Bio Note: My work has appeared in many literary journals, and my awards include the Stephen Meats Prize from Midwest Quarterly (2017.) I am an architectural woodcarver and have authored three books on architectural and decorative woodcarving (Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, Lewes, UK). I am poetry editor for Streetlight Magazine, an online journal.
Fringe Tree Pilgrimage
Chionanthus virginicus The issue today is not whether you see heaven in a wildflower, but whether you look at the flower at all. J B MacKinnon They flower earlier each year because of global warming, so by earnest calculation, I hike with the rising season to the rocks of Fortune’s Cove Trail, eager to witness their glory before their hard work begins. Drawn the way some are to Paris or Rome, to a sports stadium, a liquor store, I am faithful to them like old lovers who are unchanging in memory—my twenty forth year. Astounded to read how soldiers marched all day, cooked dinner, and surprised the enemy next morning, I try to understand my breathlessness, my disconcerted heart. I pause at switchbacks for their further rise; I climb to know some reward beyond my effort. Some years I come too late for their brief show, duped by the world’s chance distractions. I wonder if the Monacan Indians marveled at their diaphanous spirit too beautiful for use? Unlike religious pilgrims who agelessly plod dangerous paths in penance because they must believe, I sweat today for less than need, but for the same reprieve.
Spiritual Labor in a Time of Pestilence: a pantoum
Human stupidity is one of the most important forces in history. Yuval Noah Harari When the morning sun dumps its shadows like a puzzle on the window-side table, decipherment is nothing to suppose. The world is blessed with clever fable like a puzzle on the window-side table. In this time of suffering and doubt the world is blessed with clever fable; lessons for a spiritual drought. In this time of suffering and doubt solitude asks defining questions, lessons for a spiritual drought, beside the usual suggestions. Solitude asks defining questions: can we find lasting peace (beside the usual suggestions) when greed, hatred, and delusion cease? Can we find lasting peace (decipherment is nothing to suppose) when greed, hatred, and delusion cease: when the morning sun dumps its shadows?
©2021 Frederick Wilbur
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