If enchanted dark ignites my heart
and magic blooms in holy fire
and if morning comes to break the spell
and douse the flames with chilly light,
then let me blaze one starry night.
If enchanted dark excites my heart
and Love wakes from some quiet keep
and if morning comes to kiss and tell
that Love may only be a dream,
then forever let me sleep.

*  *  *  *  *

Out to Sea in an Open Boat
We are sailors, you and I,
or perhaps more properly oarsmen
rowing, rowing each on our own side,
but perfectly in tandem,
facing backward as we must,
yet advancing toward the brightening.
Absent of a forward aspect,
we can only watch the shoreís asylum
set below the past's horizon.
You have carved a dragon into the bow-
a totem to expulse fear of the unexplored.
And I have hung wooden shields on the gunwales
all painted with runic symbols of our mystic saga.
As we pull hard against the tide,
the drab brine clears to reflect a boundless blue,
and there is a freshening on the breeze.
Perhaps we near the carrying stream
 where we can, at last, toss overboard our oars.

*   *  *  *  *

Separate Skins
How alone we are
within our separate skins,
thick, tough and unrending.
They have been sewn
to keep us severed
and held within our darkness.
Perhaps there is a tear
in the patch covering the heart.
Yet even across that opening
there is stitched sheer leather,
almost invisible,
but filtering the light.

*  *  *  *  *

Unexpected Ecstasy
I lift above this earthy pearl
and ride the wind all tilt-a-whirl.
Perspective widens as I flap my wings.
Inspiration thrills across the sky
and fancy rises as I fly -
my heart so quick with joy I have to sing.

*  *  *  *  *

Saving Grace

I woke to find this poem
alive upon my desk
and was happy to see
that you were weaved within.
Your hair inlaid the leaf.
The French curves of your legs
formed the round parts of vowels
and the decorations
drawn onto consonants.
If I caress this poem
in just that certain spot,
I can hear your laughter
enlightening its words.
And if I breathe softly
upon its metered lines,
it sighs in your sweet voice.
It sings of love to you
which is not surprising,
as every poem I find
is but another hymn
in praise of your saving grace.

*  *  *  *  *

Any Petition to the Divine for Special Consideration
No Matter How Seemingly Holy
is Just Another Janis Joplin Prayer
for a Mer-ce-dees Benz
I have approached Thee on my knees
in supplication before Thy Providence.
Sometimes I have lain prostrate
with my forehead touching the floor.
With open arms I have sent a voice toward Heaven
offering sacrifice in exchange for Thy Consideration
as to my worldly abundance.
I have sat long and deep
with bowed head and folded hands
in prayerful petition for a special portion of Thy Grace.
I have endeavored with legs crossed and eyes closed
to rid my heart of every concern
save for a singular audience with Thee.
And I have applied to solve the puzzles of koans
and unravel the riddles of scripture so that I might gain
an advantageous understanding of Thy Commerce.

*  *  *  *  *

A Ride Through A Summer Evening
Driving home down a country road.
The sun is low, but still bright.
The windows all are open wide
so the rush of motion ruffles my hair.
And yet I fathom there is really nowhere to go
but to fall forever through this plaid chiaroscuro
of crosshatched purple shadows
upon endless revelations of green.

*  *  *  *  *

Your Camera

Your camera consecrates everything it sees.

We watch, in this shot here, a spring field
quicken into the gray-green flesh of divinity.

And here we witness a river's bright water distill
into sacred blood without a defining hue.

Here, we stare spellbound
as a tomato splits its fragile skin,
transcending into holy fire
and tinting all of heaven with its ruddy flame.

And here, we behold a peach blossom
bursting into paradise
as a pink-pink galaxy blooming at
the commencement of the world.

