Inside a Whisper

How to find a home inside a whisper and take up residence there like a monk in an earthen corner with his tin cup of rose water and his hands scraped raw from gardening, journey of great pressing relevance and ongoing urgency, to hear myself listening for a whisper in the deepest summons there could ever be, dear listener, dear eardrum and devoted vibrational field whose frequency is waiting to swoon to sweet notes of hereafter before giving way to the tears of a bride wedded to a sighing tree and stars shooting across the firmament in order to give their dying lights a wish to go by, no out of the way place but faint sound of incontrovertible worth that is already uttered, already passing, the confessional I kneel at in order to hear the rain falling on the roof of the empty church and God waiting in the flickering lash of a torn spider web up near the rafters, all the holy whispers on the cusp of a great silence, which is itself the barest whisper whose faintness is another word for ghost, for spirit, for the yearning that has always possessed me since I drew breath and forgot what the flowers used to tell me, no object or target for this same ache whose surcease will only come with the final ticks of my heart, battered little chalice that deserves more affection than I am able to give it, bare fricative or syllable my whole life hears in the rain listening to Chopin as piano and water merge into another whisper becoming me, becoming the world of spirit again which becomes matter and furniture through a strange osmosis called necessity and things we collect and discard in garage sales and junk yards including the studded, iron collar of a bulldog that once growled nearby in another kind of whisper that sounded out a warning but the loyal dog is dead and I dream of holding hands with everyone I meet as we learn to love the earth and love the magical lives of trout whose scales are whispers of rainbows and other glorious dusks and other glorious dawns, the river murmuring another whisper whose content can only be praise, be wonder, life itself at the gate of paradise which is all around us but we do not understand, we do not understand, which will delay our re-entry therein by a hundred million years.

Because inside a whisper there must be a wind chime and an aria no one has ever heard, must be leaf scrape on yon industrial sidewalk that deserves a few grains of pity before it blows away taking its ragged whisper with it to end up against a chain link fence despite the blooming tree it came from and the cooing of my wife in sleep in the lost country of her girlhood where I do not exist and other whispers besides whispering me, whispering not, whispering tenderness, whisper itself a lovely, heartbreaking word whose origins partake of the Northumbrian gloss for the Latin murmurare and the old Norse hviskra and whispering itself a gift, a treasure, the most mysterious thing I know and when I was a boy I was a whisper of the man I would become who whispered to me all the livelong years and the poem I keep trying to memorize whose words are beyond my ken though I remember light and shadow recur in the poem along with trembling, along with suffering and foolishness and broken twig, and inside the whisper of this poem my destiny written in the ink of a crushed fruit whose seeds slip past my fingers and inside a whisper I see and hear the manes of horses being brushed and burnished again and again by the wind like living fire in a meadow and their huge beautiful eyes staring back oceans of nothing and the whisper of someone leaning down over the face of a dying loved one whispering Goodbye, Goodbye, sad whisper we will all come to hear and no one is exemplt and I want to live inside a whisper because the ear is the labyrinth through which I try to find a way home, and home must be a whisper because home is the place that teaches us to speak very softly and listen to what the flowers have to tell us that they are whispering even now, and sometimes when I am still and not restless, when I am not afraid or grasping at what is not mine to have which is everything, which is seldom, I think I can almost hear what the flowers are whispering, and it sounds a little like this, Light, light, shadow, shadow, brighter now, now dimming, good light, holy light, open my arms to you, take my petals every last one, thank you word now deliver me light all I ever wanted to adore you, light, light, whisper me whisper you, whisper praise, whisper quiet, quiet, quieter now, dying down, down, down into silence and then we are gone.