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Yeshua -- 18, Solitude

In the beginning. . .
was the word

 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11


xviii Solitude


Evenings he'd walk to be alone,

     up from the fishing village,

crossing flax and mustard fields,


past vegetable gardens, through

     fig and olive orchards,

up sheep paths toward reaches


of black basalt, to the limestone

     cliffs of Arbel, above the lake

shimmering with nets of light


the moon cast. Nightbirds hunting

     drifted in silence overhead

and in swooping, downward arcs


his eyes followed, stray thoughts

     of desire, shadow circles, out

flowing, invisible strands he drew


on the air with the stylus of his hand.

     His heart was an instrument

of prayer, more than his mind, a fire


he gave himself up to, as self-consuming

     as breathing was sustaining.  Was

it feeling he so humanly felt?  Faces


his senses carried into memory to refine?

     He knelt on a tuft of moss.

Later he lay prone, his arms wide as if


flying.  The warmth of the earth,

     his father near, hearing, the stars

colder and immeasurably farther,


 the scents -- were they eucalyptus,

     wild mint, lemon, hyacinth?--

kept him from falling.  He heard wings,


then weeping, incessant as weather. 

     How like children his disciples slept.  

As he prayed a robe of dew covered him.