The voice spoke as the doves cooing softly,
Over smooth lake water in the late afternoon.
At once soothing and quickening my heart,
Trembling, trepid and uncertain but certain.
Her image appeared with the words as
I stood staring through the open window
Towards warm green trees waving lightly
In a midsummer’s breeze made for two.
Her smile soothed all man’s woes and worries,
And the eyes were lit by candles from Rome’s first
Holy empire, sparkling with the same Topaz
Flare which glinted from the shields of war.
In that moment I saw my days remaining,
And knew they would contain the fullness
Of a love onethousand years in its birth,
And yet fleeting in its brilliant flash exploding.
She spoke of suggesting a book enabling
Change, or freedom from thoughts, or freedom
Of thoughts; or perhaps for getting to know
The devil himself, for all I recall of the words.
The real message was her call. Knowing,
But not knowing and hoping but not hopeful.
She said she hoped I was well, knowing full
Well I was remembering denial and the heavy
Thickness of our last meeting in the small room.
Her soft hands had lay limp in her lap, yet our
Feelings hung as large as Picasso’s “Avignon”,
Powerful and electric underneath the pretense.
And she said other things, but my heart had already
Moved beyond listening and returned to loving,
Fully embracing truths carved out long ago in
Another place and somehow delivered here.
Lost letters from lovers a century before,
Written in quill and dusted with gunpowder to aid
The drying. Old and yellowed, frayed on the edges,
Yet as heavy and relevant as her pen must have felt.
Sitting there among the low paintings and soft light,
Of that small space, our hearts were equally worn,
Yellowed; frayed on the edges and tattered
By harsh conditions and sad neglect of caring.
Looking out among the oaks I imagined her hand
As it might run along my wrist seeking my palm,
Wishing perhaps to clasp it tightly and hold our lives
In the promise of its newness and with nervous skin.
I watched as a lone dove lit in the low branches,
Then skittered to the bare ground beside the roots.
Here it washed its wings with a dust bath, fluttering
Quietly in a brown cloud and suddenly it was joined
By its mate.