She smiled, there was no sadness in the smile; and said – ‘anvil of hammer in the inner ear, fingernails of the newborn babe, Titian, Homer, Heloïse and Abelard, Pushkin, Rodin, Brahms… Without black, no white, without time, no growth, without root no blossom, without death, no life and Jesus crucified denies to the human soul its refusal still to love…’
We had reached the river’s edge where darkling waters harried past;
she stepped out onto chaos, I cried aloud in fear, but she turned and took my hand and I walked, too, on the churning waters, and we – like old-time lovers – strode on clouds and water-drops, and reached the other bank where the yellow iris grew and the high reeds, the golden harvest of the meadows and the silver seedlings of the sky.
She led me to the maple tree, by the cemetery wall;
‘I am gardener, too, of the earth,’ she said, ‘tender of its loveliness; carer of the wild and ordered forests of the galaxies, of the flower-beds of souls planted in the love of the Holiest. Be open,’ she said, ‘to surprise, to the sacred earth and the body and soul of the emergent universe…’
her voice fading slowly, and her form,
and I reached for her, my whole body feeble now, but my spirit firm, kin at last to pearl and the labours of ocean, to Pearl and the works of love… heavy my eyes, my darling merging back into the light of day, to the gossamer dusting of the air…
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