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You know what hour it is….

[Y]ou know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand.

Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:11-14 (Reading for Lauds of the First Sunday of Advent)

Autumn Scrutinies

 

 For Dorian Speed

I
Against the pane, a single bell-clap tolls
A bird’s death-dive – a ringed finger’s
Tap of bone, quick to attend –

To search, to find something out there
Between the spokes of the seasons’ wheel,
Or within the shadow of the wings

Now balled up into a pillowed fist
Where falls confusion, dead leaves
Scattering celebration. At center:

A plush cluster bristles calm –
And the wind gently strokes its grief,
Hushing leaves and combing trash

Across the yard – impedimenta,
Ephemera – newsprint
And husks of imperfect commerce

All put to the discipline of a snow fence,
Plastered there until borne away
By the violence of windy petition.

II
Here bird fell. The greying window fills
With sky’s contrition.
Forgive me. And trees reach up

In shivering profiles.
Forgive me. And reconciled,
The cold wet ground makes a final plea.

Forgive me. Lingering feathers
Flecked with blebs of blood
Dab the sill.

III
The desire to recollect is strong.
It has been so long
What did you find out there?

Nothing but the arointed air
And at your fingertips?
Nothing but autumn months in eclipse

On the tip of your tongue?
The wind and leaves the wind and trash
The barren days the taste of ash

And these are my sins.