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Morning Poem

So many poems about morning, of dawn, rebirth, and coming light,

of brightness and glory, lifted thought,

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awakening, flow, and calm...

Sometimes I wish the ripe grain

were not always so soundly threshed

and every kernel shucked clean, leaving me

a gleaner with no part in the harvest.

I could revel in a congress of birds' songs

and new light pouring across my lawn,

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buffeting the volunteer sunflower,

lighting corn tassels in my garden,

glancing off my neighbor's house and into trees.

I could make metaphors:

the morning breeze is a young cat,

fresh from napping, rummaging tree tops,

leaping the rose hedge, disturbing a bean row,

stirring at my feet.

I could say that morning mist fixes distance

in optical limbo, like those eerie backgrounds

in da Vinci's paintings - the land beyond

Leda, Mary, and Saint Anne vanishes toward

empyrean mountains with high peaks

yet to be scaled and mapped by the Master.

I may write no brisk verse of solemn strain

to equal Milton's far beaming blaze of Majesty

(often, fields of language seem winnowed clean).

Still, even when the rime comes hard,

I like mornings when I can sit quietly

on my back porch and feed exquisitely

on whole milk and bowls of hot cereal.