Absence and Silence

In the gray light before dawn, raindrops

stutter on the roof as I lie alone in bed,

a blue blanket pulled up to my chin.

A sheet of rain hides the far shore of

the lake, but I can see an orange reflection

from the headlight of a motorcycle

shimmer on the road below the cottage.

Silver threads of rain slide down the

windows near the bed and two branches

of a maple tree bend and sway like

lovers, one above the other.

An angel could descend out of the windy

sky to tell me how immeasurably

perfect all this is, but I don’t need an angel

to remind me of what I know already.

I want to hear an angel tell me

about emptiness and silence. I want

to hear about the one who is not here.

© 2011 J.M.Keating

A Twilight Before Winter

The yellow, three-masted tent has come down.

The yawning tiger, children’s laughter, clowns,

elephants and acrobats have packed up and

departed for another town.

All that remains here is a wind-blown field

and rows of high-rise buildings with indifferent

faces and a man playing an accordion to a

monkey on a leash beneath a solitary apple tree.

I think about you often, trying to remember

who you are and when we met

and what you may have looked like.

In that twilight did we see two fires blazing in the field?

Did we see two ravens rising from the apple tree,

leaving two white silhouettes behind?

The ravens must have heard the music and smiled

at the monkey but I wonder if they noticed me

or you– or whoever I was with

when the circus abandoned us for some other town.

© 2013 J.M. Keating