The Whispering

The wind hisses
not enough to move my bells
just enough to tell me it is
moving in its own harmony
a dance of leaves, a circled
season of returning and renewal.

Why not rise again in the morning
with a fresh injection
of the talent that keeps me here
on this chair writing?
I am tied down by my tongue
transfixed by fever
rung by rung the turned wood
burns my hand.

I climb and won't look down
ground is gone
currents drift between my toes
my maker knows I climb
my day-by-day designs on artistry
he sees and is magnanimous.

The tests he throws I grow
tired of.  Like another I have read
I may be gainsaid by a simple
failure of the heart,
the nerve is gritted teeth that
won't let hands part contact 
with the wood.

Am I mere electrical force, impulse
passing through
or does some God whisper in my ear?
Try as I might to peer the darkness
down I am never shown the way,
have to trust the gut
to halt and breathe enough
to regain strength for the next step.
I am ever limber,
supple, have been told that I have
flexible hips enough
to bear the world's ills,
heart enough
to mourn our lost

My eye can see this climb, my
child lies tamed somewhere 
in a recessed place, unerased, unfaced -
am I Judas in my choice?
Can I truly hear your voice
or is the wind calling, sighing,
what I take for you - nothing
real, nothing true?

My nails need cut, my calloused
palms need smoothed, rubbed
by oil enough to soak the dryness,
the hurt.  When I will
depart this place, do I fall or
am I saved?  Have I seen
enough of grace to bear your face?
These climbing days, please
let them not be waste,
let not my hand
be misplaced.
Holy City
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