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Hallowed and Behold

January 11, 2008 2 comments

What? The sacred can be apprehended
with the feet? The earth retains a glory
of incidents impeded by shoes?
I thought hell and death were down there.
Though usually I feel through the face
that sort of thing. My eyes touch for me
moments of hallowed and behold.

I read the words “A Chinook rose up…”
and I pictured not wind but a salmon,
huge above the landscape, its glittery
jaws beginning to redden and hook out,
big as a mountain and gulping
because the air is thin and difficult to breathe.
This sort of thing strengthens my eyes.

Looking like drinking, the horses
whisper to the water, and whatever was said
just before I came down that morning was agreed.
The grasses nodded, trees also, tall plants
swaying assent, the water looking the other way
to clouds as if uninvolved.

And so I watch. I listen and I see
the night sky become unfastened from its lights,
see a rabbit condense out of dew. I seem to feel
trees deciding which fruits to throw down,
which to keep. And sure enough,
there is something under me. I close my eyes,
a specialness heats up my shoes.

by Allan Peterson

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