"A Springtime Promise" - Bob Ambrose




"A Springtime Promise" - Bob Ambrose

Lines composed after the onset of an intermittent arrhythmia

There are springtime Saturday mornings
bursting with birdsong and breeze
so sweet no set of sun salutations,
no Psalm of praise could say
such love, when life breathes light
and you run for hours on joy alone.
Do not forget these days

For there will be fortnights
        filled
            with fail
when worlds assault your
spirit with chainsaws
        at eight
            sharp
on days that follow
frantic weeks of sleep
        denied
            when
fears converge on fitful
nights, when cynicism drains
        your life
            your heart
grows dim beneath bright
skies which mock your
        meager
            chi
with lies that love
persists and life abides
      for flesh
          is grass
that withers, dries
when summer brings
        its scorching
            breath
and blows unteathered
hope to shreds. Do not
        forget
            the spring

For there will be seasons
when you find yourself dark
        pilgrim
            plunging
through too many
tomorrows so lost
        salvation
            is just
a set of syllables in
some forgotten tongue
        when paths
            wind inward,
spiral aimless, down
through tangles, torn
        convictions,
            worn out
dreams, forsaken, trapped
in mental mazes, soul
        cries out
            against
the ages, curses life,
denies it twice, that
        empty
            vessel
born to die. Do not forget
the darkest times

For there will be springtime Saturdays 
when you find your heart 
strangely calm 
when the sacred surrounds you with signs
for it's written on the lattice of a late season frost 
and whispered in the midnight storm 
that peace, perhaps, will find you yet 
perhaps, for you, a pulse and breath 
for you, the tilt and turn of earth 
for you, a patch of morning sun.

(2012 photo by Grady Thrasher)

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