The White Deer


It’s even closer than our fingertips
what we’re longing for
and travel for in search of
closer than our jugular

Shangri La lies languorously
always out of reach
its silver trays heaped high with
succulence its windows basking in
perennial sunlight

Darkness wraps the dearness of the
depth we fathom but not distance
and the rhythm of it singing in our
eardrums brings it even closer to us

Can’t call it can’t name it
loss is often the way toward it
less is often more in its regard
as we face the chalk snow always
falling across it

And make the face that was ours before birth
come alive in our eyes then our
nose and mouth and the rest
as if clouds were evaporating away from it
leaving it clear

See the white deer standing so close
on the shore bending to drink then
standing still head held high
before leaping away
its reflection in the water writing in
silvery light our most secret name His
answer to our deepest call?

A moon lightens the picture
and where it was a moment ago
fills with light
I can’t explain why the journey takes us
to the place it does
only to find it’s taken us to our
starting place

A ball of concentrated matter
tightens itself to a point
that speeds through space so fast
it goes nowhere is nowhere then is
all and we liken our destiny to its
fall but it doesn’t fall

I can’t explain why that tiny point soon
covers us over all or
why as we age we haven’t gone
anywhere at all

The white deer bounds through the end of space
faster than light can follow her
and comes up in front of us again to drink
our blood’s clear nectar

Sweet as a vapor trail
flicking its deer’s tail
as we also disappear to be more
tangible to ourselves after all

Closer in a mysterious visibility
to our initial caul

1/28/2003 (from Psalms for the Brokenhearted)

Categories: Poems, Love