The Pilgrimage / Phillip Neal Tippin

          Part 21

The moon lost its head
As it rose up the night.

Oh for
The same
Every day—
Growth in love
And in death,
Consuming 
Novelty.

One can hardly pull from today,
The past is pulled from, built on,
The days that do their work, then,
Are today.

Cliché ridden mount
Rifle riddled fount
Of Sincerity’s hold.

Cliché to the rich,
Wealth of the poor.

What do we know of
To speak of 
Together?

So few words
With which 
To meet you.

Coming to grips is
A coming to blows.


          Part 22

Adam and I want to know
Where to hide the body.

Nailed to a secure place
So the glory of all things may hang on Him,
The Hung, unwilling to cut Himself down—
The pegg-ed load will hold.

Table of contents 
Contends for 
The feast of promise.

That is a blue
To set off trees, ablaze
If they once were
What they aren’t now, bare.

Adam disobeyed to stay 
with the one he’s want to keep,
Joseph obeyed to stay 
with the one he would to leave,

The Word unfailing.

If obscenity is a question
May I un-ask it,
Guard the place,
Or look past it?
Raised by being detached.

A mine, a trench, or furrow’s
Measure, depth is in the flower
Delve deeply into what is risen there,
A richness ground of grain or power.


          Part 23

Not in reference only
But in love’s solidity.

Beauty 
When glimpsed
Admixed
Cut by the touch
Of its turning,
Away.

A Sunday gathering for 
The toasting of the eighth.
   9 Feb. 2020

Simplicities unbacked by 
Difficulties
Must be something else 
Entirely.

A man may 
Weep what he sows,
Reap in its throws.

At the transfiguration—
The terror, 
The touch.

Saddled with freedom’s harness
Spurred by bit and bridle, 
Lathered hocks rock ridden, 
rider, conspire with the buck 
And plunge til the unmatched pair
Pile to dust, but the mare, left with
A blank, bareback, quivering stare.

The coast of the mind
Must face the rollers
To find the buried stone,
But they don’t stop coming.


          Part 24

A night winds between today and tomorrow
To be swum or carried over—
The current ever fed by evenfall,
Whose shore comes nigh at dawn.

I know pride as a person,
Unmediated by metaphor.

I know humility as Human,
By condescension came near.

Disease diagnosing diseases.

A theoretical pump
Or the living stream.

There is a life lived at the margins
A rabbit life all timid and tremulous.

Like the old brambling rose
I’m left with only pricks
And no flower to show.

Poem On Sea,
A place we can come,
Bywater where
Clean sea breezes blow.

At the lowest dregs of the kettle
Dredging the liméd edge, after
Years of boiling, heat and steam 
Precipitate the steeping tea’s
Constant comment with a mineral hint.

Moments must be rounded by work
To gain glimpses of the subtle turning.

Mysterious mushrooms
Morels, a mouldering horde 
Broke through the lines
Of the quarantine’s hold.

I washed my face in the morning sun
Rubbed my skin to a lather in its light,
As, pouring over the hill,
Across the window sill,
It rinsed away all trace of night.


          Part 25

A goodness drawn
From pen and paper.

I Keep scrupulous records of my debt
And overspending, Jeffersonian checking
Which mollifies a heart’s budget un-kept.

Cardinal Vice:
You will have been found to have
Smashed your face against the glass,
Window of your wasted spring,
For a fleeting view of self.

The sky is sharing of its upper air today
Bending low to give us a breath of spring.

There’s anticipation of rain in the pine
While the white irises bloom blind.

How can I face persecution 
If I can’t Face pleasure?

Self as a shallow inland sea
Ever silted, filling in the deep.

To maintain my local culture
I dare not wash my face.

The moon let on
By walnut frond
To lightning bug
And fickle moth.


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2020-2021 by Phillip Neal Tippin. All rights reserved.

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