Wednesday, April 18, 2012

the monastery orchard in early spring: kathleen norris

God's cows are in the fields,
safely grazing. I can see them
through bare branches,
through the steady rain.
Suddenly, fir trees seem ashamed
and tired, bending under winter coats.

I, too, want to be light enough
for this day: throw off impediments,
push like a tulip
through a muddy smear of snow.

I want to take the rain to heart
and feel it move
like possibility, the idea
of change,
through things
seen and unseen:
forces, principalities, powers.

Newton named the force that pulls the apple
and the moon with it,
toward the center of the earth.
Augustine found a desire as strong; to steal,
to possess, and then throw away.
Encounter with fruit is dangerous:
the pear's womanly shape forever mocked him.

A man and a woman are talking.
Rain moves down
and bare branches lift up
to learn all over again
to hold their fill of green
and blossom, and bear each fruit to glory, 
letting it fall.

Norris, Kathleen. "The Monastery Orchard in Early Spring" Upholding Mystery: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poetry. Ed. David Impastato, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 32-33.