Poet Jeffery Beam

St. Jerome in his Study

after Dürer

There is a jar
buried beneath the cloister
with five words I have
kept in my pocket
all my life

solitude and wisdom
light and virtue and
a shadow of pain with thick lips
drinking from a cup

Once in the gardens
I watched a sparrow
carry a blue silence
to the mountains

It was a rosy sorrow
I caught there
an underground rolling
of pure water
life's ever-
lasting dahlia

How the sunlight
sweetens the room
all I own written in the very boards
what I have given away
what comes to me

The mangled flesh
of fish
in a basket
A weaving staccato
watering my soul

The almond
a taste I will never forget
beautifully simple

From The Golden Legend, 1981, Floating Island Publications.

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Last updated: October 1, 2012