Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Mitchell’

“Disappearances” by Hugh Mitchell

June 15, 2014

His personal self returns to its radiant, intimate, deathless source
… he disappears into the light.                         The Upanishads

I’ve gone to inhabit the darkness
dressed in bright colors.
 
I move into the unknown future
known only to those
who do not have a name
for they live beyond all names
in the place that is no place.
 
What is this tomb and tumulus
after the priests vanished
and the congregants strayed, starved, fled?
The golden altars were looted long ago
and the temple stripped of Torah and Cross.
 
What is this place
where gushing rivers have dried
and mountain glaciers disappeared
from the blaze and sun which never stops
or stoops to pity

and the only hope is found
beyond the reality of bombs and rubble
as we move from holy temple grounds
into dry wind from desert mountains
to the place of no wind at all
or life beyond cold stars
where even the stars no longer have a name?

Hugh Mitchell
147 Hillside Ave
Rochester, N.Y.  14610                  20140601

Your Name by Hugh Mitchell

October 7, 2012

This poem is inspired by the 104th Psalm.

Your wind has wings which leap the mountains
sing with joy across the prairie sod.
We name you God but naming is too small
for everywhere Your light falls into the lives we live
and know and do not know.

Your ocean has its waves and tides
which cat-like creep upon the land and then subside
as the sun star settles into its bed of night.
We do not make the oceans rise or fall
or call the stars into their blooming.

We do not set the earth to quaking in its frame
or move the mountains from their place of joy and pain
or release the streams
and send them plunging into green valleys.
You do.

You are the One who kindles the rainbow
sends it longing and leaping through mountain passes.
You make the grasses lush and long and sweet and green
and feed the cattle
grow the grain that we reap and bake into our bread.
It is you who brings the rain,
the snow, season’s slow turning.

How is it that we think we know your name?
You are the everywhere beyond all names.

Hugh Mitchell’s chapbooks of original poems include Animal Guides, Light in the Grove, and, just released, Seeds in Winter, from which “Your Name” is taken.  His work has been published in Comstock Review, LLI Review, and RIT Signatures.  He won a contest called “Disarming Images,” which resulted in him reading his poem “Alamagordo” on a program with Gary Snyder.

Mitchell has been a leader in the Sierra Club in the Rochester, N.Y., area and in New York State, beginning in 1970 in an effort to save Genesee Valley Park.   Many of his poems reflect on nature and speak of his effort to find metaphysical answers.

Write to him at 147 Hillside Ave., Rochester, N.Y., 14610, for permission to copy, republish or anthologize his poems.

[11/29/12]  I have fixed the mistake in line 21.
I mistakenly typed “It is you who brings the ruin.”

Sunday Back by Hugh Mitchell

September 30, 2012

Sometimes I wish Sundays were back
and I on my knees
my back bent again below a golden altar
where a white robed God sat
in all His high glory and sureness.

The Reverend’s stone church spire
which once inspired so much awe
now brings only swift regret
for all the time spent on knees
when outside those dark church aisles
the yard was fringed with maple leaves
in brightest dress: browns, greens, yellows,
red leaves blowing in the unbound breeze
and the muffled cries of normal children
floating, disembodied
through stained glass and chanceled dust.

But what is left?
Doubt.
Clouds of uncertainty drift through day.
No surety at all.

Sometimes I wish Sundays were back
and I, a child again
whispering muffled prayers
in cupped hands raised to a dusty god.

Hugh Mitchell’s chapbooks of original poems include Animal Guides, Light in the Grove, and, just released, Seeds in Winter, from which “Sunday Back” is taken.  His work has been published in Comstock Review, LLI Review, and RIT Signatures.  He won a contest called “Disarming Images,” which resulted in him reading his poem “Alamagordo” on a program with Gary Snyder.

Mitchell has been a leader in the Sierra Club in the Rochester, N.Y., area and in New York State, beginning in 1970 in an effort to save Genesee Valley Park.   Many of his poems reflect on nature and speak of his effort to find metaphysical answers.

Write to him at 147 Hillside Ave., Rochester, N.Y., 14610, for permission to copy, republish or anthologize his poems.