Holy Ground

Holy Ground

 

In the dream, you were a boxer. 

In the dream, you were a poet. 

The ghosts gathered did not know it; 

they passed you by and made no sound.

 

Did you smell the apparition

like a passing wind in cotton,

your throat tied up in knots, 

no one hearing what you needed, 

your heart then full-retreated, 

small, and round?

 

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

Holy ground

 

This is the land of apparitions. 

It’s the land of Roman highways.

From the hole debris trails sideways;

drifting dead slow soft snowflakes silt the ground.

 

I was listing in the water,

you were clinging to a coffin.

The whale had breached the wave tops,

I was reaching for your fingers;

the tips white as sheets in springtime; 

the captain, drowned.

 

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

 

My heart is cool blue water;

lift your feet to wash the dirt clean,

release your ritual from its meaning,

dig your dreams out of the ground.

 

You may abdicate your Jesus,

concede the deserts of your heartache,

return to simple things and childhood,

grasp the good earth, eat the apple;

the fruit is back in season, I have found.

 

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

Holy ground, holy ground

May your love grow on holy ground

Holy ground 

Holy ground

 

(Life Underwater Music, 2004)

James O'Brien