Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Sneaking Suspicion

In an earlier post, I explained a bit about why I call this blog "Outdoor Poetry Season." It is so named, in part, because a lot of my first lines, sometimes whole drafts, develop outside. That is how this one happened.

Overcast and warm and drizzly, almost no one else around. Jetta, usually solidly opposed to getting rained on, didn't mind the drizzle. She was off leash for a lot of the walk, too, but keeping companionably close. I imagine the warm, moist air was redolent with good stuff, lavishing scents and contentment on Jet.

Freed of the responsibility to supervise, of the worry that Jetta might joyfully accost and unintentionally terrorize passersby, I savored the peace of the Franciscan monastery's pastoral garden and mini-Via Dolorosa with its ritual contemplation of death and resurrection.

Walking slowly uphill, I wrote a poem about life after death and one aspect, at least, of the shadow of doubt. Raindrops splattered irregularly on my paper, spotting the page, rendering my pencil somewhat less reliable than usual. But like I said, it was warm and pleasant and peaceful and the poem got written during outdoor poetry season. A good thing, I say.

The Sneaking Suspicion

If you believe
in life following death,
then the sneaking suspicion,
trailing behind

like a holy phantom,
like Smeagol,
the reflection
of all our sins,

could well be the thought
that you
are already

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