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Carole Stewart McDonnell

Learning to wane
This morning the grey - white dawn
streaking in boldly
Or subtly stealing across the sky
sometimes seeming to conquer
sometimes seeming conquered
but only to my inadequate eyes.

Light is immortal
It knows this.
And is therefore
indifferent to loss of power.
I envy its confident equanimity.

The sun rising on the edge
of the morning horizon.
At the interface
sea, sky, sand
meet in a blue mist.
Where do they meet
Where do they end?
How do they mingle?

They spread into each other
Retaining their separateness
Yet to the human eye
once again - untrained-
They lose distinctness.

During the day
the light - yes the sun
but something else also lighting--
But this light...
Bright all-powerful and white,
in the blue sky and yellow sun
Then night comes and
it retreats
into thin blue
then navy blue
then black

sometimes leaving us
in a an equanimious
overlay of
Purple, pink, flushed
mackerel streaks
And then night comes and
light is gone.
And now the night
but for the moon's light
and the black star-flecked sky.

Morning again.
Not the light this time.
This time the birds:
But the same message.
To the untrained eye
birds seem to fly in unison
but here and there
a differentiation
so obvious
we know they aren't all one.

Only man fears loss of power.
Only man fears loss of self.

by Carole Stewart McDonnell

For Jestine
I did not visit you
on the day you died

although my thoughts were on you all that day

because when I mentioned you to my driver
he said the hospital parking fee was high
and I said maybe I'd call him anyway at 3:00
but at three another friend called
and invited me over.

And although you had been on my mind all day
you immediately left it
because the afternoon air was so sultry
and the sun so bright
oh so very bright
and some sweet someone
was going to be there
and I'd been forgetting you anyway
those previous five months
and so it was easy enough to forget this time

and never once
all that day and night
while I worked the party

did it occur to me

that this was your last hospitalization
and that you were dying
and that God was telling me to visit you
to say goodbye.

by Carole Stewart McDonnell