Robert Vivian

Wake with me, whoever you are, dear lover, friend, or column of dust motes and baby chick huddled in a nest composed of leaf and straw and pieces of brightly colored yarn harvested from the gutter, unlikely sanctuary of glow. And wake the light breaking into silent song and plank of shadow moving clockwise across the garage in solemn march not without its secret humor and delight deep within its darkened precincts, and wake every noun and verb until they hum and thrum and are ready to leap and gambol over fence and wood pile, every verb that goes kerplunk and comma and dash that do the work of carry forward, carry onward in list and series and headlong canter so it can be sung or sighed or uttered in a cry or moan that says it all, which is breath of heaven after heaven is revealed for the now it offers forth and honors. And wake every thimble and leaf and every hand that would touch and hold them up to the light, any light born of the desire to be and burn and give birth to flower and pinecone in chemical transference out of photosynthesis, which is miracle without equal and the only food that matters, and wake by gentle nudging, wake by coo and whisper or kiss on the brow and brush of thigh to thigh in intimate contact, and wake by waiting and watching over the beloved in the dark in cherished vigil in the corner and moonlight spilling across the sheets and pillows, moonlight like a fine white ash or sand and every windswept loveliness and even a lit candle in one’s own trembling hand, and wake me to see passing veil of clouds whose shape and wispy movement are one and done and never again to be seen from vantage point of earth as the ghostly passage of breath and air in silent speech as destiny of every yearning, which is to fly and be blown away, to be carried by jet stream to become a part of the sky in manifest waking of all and everything, and wake sitting up at night with a corpse and track left by moving ship, wake a hole in the ice according to Dutch antecedent, and wake and stir the cauldron of bitch’s brew and roiling poem of nitro whose explosive ingredients are teeming and combustible, searing message from the heart of the heart of the heart of it so sing it and be it, still beating center that wants only to live and wake the god within, the mover and shaker of mountains but also the caretaker of doves and other soft creatures covered with down, and wake Jesus and Rumi and Florence Nightingale and all the soulful teachers who touch us with their spirits and can walk on water even as they open their arms to us in vast embrace, and wake the stones and sheep on yon sloping hillside round as turning or the blue marbled earth as seen from outer space floating in the dark empyrean that has no boundary or limit, only plunging, only gaping mouth and universal ache and oh, wake and stir even the smallest and most broken thing, the hard wire of a mousetrap that no longer works and the tiny dented key to the locket that was lost long ago, but wake all of them, each and every one, and wake and say arise and shine this day, this hour, this sacred moment that is already becoming something else whose blossoms are rife with petal and color and the passing lilt of beautiful fragrance, whispering the kingdom is here.


RV is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy, Water and Abandon, and two collections of meditative essays, Cold Snap As Yearning and The Least Cricket Of Evening. He’s currently at work on a collection of dervish essays.

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