Ben White's Adventures with softened hearts

Swallows Show — A Saturday Sonnet

Looking out the window

Dear friends, since the Covid 19 quarantine began, I have spent a lot of time sitting at a little desk I put in my bedroom (now office). My lovely little room has windows which face the lake on which I live.  Newton Lake in spring and summer  is home to a colony of tree swallows which dart across the water in the morning and evening in dizzying patterns.  They make me feel big inside. They “make the water wide” I say in the poem below. Newton Lake is really rather small, and I feel small sometimes too — constricted on the inside; longing for wider spaces, deeper breaths. I find myself wanting more of something specific and external, and everything that is intrinsically me  all at the same time. Creating space inside ourselves for such colliding thoughts to hold their own flight patterns is crucial to the spiritual life. I hope this poem helps you feel that even slightly as much as the swallows help me to feel it.

Swallows Show

The swallows have returned to Newton Lake
To make the water wide from bank to bank
And give a show of living for your sake–
An iridescent praise, a flight of thanks,
A sweeping burst of joy made for your eyes,
For narrow squinting eyes. Now ask how do
They fly to make all those inches realize
Their depth, and the air its true thickness through
The circling swim of a dance just above
The shimmering below. Making wide, too,
Somewhere in you. Some inside dreaming of
A flight like these — so close, so quick, so you,
So far, so flung, so open with your doors,
There’s breath to breathe and sky to fly — there’s more.

 

As always, you can listen to me read it here

 

2 Comments

  1. Steve hess

    Like this, thanks!

    • Benjamin White

      Appreciate it. Thanks for reading!

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