Wings Lifting That Fall

James Grabill

 

            I.

The wings lifting that fall in thermals and arcing heaves,

single hours of sky that avalanche in streaming light

from mesas and peaks to the heart of matter and chance,

 

            II.

the seen and unseen heights that garden facts on the ground

for the mind falls with sunlight lifting in wings that thicken

with precision between openness and shuddering propulsion

 

            III.

through the genome of forgiveness for whatever failed to work

or became epidemic, fogged out, or what opened and spread

along impulse before drawing back, retracting into a landing,

 

            IV.

for the current seven billion will sleep and then wake, sleep

then wake, each birth into longing that begins in the cells

where it ends, as light and dark will swallow what happens

 

            V.

with what never came to be, living sunlight that has let us

witness through lapses and stands what balances inside

its bearings, where palaces have been built out of capability

 

            VI.

and stay maybe a handful of years before what was forgotten,

unknown, or far from sync bears down, the wings morning

and evening taking the current light into long-term alignment

 

            VII.

of instruments of adaptation, the adjustment of intensity

to cellular discovery that goes on beneath this lifetime

in the practice of intrinsic worth of the interlinked species.

 

Since the ‘70s, James Grabill’s poems have appeared in periodicals such as Harvard Review, Terrain, Shenandoah, The Oxonian Review, Stand, East West Journal, and The Common Review. Books include An Indigo Scent after the Rain and Poem Rising Out of the Earth. He teaches “systems thinking” relative to sustainability.

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