Russian Saint

henpecked beard of a fire-stoker.
threadbare copse of fir outside the city.
huddle of wan pinecones,
settled in a hovel, half-lidded by the muddy grime
of gangplank byways traveled in winter—
seeds that will never grow.

The ascetic never sees what he wants to see
only the discarded refuse of another reality—
never a clear future, never a plumb horizon,
never freedom from the burdens others cannot
and will not carry—

how heavy is the cross to carry
as heavy as it needs to be
no weight, no number
equivalent to the heart that carries it

small birds flutter atop
new snow, pecking stone
rain falls into the silent river
hoarfrost and ice along the sides

face in the coal, dust and skin from a scuffle
under the nails in the coffin
of how things were before.
Life is the mired island filled with all persimmons,
pomegranates, sea salted wafers of chocolate and
caramels from the Swiss to enjoy
between the hammering, haranguing, and
hanging of ragged, bent-over breaths
stolen when the secondhand isn’t looking.

Filled with a sense of purpose to realize we’re
it’s cause for pause to see the frame
of a lone figure pulling at the oars
heading out to sea, backlit by the sunset.
color spells mood, spills hope, splays rays
into the edges of


~ by joshuacreative on November 4, 2010.

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