The Joy of Saint Barnabas

[11 June 2019]

And so we wander to and fro,
You and I,
Smelling of sandstone and sawdust
Dapple-dangling Orion from his heavenly perch
(The incense died out last night but the smell lingers on):
Empty streets and wicker baskets and laborious effort
Shape could-not-have-beens into Dumas and Aeschylus
And Bonaparte,
Leading you to wonder whether the Persian rug lying between us
Wasn’t covering up something twice its size
(I deign to comment).

The point of inevitability –
The point of abstraction –
Lies just beneath the overwhelming conclusion that
Time is immemorial
I say as I hand you a biscuit (chocolate squares and honey)
But nevertheless the majesty fragments, supines, delves deep down:
Grandeurs itself beyond all point of pretension.
Abraham and Isaac both brought an offering.

Your face rubs up against the steam from the tea pot,
As if abstractability is something that can be regressed,
Purged of its selfness between the Coker and the bathroom door.

Dust settles into the quiet places,
The places routinely untraveled by design or fear or routine.
Beauty grows in the shadows we’ve made.

I really should be going, you say.
Must you, I say.
Really, I must, you say.
You stand up to go.
Love is something beyond itself
You call back to me as you put on your brogues.
I see you to the door and hand you a last biscuit
Before you leave and your footsteps echo on in the hallway
Behind the closed door.

9 responses to “The Joy of Saint Barnabas”

  1. kristianw84 avatar

    NATHAN!!!!!! This is phenomenal!!!! <3 <3

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you!!!!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Mitchell Chmielewski avatar

    I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more of your work.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thanks so much, Mitchell 🙂

  3. orkidedatter avatar

    This shows how I interpret this piece as living in you by a poet, writer, artist and human being…
    You blew me away with your words, but please, take me back to let me fade into it… – I looking forward to your next post.
    I wish you a wonderful day.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much, Lillian 🙂 That’s very sweet. I really enjoyed writing this post and I’m so glad you liked it, too! You are very inspiring for me!!

      1. orkidedatter avatar

        My pleasure, and be a inspiration to you is wow, just wow. I sincere appreciate it.
        Enjoy your day.

  4. Dick Jones avatar

    Powerful and beguiling.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you. I’m glad you feel that way.

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