Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cruciform, Quilted Grace

This first poem staggers me. I did not write this, it wrote itself, except the last line which is me seeing what I have just done. I am not this wise.


My time has a gate
At both ends, and within me
My heart has two gates.
I love you here and now, one.
Love ascends beyond all, two.

I am fourfold, golden gates,
Birth, death, love and love.
Within these gates are my lines
Of hope drawn and then quartered.

I am thus spread before you.

If I were to stretch, gain all
Wisdom I can hold,
That I am permitted here,
I will still need help to cross.

How I shape my life,
Traverse time's gated trailways,
How I love, am loved,
These form the keys, weave the cloth,
Fold the wrap that keeps them safe.

My hands quake, such holy work.


This is a poem about being in the right place. The crane, the woman in the nearby house, me. And I am especially blessed, conscious of the rightness and I fall in love with the moment. How could I not?

Quilted Grace

The crane wades through reeds,
Pauses, dreams of groves and storms,
Looks up to heaven.

In the house nearby, she sets
Dreams into frames, cuts and sews.

In my eyes the world
Changes. I catch sight of her,
Of her quilted grace.


  1. OK I am back already, struck again. you have such a beautiful way with words.
    And as you say, it comes easy to you as it is your calling. I feel so similar about my Nature wanderings. Not about my writing though. I am Dutch, and language my worst subject in school. What can i say.
    I'll come again and maybe i catch some of your Grace.

  2. You are doing fine. Only a little, just enough that the Dutch shines through. Which as a descendant of a Dutch grandpapa, I find positively endearing.

    Today I got up thinking, uck! I didn't think I could do it again. But then there was a moment and I had one poem of my two minimum done. I wandered off, did some necessary stuff, content there would only be one. But even so, now I have hit the end of the day's end I have written two more, one more than I need to replace the two I have posted.

    This is not up to me.

  3. These are beautiful, Christopher. Holy work, indeed. I love fabric imagery and sewing in poetry...I have, in the past, had poems with fabric and mending in them. Yours are much more hopeful, I think.

    I like how you say, "this is not up to me"...That is how I feel about poetry. I don't write as often as you do, I don't think I could. But when a poem does come, it isn't really mine in a way. It feels like a gift from somewhere quite beyond me. As though the muse has seen what I feel in my heart, and she loosens the words enough so that I can shake a few onto the page. But it is definitely not up to me.

  4. Faith, good to have you here as ever. I am accepting this gift for now. I also accept that it might just end at some point, kind of like Forest Gump, "that's all I have to say."

    Since I don't know why it started really, I have no idea how or when I will be done. Currently I have over 300 in the queue to post or at least to choose from. I don't find everything good enough after I wait a couple months.

    One thing I know happened. This is a continuation of the way my self seems to work, grabbing hold of a thing like poesy, disappearing with it perhaps for years, and then popping up with it fully formed like this.

    I guess this blog is an exploration of that. My last flurry of poetry, nothing like this but still intense was focussed on a lover back at the turn of the century. When that flurry was over, I switched to music. Now I'm back.

    (It is so weird saying "turn of the century" in my life.)

  5. I love Quilted Grace... Setting dreams into frames... Lovely imagery. I am reminded of Dali and his paintings.

  6. P.S. I was commenting HERE while you were commenting on Broken Mannequin! Small and perfect world we have.

    What a lovely comment you left for me.

    I am always so grateful for your poems. And this one, along with your story, was wonderful. "he would actually hit me sooner than let me have my own truth about myself." - This is an amazing statement and just about blows my mind/shifts my paradigm. Seriously. Thank you.

  7. Charli, I like it that I was at your site while you were at mine.

  8. Thanks, Ghost of the weeping eye. I am not sure how to take the message if there is one. The eye is something that might hang in a jewel on a cat's collar while all about the city people try to figure out what's going on and if the world will survive.

  9. each human existence, each pair of eyes, is a time gate in eternity..... the teardrop is that grieving God you were talking about.

  10. think also aperture as "gateway" and also think about your concept of witness to/for God....

    temporality..... time keeping..... the aperture opens and closes and then closes for good.....

  11. I was right. It does hang in a jewel and is displayed around the neck of true hearted lovers in the galaxy. And it weeps the tear of God.

  12. More beautiful poems! I agree with you that the last line of "Cruciform" is simply awesome. Ah, the poems that write themselves. Those are the most satisfying ones, the ones that have been written before we consciously put them on paper.

    I do think you are a wise man, though. Very wise. I wish I had half of your wisdom.

    Other lines that jumped out at me are these:

    "I am fourfold, golden gates,
    Birth, death, love and love.
    Within these gates are my lines
    Of hope drawn and then quartered."

    "Hope drawn and then quartered" says so many things. What an excellent line.

    "Quilted Grace" also hit me with a powerful thud. The story behind this poem continues, even after the last line. Wonderful work.

  13. yep.... you were right.... what time does that clock say on your desk? i want to see if yours is a copy of mine :)

  14. Julie, you give me kindness and if I am wise then others get the credit, for I have trained in a hard knock life with many who have loved me enough to give me what I know.

  15. Ghost, the clock on my desktop read 7:45 AM three days ago at 7:42 AM, then I reset it and it read 3:27 AM. Tomorrow I will reset it to 11.57 PM or 5:34 AM. I haven't decided yet. When I do I will write it down in my secret book so I don't forget. The clock may be yours but the book sure isn't.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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