Poem: A Pilgrimage of Light

A Pilgrimage of Light

Another corner of a strangers house.
The furniture small. Rich with grain.
A little too close together.
A few things more on the table tops
than feels comfortable.
The light is perfect.

It is part of what keeps you here.
The light.
A different thing from the Southern fields
where you were raised. Softer somehow,
crisper. A light you never imagined
until, unimaginably, you were here.

Years in, it is still the light.
On the hay fields. The wildflowers,
the windows. in the houses of strangers
and in your own.

Your eyes scan the small desk with its burled wood.
A pair of books, well worn.
A page is torn out of one, and reinserted.
Candlesticks. Old enough to pretend
to be antiques. There is a nick out of one.
Flowers from the garden. Japanese lanterns,
bright orange, the only perfect thing there,
and only, you know, for today. In this moment.

The light. All these things and you see the light.
A gift of time and place and you wonder
where else there might be perfect light,
A different perfection, but just as magical,
and it seems to you
a pilgrimage worth making.

About this poem

A poem about the picture, which was taken at Oleana, the home of artist Fredrick Edwin Church. A poem about the light here in New England, and how I have come to love it. A poem about spiritual pilgrimages, or pilgrimages of the heart. A poem about wanderlust. In other words, it’s one big autobiography.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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