|Eric Haggart : Angel Oak|
Once I was praying and saw that the longing of the whole world fit
into the smallest acorn. Later I heard that a saint named Julian had
seen the same thing in darkest of ages across time and water.
So I wonder what small visions you see in the
still hour when the earth stops around your breath
and all you know is that your heart’s on fire.
There was an orchestra on a star, and you
were in the orchestra playing kettle drums.
And the drums were the center of the concerto
hurling it away from a dozen black holes, and the
music swirled around your every gleaming struck beat.
And a violin humbly snuck into the finale, making your
finish the power you always knew it must be.
You found the house in the middle of a forest you’d come
through many routes as a child but never seen a built thing in.
And the moment you saw it you knew it made itself a hidden thing
to the eyes of everyone else, even insects. Only you could ascend
the tree to the seamless door, only you saw the wonder of every
emerging room. And only you felt the velvet of air as the walls
disappeared, showing you how to be held.
The sound that shook you was your heart
thundering your ribcage to vapor, turning you to spirit.
The fear is power once you’re falling through the zeroes
of altitude like a droplet driving downward, in gravitational
surrender. There is no loss in the jump, in the slight lean
into nothing that is all that’s needed for magnificence.
Understand this dark river you’ve come down, no stops
between continental shores. Consider the nights with
drenched paddle in hand, muscle burning away thought.
There was that one patch in the starless black quilt of night stitched
into next night in which the sky turned luminous around a comet so
unearthly you struggled later to believe it. That hour or minute, you
saw the shapes of trees protecting you, the slap of broad tail coming
down in the water and on the east bank.
The beavers came up from their maze below to watch you drift by,
their eyes solemn, acknowledging the long waters you’d traveled
to be the first to discover that they, in fact, were the secret architects
of Macchu Picchu, Stonehenge, the hanging gardens of Babylon.
As you turned the bend into the rapids again, you heard them sing
a hymn of wonder.
And then the one tree spoke as it grew around you, reciting back-to-back
histories of every living thing it had seen or heard of since before the time
men began burning down everything they couldn’t have.
Except for it. It told you it saw you coming, five hundred more
years after the air turned into war. Not because you are a prophet,
or even an exceptional warrior, but because it saw you see it
the first time you crept around its circumference with a burning
heart, quiet as moss.