Approximate prayer

The long arc of a bird that flies over a field and does not see the fences beneath. In the far distance a barn, something made of brick, undulating in the heat. Messages in the thresh of air. Rusted machines standing constellated, abandoned, intimate. Gangly limbs and their doleful postures maintained even after all this time. Between here and there a path intervenes, less a road really than a desire line, unstaked. Look up and there the fume of summer coils around the fields, going on and on.  A small river, old trees at the edge leaning over. A birch kneels. Kingfishers like prayers unweaving water. Tight clots of life thrumming the fibres of the air, startling even now into the stippled divinity of the branches. Days end on end moving and quiet and livid though surcharged with sweetness.

                    (Heaven & Earth—)

Warm bodies like planets rolling in the deep. Heavy with an age like water, generous with the blood they carry. The vastness of that breath, going out like a white hand before the sky, emerging with a concussion of noisy and resurrected air. The shining declension and the katabatic voice. The black ribbed body lifted and plunging like a hieroglyph. A clock of blood. An eye, a scotopic bead invisible in the monument of the head. The balaenic jaw fit to house a mountain. Something that is its own estuary. A pale continent of fin cutting the hem of a wave and raised and if in greeting and then withdrawn. An ordnance of spray immediately caught and carried away by the wind. All enkindled and fathomed in water.

                    (Heaven & Earth—)

It brought the man’s face close to its own, and embraced the body, pulling it close to him, feeling it break and crumble against its flesh.

                    (Heaven & Earth are full of your glory. Forgive us our trespasses etc.)

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