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AT 8 AM, THE CENTER OF THE HURRICANE
IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST.  ALL
PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY
SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

That’s a quote from the updates.
But how should I, living miles from the ocean,
prepare?    Yesterday, we put away deck furniture—
a discolored table, four fifty cent chairs.
We took plants inside.

THE STORM CONTINUES TOWARD THE OUTER BANKS.
WINDS DECREASE SLIGHTLY.

I begin to write, take out the trash.
We eat some lunch:  yogurt and trail mix for me,
a chimichanga for Bill.
Troy comes home, takes a long nap.
It begins to rain.  I sense no present danger.

THE HURRICANE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL
THIS AFTERNOON IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
THE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT.

Victor—our new driver—leaves his school,
drives slowly home. So we are here,
when the rain picks up.  And what’s to do but wait?

THE STORM VEERS TO THE NORTH.
MILLIONS LOSE POWER IN THE ON-GOING WIND.
CONDITIONS ARE DETERIORATING OVER A LARGE AREA.
GOVERNORS DECLARE STATES OF EMERGENCY
BOTH HERE AND IN VIRGINIA.

The jaws of the hurricane bite at the land.
The mighty Atlantic rocks under the moon.
Distant stars will soon grace the darkness—
shining brightly—
as they did before Isabel passed.

first published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature (October 2004) See for yourself. I know that, thanks to the Wayback Machine.

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“The first chirps of the waking day birds mark the “point vierge” [the virgin point] of the dawn under a sky as yet without real light, a moment of awe and inexpressible innocence, when the Father in perfect silence opens their eyes. They begin to speak to Him, not with fluent song, but with an awakening question that is their dawn state, their state at the “point vierge.” Their condition asks if it is time for them to “be.” He answers “Yes.” Then, they one by one wake up, and become birds. They manifest themselves as birds, beginning to sing. Presently they will be fully themselves, and will even fly.

Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand. It is wide open. The sword is taken away, but we do not know it: we are off “one to his farm and another to his merchandise.” Lights on. Clocks ticking. Thermostats working. Stoves cooking. Electric shavers filling radios with static. “Wisdom,” cries the dawn deacon, but we do not attend.”

 

“The most wonderful moment of the day is when creation in its innocence asks permission to “be” once again, as it did on the first morning that ever was.”

Thomas Merton. Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander. New York: Doubleday, 1966: 18-19, 131.


The opposite of a scarcity mentality is an abundancy mentality. With an abundancy mentality we say: “There is enough for everyone, more than enough: food, knowledge, love … everything.” With this mind-set we give away whatever we have, to whomever we meet. When we see hungry people we give them food. When we meet ignorant people we share our knowledge; when we encounter people in need of love, we offer them friendship and affection and hospitality and introduce them to our family and friends.

When we live with this mind-set, we will see the miracle that what we give away multiplies: food, knowledge, love … everything. There will even be many leftovers.

I have a poem, “In the Forest Below,” in the May issue of TimBookTu.

(Under Table of Contents find Poetry. Go there, and scroll down until you find my name. Click on “In the Forest Below” to read the poem.)

“In the Forest Below” was first published in Flutter Poetry Journal.

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