A Creation Poem

Dear friend,

 

I got your letter this morning,

The same as I always do,

You wrote in that neon ink again,

Sealed with frost, dressed in dew,

 

Your cursive clouds moved in over the page,

A bit bulky yes,

But I’ve always loved their font.

 

I was in the middle of a dream before I awoke to read it,

In the dream I was eighteen again,

 

The rocky mountains stretched out and laid across the horizon like a purple spine,

Cold, like a conductor, sat lightly in the breeze as and steered it through the open spaces,

I could hear that song only a river sings whistle behind me.

This river in particular had an accent that belonged to the Arkansas,

Like a snake with no head, and an endless tail, it cut deep into the mountains’ feet,

They didn’t seem to mind though,

They just looked down with their ancient stone faces,

Stoic.

Silent.

They wore the aspen trees like a robe, like a white robe,

Those trees, that robe, all held your poem on their leaves like loose-leaf

And the lichen climbed up their arms like tattoos,

 

And I see you tattooed on all of it now,

Now I see,

But back then I used to return your letters to sender.

I had no need for you or your love letters.

But I do now, friend, may I find your response every morning.

Please send more.

 

Dear friend,

 

I went and visited your song today,

A choir of saltwater and sections of winds greeted my presence,

The tempo found in the tide’s rhythmic push and pull,

Pushed away my inhibition, and pulled me in

like a stone I sunk,

 

Each layer of water stole the sunlight,

And depth showed me a dark, not known to the night,

In the coves it sang of your tranquility,

Across the shelves of ice and glaciers, your majesty,

Your passion swelled, white-capped ferocity,

With a heart as a tsunami,

Eating the boats that taunt you with their vanity,

All the while holding delicate life inside the saline canopy,

It’s your song, man.

And it calls to me,

And I just trying my best to get lost in your sea,

Deeply,

Completely,

And

Irrevocably.

 

Dear friend,

 

I watched your play, and it stole my attention,

I enjoyed how the spring sprung, spray-painting everything green,

And summer hummed like a high-voltage wire, warmth eating my bone’s marrow,

Fall fell, fallen over fallen days, of a falling calendar, or at least that’s how it felt.

Then winter bullied everything into its own color.

Like a director, the year followed your cues,

Like a painter, the seasons turned to your hues,

 

When the sun falls asleep and the moon clocks in,

I bear witness to your direction once again,

You usher the night into action, and into the day’s place,

The night looks down, with trillions of heavenly freckles on its face,

 

Long ago,

 

We used to map those stars, they used to guide us back home,

Direction to those who were lost, those not found or those who roam,

If you connected them all together, dot to dot sewn,

It would spell out, “you are not alone,”

 

We are not alone.

 

 

 

Dear friend,

 

 

I have spoken with a tweaker on a bike,

With priests, sinners, young, and old alike,

With young women who hold babies on their hips,

And cowboys with tobacco stuffed in their lips,

I have met foreigners from distant lands,

Paid money to see the famous from nose bleed stands,

Heard stories from brainwashed fanatics,

And slept in unkempt beds with fellow addicts,

Compared palms with a gypsy or two,

And sang along with those ever-blue,

Met a man who worked in the oil fields,

And his beautiful sister he forever shields,

Broke bread with the rich and educated,

And listened slow with the old and desecrated,

Talked in circles with a couple river rats,

And complimented them on their trucker hats,

All different, but in the same way we to drift sleep,

All different, but all in fact Someone’s sheep,

Some of us odd and alone from the pack,

Some of us white, red, yellow, turquoise, or black,

 

All these pieces, in the hands of an artist, made for one reason,

Created and crafted, loved and sought after,

 

And you made us in your image,

And Friend, I hope you see me in your mosaic,

Because I sure see you.

 

Dear friend,

 

This is a thank you letter,

 

I thank you for the notes you leave me with every sunset,

Your ocean that sings your song, for us to hear,

You autograph written in forestry, punctuated by beauty,

Your diversity you left in our appearance, our existence

 

You see, I’m just throwing words at something I can’t understand,

 

I’ve been wondering more about how, than your incentive,

And I’ve been writing words outside my own perspective,

And your motive I’ve neglected.

Now, I don’t remember when I first fell in love with your artwork, or the first time my breath was taken away,

Just like I don’t know how your words can split apart the night and the day,

But I do know that my soul groans for it, it seeks it out,

And your beauty has always been the biggest contestant against my doubt.

 

And I thank you for it,

A gift, constructed and wrapped in seven days,

 

You left your art for all of us, made in your likelihood,

And over it all you stood,

Looked at us, and called us good.

 

-T.L. Schaefer

 

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