I have two poems to offer this year: an invocation by Leonard Cohen, and an elegy by Rumi. Both of these I read at my nephew’s funeral last Fall. Both I think deserve wider reading. So here they are, in honor of Brigid, the poet’s muse. May the light return to us all.
Holy is your name, holy is your work, holy are the days that return to you. Holy are the years that you uncover. Holy are the hands that are raised to you, and the weeping that is wept to you. Holy is the fire between your will and ours, in which we are refined. Holy is that which is unredeemed, covered with your patience. Holy are the souls lost in your unnaming. Holy, and shining with a great light, is every living thing, established in this world and covered with time, until your name is praised forever.
Book of Mercy
Autumn Rose Elegy
You’ve gone to the secret world.
Which way is it? You broke the cage
and flew. You heard the drum that
calls you home. You left this hu-
miliating shelf, this disorienting
desert where we’re given wrong
directions. What use now a crown?
You’ve become the sun. No need for
a belt: you’ve slipped out of your
waist! I have heard that near the
end you were eyes looking at soul.
No looking now. You live inside
the soul. You’re the strange autumn
rose that led the winter wind in
by withering. You’re rain soaking
everywhere from cloud to ground. No
bother of talking. Flowing silence
and sweet sleep beside the Friend.