*  *  *  *  *

Good Intentions at Christmas
Tis the season
to celebrate my good intentions.
But the needle still points to zero.
Good intentions, although worthwhile,
are not quite enough.
A tiny bit more is asked . . . but barely anything-
just the slightest willingness to advance the needle
one infinitesimal tick into the positive measure.
A microscopic movement toward forgiveness
slams open the gates of heaven.
The teeniest twitch of unclenching fingers
unwraps the gift of an entire universe.
An almost imperceptible unfreezing of the heart
by the fraction of a single degree
warms worlds upon worlds upon worlds.
So much is offered for so little-
just the slightest willingness to advance the needle
one infinitesimal tick.
And yet I remain content as ever

to celebrate my good intentions.

*  *  *  *  *

This Walk Began
This walk began when the efflorescence
were but buds commencing on the ends of branches
although the infinite story of flowers
had forever been blooming within.
You passed me fast and without a glance,
but your prayer was loud, ďcatch up!Ē
My heart flurried as a leaf in a current;
my skin flourished as with rosy life.
And I did catch up
even though I had already been up ahead
and had just come back to meet you
so that we might blossom together along the trail.

*  *  *  *  *

You do not wear
a ring
set with a single



from dead center
along the spectrum
of jewels.
You wear, rather,
a necklace
strung with every 
along the infinite extension.
And even the

red and purple

surrounding the clasp
are treasures
beyond conception.

*  *  *  *  *

Prismatic Drops
Bejeweling a Spider Web


A spider weaves to trap a meal,

but lacks the faculty to feel.

He goes about arachnid life

and canít compare accord with strife.


A web of dreams we humans tie

to snag the Love as it beams by,

Our knotty rig allows ascent,

but no escape from discontent.

*  *  *  *  *

Song of a Dying Pine
Upon this hill,
I fly.
I grow.
I twist free from my roots below.
I can spiral with the wind tonight!
Like wings,
Great Mystery moves my limbs.
I leave behind the world, the lights;
their colors flicker
cold and dim.
Upon this hill,
I grow.
I fly.
I stretch my branches to the sky.
I send my spirit, evergreen,
to every corner of this night.
I go twirling toward
a far-off star
and I wonder why
it shines so bright?

*  *  *  *  *

Christmas Benediction
May You be home if an angel comes knocking
May a star consecrate in Your night
May You unearth all the treasures of wisdom
May Your smolders of love reignite
May Your prayers fly beyond the hard margin
May Your blessings heap up as the snow
May peace lullaby Your commotion
May You rest in a warm Christmas glow

*  *  *  *  *

That Kind of a Day
It's been a spell since Iíve had a really good day.
One that I know is charmed even as itís happening
and gratitude flows naturally from the spring.
Oh yes, I have adopted the discipline
of endeavoring to notice all the wonders around me
for which I should be grateful.
But Iím talking about one of those days
where grace drenches me
and contentment is no work at all.
You may establish that grace is always teeming.
And I would agree with you.
Occasionally though, there is a gift of a miraculous day-
A delicious gourmet dinner of a day delivered
with warm bread, a bottle of wine and all the accoutrements
thereís not even a dish to wash.
That kind of a day.

*  *  *  *  *

All those months ago
you assigned me the task
of removing you from my poem.
Finally, I have found the gumption
to pick up the eraser
and begin editing.
Ten thousand adjectives
each a synonym for beauty
are excused from duty.
emboldened and italicized,
now lean toward evanescence.
Every verb
in the future tense is obliterated
as I rub you into a ghost.

*  *  *  *  *

Totally Naked
in an Empty Moonlit Room

The space within these bare walls sings.
This vacant hardwood blooms.
A thief made off with everything.
But she could not steal the moon.

