The Pilgrimage, Book II / Phillip Neal Tippin

          Part 1

One breathtaking remove

To gather my thoughts
About Your feet.

I don’t know when,
But at some point we
Let the implicit back in,
To flourish as it once did.

How different a death this is
To follow to and in and through.

The new through-ness of death.

Turns out condescension is
The mountain which to climb
From the valley of our lording.


          Part 2

Snug between shrub and tree
Trunk scaled to fit our finding,
Tiered as our frame in a door.

We drum up want
As wonder wains.

I’ve got to go to work
With my guns, with my hat.
Fight! Fight!”
We fight the fire with guns
I’ll go get you one”

It’s what the wind wants—
Most must make allowances.

To trip upon the edge of light—
   Stumbling upon its lip.

Behold
John marks
The volta.

(Feast of the nativity of John the forerunner and baptizer)


          Part 3

Bring melodies to market,
We don’t want your words.

Emotion’s able to serve You
When it rises serving You.

Embark on your plastic fast
That great and luminous laundered lent.

If we may be struck down in illness,
Why do our books escape unscathed?

If he can burn a man down,
Allowed, why does he leave 
His words, dry-kilned, uncombuss’d?

I want to be swindled
By a local swindler
Who stays local
After the swindle.


          Part 4

Mephibosheth I
Into the King’s court come.

I Have smoked the summer pipe,
Played locomotive for a moment tonight.

The wired hare won’t jump, can’t—
Can rise to just un-living, unreel, still
Waiting fish will sub-ordinate poetry.
   (After Billy Collins’ “Fishing on the Susquahanna in July”)

Today has rained.

Upon the Maker’s
There’s fully formèd flesh.
   (Second part to “Upon my word…”)

It amounts to
Dumbing down the drums in my head
By doubling down


          Part 5

I’m afraid we’ve made
Only half pagan
As the conversion
Still takes sides.

Grant integrity
At the heart of the garden
That the green leaves might not
Fruitless, deceive.

Draw me like water
From a black pool’d well
Until Your face is seen
Ringed in sky blue
Light on the face
Of this little deep.
  (John 6:41-47)

Grant the desire’s despair which
The Maker’s placed for a return.

Despite the lostness of the eyes
With blacklight poured back on sight,
It’s hard to hide from the physical dark,
And the beating iambs of one’s heart.


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2020-2022 by Phillip Neal Tippin. All rights reserved.

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