Lenten Emptiness



Emptiness fills my world

this harsh late-winter day;

cold seeps into my walls,

sits heavy in my rocking chair,

spreads icily around my yard, a shroud

wrapped tight around the color

that I ache for in my life.


The trees in my backyard, stark branches

spider-webbed across the sky, embrace

this leadenness so gracefully;

mystery of stillness,

patience of a waiting rest.

Could it be that angels curl

in those wintered trees, breathe

with them the bitter nights, caress

their icy bark, whisper poems that seep

a solace deep into their veins?

Beneath the brooding skies, I listen

for the rustle of their wings.

6 thoughts on “Lenten Emptiness

  1. Beautiful thoughts and poem friend! Today those blessed angels would be blowing all over!!!! Fun to picture them swirling through the air today!! Beautiful and clear but VERY windy! Thank you for taking notice.

  2. Good heavens! And angels! Another poem from Carol about emptiness and darkness that is filled with light. Thank you.

    I just got back from a long walk in the glorious sunshine and incontestable wind. I kind of love it when Mother Nature warms me and hits me upside the head all at once — like a loving, concerned parent.

    Ironically, I read a poem about angels by Barbara Crooker just this morning — and I think yours is more successful because it is less sentimental. It’s from her new collection entitled, Les Fauves (“wild beasts”) which was a loose group of early 20th-century modern artists. Here it is:

    “The Nest of Angels” — sign seen on a shop in France

    But the store is closed, so we don’t know what it sells.
    And we can’t imagine where it is the angels go at night;
    do they settle in trees? Or do they really make nests,
    and if so, what kind of bedclothes would they use,
    gossamer or tulle? Thin wisps, mysteries and sighs?
    Or this mist, the brouillard, rising from the green
    Garrone? Perhaps something tangible and insubstantial
    at the same time, like the host that melts
    while remaining body and blood, bread and wine.
    Vive les mysteres. Meanwhile, the angels
    are amusing themselves with games like Whisper
    Down the Alley and Ghost in the Graveyard,
    as they sip just the bubbles from their flutes
    of champagne, and nibble delicacies,
    kisses made of merengue in the faith ethereal
    light of stars.

    See what I mean? I prefer angels in trees that breathe the trees’ bitter nights and caress their icy barks, not angels sitting in trees sipping champagne. If I ever saw angels doing that, I’d yell out, “Put down those flutes and whisper poems beneath skies that, like me, are dark and brooding! Life is hard, for God’s sake. Enough with kisses and amusing games! Sit with the stillness. Pay attention to your deep solace. You’ve got work to do!”

    But that’s just me. I prefer my angels be wild and fierce.

  3. Sharonimo, as always, I am moved by your comments and so appreciative of all you bring to your reading–of my “stuff” and of all that you read. I do, actually, very much like Crooker’s poem–the mysteries of things beyond our ken, and the playfulness of angels. As you know, I sometimes can get “over-serious” about mysterious “stuff” and sometimes need a Crooker to lighten me up a bit. But I’m with you on the real, real reality of dark and brooding skies. You and I have known different darkness in our lives, but it’s so real for both of us. You have taught me much about laughter under leaden skies, and you’ve also taken me, so often, down the path of solace through the many poems and poets to whom you’ve introduced me. Many, many thanks, dear Friend. Hoping the angels holding you in their hands will always be wild and fierce!

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