Into the Mystery

Here is the final poem from Tony Hoagland’s new book, Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God.

Into the Mystery

Of course there is a time of afternoon, out there in the yard,
a time that has never been described.

There is the way the air feels
among the flagstones and tropical plants
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxwith their dark, leathery-green leaves.

There is a gap you never noticed,
dug out between the gravel and the rock, where something lives.

There is a bird that can only be heard by someone
who has come to be alone.

Now you are getting used to things that will not be happening again.

Never to be pushed down onto the bed again, laughing,
and have your clothes unbuttoned.

Never to stand up in the rear of the pickup truck
and scream while blasting out of town.

This life that rushes over everything,
Like water or like wind, and wears it all down until it shines.

Now you sit on the brick wall in the cloudy afternoon, and swing your legs,
happy because there has never been a word for this

as you continue moving through these days and years
where more and more the message is not to measure anything.

Tony Hoagland

You can read a review of this book here.

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4 Responses to Into the Mystery

  1. Eudora says:

    It is simplistic to say, “I like this poem,” but I do. I like the gap where something lives, and the instances of joyous living not to be had again, and the swinging of legs.

    • Meryl says:

      I like it, too! And I love that lines, “This life that rushes over everything,/
      Like water or like wind, and wears it all down until it shines.”

      Swing away!

  2. Andre Lijoi says:

    I like the time that has never been described; the bird that can only be heard by someone that has come to be alone; and happy that there has never been a word for sitting on a wall on a cloudy day swinging your legs. What a way to close one’s writing career no longer being measured.

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