The Spiritual in Art
If there is no spirit unfolding itself in history, No gradual growth of consciousness Beneath the land grabs and forced migrations, … The bought elections, the betrayal of trust By party faction in the name of progress— What about spirit in the personal realm Unfolding slowly inside us, so slowly That our best days seem like a holding action? Seasons repeat themselves, but the tree Shading the yard keeps growing. Don’t be chagrined that the sadness you felt This evening beside the bed of a friend Who’s growing weaker wasn’t more profound Than the sadness of yesterday, that you still Can’t imagine a fraction of what he’s feeling As the world he loves slips from his grasp, No progress from your perspective, But who’s to say what you might notice If the scroll of the last few months were unrolled On the table before you, how clear it might be That your understanding of all you’re losing In losing him has been slowly deepening? Another day, you say to yourself, at dusk As you climb your porch steps, which you notice Could use some scraping and painting this weekend, A fresh coat that with luck will last a year.