be abated

Black horses of smoke whinnying horribly and various
towers tumbling forward

I gaze through transparent Mr. Blake across
wispy ruins that run on for miles hoping he’s
right as usual

Shall I sing you a song?” he says
I nod and he sings in a soft falsetto of things so
elementally near they become distant as if in a
play within a play in the mind

of the Divine upraised finger of light attesting to what among
all these phantasms is real

and of the graves of the terrestrially wronged
who open their stony mouths to
sing with one voice the sweet
mercy of God and their

ultimate rectification against all forms of
injustice including tyrannies theological

and while he continues singing I can
almost see the Holy One’s smile like buttery golden flakes
slowly descending over everything

Mr. Blake
your hat

the wide-brimmed felt pilgrim’s hat you
wore when you first came here

Your stick
with which you touch the stars Mr. Blake
all aglitter

and the tiny chanting flames you
leave in the air

5/26/2004 (from Underwater Galaxies)

Categories: Poems, Spiritual Teachers, Saints / Awliyya