Chants for the Beauty Feast $15

If I draw the little figure of a garden on a
toothpick, for in this world it seems
these things are ignored,
or if I etch a leafy landscape with my
fingernail on a frosty glass,
or see the tops of trees towering skyward
in the flat mirror of a rain puddle,
or if I see flower and leaf forms
in your eyes and wish to
keep them there long enough to
stroll through, under a
sunlit trellis, across grass, down a
dark trail between oaks…

Poem Selection from Chants for the Beauty Feast

Name of God



The Name of God came haunting down the hall
and dazzled all our eyes and ears and
hearts, and made us

swoon into this hard physical life,
and we’ll be wakened and called back

and then we’ll leave this world as
things departing from shadows
leave their shadows in heaps like
old clothes at the

through which we’ll all depart to go back to that
chanting school, those corridors of
pure reverberation through

pine woods, mountain cloud, egrets hovering in an
updraft, sunlight on
rock, sun twinkle on

stream gush, that exquisite

Name of God again, repeated by God’s own
speech on the tongue of everything.

The Name of God foghorns
out at sea where
blackened darkness deepens within darkness.

The Name of God suspended in amoebas hovering just below
the surface tension of a moonlit lake.

The Name of God in the first movements of an eaglet inside its
high shell on a cliff beaten by
wind, its brother and sister eaglets
starting to stretch inside
their shells at exactly the
same time.
The Name of God in the high wind beating against them.

The Name of God in rigging out at sea
the high wind beats against.
The Name of God in the audible beats that
accompany the wind, in the
silent beats as well as the
ones sounded out, the lapping as well as the
silence as the sea recedes.

Laughter followed by the silence of death.

The Name of God in them both.


And who hears the Divine Name being
recited over and over with each
pump of our blood through the
Tunnels of Love of our veins? Each

drip of ice water off a glacier into a
pool so translucently clear
the entire sky of the world is reflected
with all its gnats and all its
migrating birds? Who

hears on the tip of its tongue the Name of God being
told? The first shift of
glance of a newborn, and
no sharp sound was made?

The doctor leaning in with his
stethoscope is the Divine Name’s
heavenly P.A. system into his

own ears from every pulse he hears?

The billionaire leaning closer in to his
telephone receiver in penthouse
solarium as the deal is
clinched, who hears the Name of God so clearly
spoken, but may
mistake it for a sum?

The baseball outfielder who hears it as the
ball zooms by, or the thunk of it
into his mitt?

The chipmunk who hears it as an acorn
falls from highest oak
branches into his paws?

The mud slide in Venezuela heard by the
shocked villagers below?

The butterfly’s flight pattern as God’s Name on a
breeze shifts ever-so-slightly to the

Entire populations as they scurry to their jobs?

Entire populations of underwater denizens
as the natural booms and creakings in the
resound in their bones?

A single diamond miner as his axe slips
uncovering a gleam?

An ancient derelict who positions her head on her
pile of rags and slips into dream?

She hears it. It

reaches to the bottom of her toes.
It leaves no stone unturned.

Audible by all,
it takes no prisoners. It’s

audible now, cricket in the

silent center of night, cricket out

in the night

under a

starless sky.

10/7/97 (from Chants for the Beauty Feast)

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Picture of the Garden

There is a picture of The Garden
as a garden within a garden
(by which I mean Paradise),

one state enclosed by another state,
one embrace folded in the
loving arms of another, greater,
deeper, greener,

more far-reaching, with
heavenly valleys, gorges, golden
sunlight everywhere,

laughing children, rare


(from Chants for the Beauty Feast)

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