Fall has pungency
Like nard. Summer’s fullness crushed
Anoints the late year.
Winter has the scent
Of absence. Nothing. Death. Life.
Shrouded under snow.
Spring is memory.
Fragrance from a walled garden
Calls to the lover.
Summer will not end.
Here at this wedding: wine, bower
Evermore and more.
Please permit another set of haiku-a reprint even, in this case. The pictures will return; I have, in any case, taken some within the last week at least.
I know that poetry should generally be offered sans commentary, but, alas, sometimes I cannot help myself. This set of haiku attempts to map the four seasons to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with a look forward to the joys of the new creation. In the last two haiku, it also tries to allude to rich sensory images from the the Song of Solomon, which, among other things, is a metaphorical telling of Christ’s inloveness* with his church, his bride.
To be quite honest, even before my father died last week, I have been, and am more or less, in the winter haiku, under the dark drifts of naturalism and doubt, where its seems as if this world and all its toil is all there is and after that…nothing.
And, yet, in better moments, my heart still longs for Spring and Summer after that-for goodness to fill the earth, for justice to reign, for suffering to end, for relationships to be healed, for true understanding between people to arrive, for me to be a whole and true person. It could be that these longings are an anomaly in a meaningless world, but, following C.S. Lewis, I am hoping their absurd existence in the teeth of the temptation to despair means that their fulfillment also really exists.
I want to believe that my father and my mother are…will be. That my father understands the things that knit his heart with sorrow over the last 2 decades of his life. That he now beholds my mother once again, not as his long mourned for wife, but as a strong, beautiful sister. That they can relish their particular shared piece of God’s creative and redemptive work equally along with a billion other pieces. I want to believe that in the light of the Eternal Day, that I am with them, too, at that wedding feast, tasting the wine.
*“Inloveness” is a phrase I borrowed from Sheldon Vanauken’s wonderful A Severe Mercy which I am rereading and which is about many of the themes of this post, including loss and a longing for heaven.