Thanksgiving Praise, 2018

To be willing to praise what cannot be commanded

 

 

Praise What Comes

Jeanne Lohmann, 1923-2016, American. From The Light of Invisible Bodies: Poems (Daniel and Daniel Publishing, 2003)

 

 

 

 

DSC08643

Sound of Silence, 1978, lithograph. Charles White, 1918-1979.  Art Institute of Chicago on loan to a MOMA, NY retrospective in 2018 

Charles White, African American, artist, Social Realist, teacher of artists among whom Kerry James Marshall and David Hammons

 

 

Surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven’t deserved

 

of days and solitude, your body’s immoderate good health

 

that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise

 

talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books

 

 

 

DSC08645

detail of Sound of Silence, 1978, lithograph. Charles White, 1918-1979.  

 

 

that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks

 

before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps

 

you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs

 

you never intended. At the end there may be no answers

 

 

 

DSC08465

Love Letter III, 1977, lithograph.  Charles White, 1918-1979.  Art Institute of Chicago  loaned to a MOMA, NY retrospective in 2018

 

 

 

and only a few very simple questions: did I love,

 

finish my task in the world? Learn at least one

 

of the many names of God? At the intersections,

 

the boundaries where one life began and another

 

 

 

DSC08644

detail of Sound of Silence, 1978, lithograph. Charles White, 1918-1979.  

 

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and

 

possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,

 

did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

 

 

 

DSC08647

detail of Sound of Silence, 1978, lithograph. Charles White, 1918-1979. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Thanksgiving Praise, 2018

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.