"In Praise of Imperfection" - Bob Ambrose

 

1. The Peace of Imperfection

The songbirds seem not to have noticed
perfection having passed us by
last Tuesday week, the prime of spring
peaking in the predawn darkness:

                        first light
        gracing east
                a drift of breeze
the slightest hint
        of scented whispers
                wafting through
        the inner senses

The flaming sword
                that guards the garden
        carves a chasm
                        deep inside
                that fills us
        with inchoate
                longing, calling

    Brother, sister, join the sparrow 
        wander unaware in Eden 
    claim what lies beyond mere joy.

We must decline – their souls inhabit different
realms from yours and mine. They still live
within the garden, lost in perfect flow
of being. We live East, the slaves of knowing.

Once again we’re left behind to tend
a freshly-fallen world, now dusted
with a set of gnats, green oak tree doodles
caught in cracks of splintered decks

and crumbling driveways; drooping dogwood
blossoms browned about the edges,
bright azaleas slightly faded –
signs of spring now going stale.

Still bearing the imprint of Eden inside us
while bursting with knowledge and moral awareness,
we build a home in the shadow of heaven
and make our peace with imperfection.

2. In Praise of Unkempt Things 

Praise to God for unkempt things
that grace our world with imperfection –

for Friday mornings after Easter,
one egg missing;

for tidy lawns with clover patches,
strewn with toys;

for joyful girls with reckless smiles
and saddened eyes;

or graceful curves of mountain vistas
cloaked in clouds;

for clever proofs of shrouded concepts
conjured out of troubled minds.

In sorrow and striving,
in coping and growing,

in desperate hope and untenable dreams,
a glory shines through imperfection.

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