Your sea was a satin maiden
lashing against the rocky shore;
silent as a muse at high tide,
brimming with tears at nightfall.
Your tide was a wild Madonna,
the shells in her seaweed hair,
white pearls, sewn like dew
over a manicured lawn.
Your beach collected the
ocean’s fury, bleached driftwood
here and there,
scattered crabs and hermit homage.
Your stream was a woman
rejected by modernism,
who tended the cold with silver hair,
and reached out over the wood
like a mist, to water each new and living thing.
Your river held the perfume
of summer, a crucible
of apple trees and lilac,
red and purple flowers and fruit.
Your ocean netted the fine fish
to roast over the fire of
welcoming a messianic figure
in the stillness of sunrise.
Your forest was bountiful
with red berries and fern bracken;
deer and fox, bluebirds and bear,
the tumbling crystal stream
filling the glass pitcher with icy waters.
Your meadow sang
in the heat of July
after the heavy sun patterned
with brocade the melting flowers
in the lush grass, with new lime shoots.
Your mountain played its clarinet:
the wind in the evergreen,
its flute, dapples in the rippling brook,
summoning the noon from heaven,
its horn, laying low
the valleys after the wind.
Your window had a gentle
candle’s glow in its panes,
shielding off the fright of monotony
and nurturing the spoken word
into nouns of prophecy.
Your chair sat in a tangled garden
high-backed and resin wicker
memorizing the verse of the masters
with a steaming cup of peppermint herbs.
Your evensong resounded
like the pillars of time
rising pure and true
beneath the shadows of the night.
Your battle was fought on a final front,
the fight to the end
for your life or mine—
the witch or the prophet will
take your life or spend it for glory.
Your mail glowed with silver shine,
a truce of metal valor
echoing in eyes grown dull
with feverish intent
to spare one’s own life,
instead of fighting
to man’s dying notion.
to raise our arms and heads once again
was a revelation sword
raised for inner dominion
where all kings go—
where kings go to war.
Emily Isaacson, Hours From A Convent