Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Poem 013

Baffled
How high is higher? How wide, how deep is a thought
springing from the divine mind? The path I have chosen
winds past shady poplar, birch, gnarled oak. It is narrow
and leads occasionally past clearings: bluestem grass,
fields of three leaf aven, thorns and thistles. Half-hidden
in an aspen tree a pileated woodpecker hammers its heart out.
Chickadees and squirrels vie for seeds hikers have scattered.
A west wind stirs the air, rustles the aspen leaves. Everything
is restless, the prairie sky extravagantly blue, the forest
riddled with light, birds aflutter. The whole world stirs.
I cannot measure beauty. Nor can I count the hordes of refugees
at border crossings, nothing to eat, no water, nowhere to lay their heads,
children kidnapped, abused, abandoned, cities flattened, riots
at football games, another brutal murder in my neighbourhood.
What is God thinking? The Word, spelled out in poetry, breathed
rhythmically into the prophet’s ear? High above a vulture hovers.
The wind picks up, trees clap their branches, hills begin to hum.
If there were mountains on the prairie would they shout for joy?

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Sarah Klassen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the author of seven poetry collections. Her most recent poetry book is Monstrance (2012), and her newest fiction book is the novel The Wittenbergs (2013), both from Turnstone Press. Visit Kingdom Poets to find out more. "Baffled" proceeds from Isaiah 55:9.