*  *  *  *  *

Type Two

and here again are the celestial characters
arranged into the constellation of your name
so silent yet commanding of my attention
I move the tiny pictogram of my finger across those stars
but it can never really touch their warmth
only point in the direction of their light

with a click we are circling in a far fragile orbit
nary a risk of crashing and burning
a controlled apogee and perigee
intimate yet so distant and easily retreated
a day's neglect and the ellipse distorts
a week's and every bonding force is broken

it's not that we're in truth remote
our typings detour deep into space and back
to traverse a five minute crow's flight
it's a chasm uncounted in planetary miles
but a reach to be pondered and wondered
and measured by unfathomable infinities within the heart

*  *  *  *  *


As I pull on these socks you made for me
I am delighted to discover how much of you
is remembered within them.

Perfectly designed
neither dainty nor delicate
certainly not decorative icons to be admired from afar.

Forthright in their function
alluring in their form
and generous with their warmth,

they are to be slid into and worn
my feet sighing in their entwine
fitting even better than a glove.

Dyed in the wool
with the lusciousness of earth
and exquisite in their aspect,

this pair was well made to hold their shape
confident in their protection
self-assured in their providence.

Ah, they do remind me of your hair
flocculent and charged with your power
enticing my fingers and toes to their touch.

And I wiggle my toes inside their wool
rich with the lanolin of memory and regret
your eyes, your lips, your laugh . . .

Beauty was but shapeless fluff
before it spun through you
and forever stitched itself upon my heart.

.  .   . and into these here socks.

*  *  *  *  *

You Rock

Your heart is an amp
Plugged into the outlet of Heaven
And cranked to 10,
An old Marshall singing warm and loud
Blasting the lead lines of Love
to the very walls of this infinite hall.

Your music is not soft arpeggios
Plucked on an angel's harp
Tinkling in the background
And sweetening an afternoon.
No, yours is a power chord strummed
On God's own Stratocaster,
A delicious, exuberant thunder
Shredding under the stars.

You definitely front every band
Stealing any show you wish to play.
Your rendition rivets my audience,
Inspiring me to dance,
My arms in the air,
My hands wholly open.
Me singing along in spite of myself
Somehow knowing all the words.

*  *  *  * *

Regained Memory

Did you forget when we could soar?
Hand in hand we'd blithely fly
All those long-long worlds before
Through Heaven's bright and starless sky.

Oh look how cumbrous we have grown!
And heavy with our separate things.
A drape of dreams we've tightly sewn
Around our clenched and useless wings.

Yet feel these Holy feathers twitch?
Remembering, we meet once more.
The drape is rended stitch by stitch
And holding hands again, we soar.

*  *  *  *  *

The Red Thread

I look out at last night's snow -
a heavy, wet snow
sparkling and so tres, tres white in the sun.
The entanglement of birch branches is a gorgeous, soft chaos.
The spruces are drooping but proud in their bright, bright cloaks.

My window frames a sublime beauty
toward which even the brushes of Hokusai or Hiroshige
may have pointed but could never touch.
I have mined the internet for their woodcuts
of an absolved refreshened world.
And with a red thread,
sewn them together
into a volume
. . . as prints of you
are stitched permanently
into the diary of my heart
with an invisible red thread
from Heaven's skein.

I have come to realize,
though the red thread is unbreakable,
and extends forever,
I relied too much on the ineffable attachment.
I didn't put enough mind to the pages
which are as important as the binding,
more so perhaps in this worldly edition
of separate selves.

I flip through the leaves
as always,
but today I'm savoring the one delicious chapter of winter.
Here's you prancing like a deer through drifts along the river.
Your smile out-blazing the sunlit snow
is framed in a fur lined pilot's hat.
Your finger is on the trigger of the Canon
about to blast one snowy moment into the infinity of Truth.
Hokusai and Hiroshige have nothing on you.
And here's one of us sliding that stainless steel clad table
across a carpet laid upon the re-freezement.
A glorious triumph
assigned to the Faith we could make it across.

I close the cover and trace the red thread
woven through memory
and holding worlds
turning over worlds.
So many empty pages in our book
So many I wish could yet be written
and illustrated.
And every day,
one more.


iGNITED - Poems, haiku, stories and songs by Edward F. Petersen text and images © All rights reserved.
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