At the hard line where the trees begin
one darkness opens into another.
The memory of fire illumines the underbrush
with the brightness of all that is dying.
It is that month when the sky is a cloudless presence
casting a fierce blue light above the fields,
and the spider dozes in the tatters of its web.
Here, small birds have emptied the hedges of song.
Silence in the morning, then, and chill mist
obscuring the cast-off leaves spangling the lawn.
In the lowest places, the white noise of frost.
Somewhere there is a burning: its tartness
shrills through the diminished light of the mortal year.
Far thunks of an axe echo anonymously in the wood.
The world spins into the light of the day as it always has,
and the prayers of children bear all human things with it:
oh Holy One, save us, preserve all those who cry to You.
Days, columns of smoke in the burning fields lead our footsteps;
nights, auroral scarves wave holy words against the deep black.
We feed richly this hour and the next on what has been given us.
Lord, in this silence show us the way to the turning of the year:
drowsy and drunk as we are, we would not find it on our own
Copyright © 2020 Vasily Ingogly. All Rights Reserved.