Scott Cairns


Forgive my having recourse just above
to the legalistic idiom. Forgive
my having chosen to pursue a measured
argument, and in such lax verse. Forgive
as well my penchant for ironic tone,
for all my insufficiencies—those few
committed here, the many others—there.  

 


And now that you are in the mood, extend
the courtesy to those who likewise don’t
deserve it. Address the water in the pool
and leaning in forgive yourself. The Name
won’t bear repeating—I dare say—without
such kind provision. Even so, The Name
will bear thereafter subtle fruit suffused  


beyond our reckoning, which also serves
as sweet inducement to repeat The Name.
Some among the saints have found in time
their prayer avails most palpably in silence,
and some have found a path from mind to heart.
Regarding such, I may have more to say
in future, but let’s not hold our breaths.  


My own rough habit has led to my preferring
to invoke The Name aloud, to draw its shape
into my mouth, to bring together breath
and word, to feel those syllables proceed
as tremor into trembling air before me,
to hear my own voice colored by The Name
to taste and see—and then to bathe in silence.

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