© by Allen Forrest (In) / Cover Art 4.2
Cricket in the dark before dawn sounding for me, for all of us, little lifeboat of tender feeling, chirper of hope and every windblown frailty, cricket inconceivable, cricket unbound, cricket hidden from all human speech and utterance, cricket as the one late summer sound comprising my every love, my every sigh, the love that can’t be calculated, can’t be solved or understood in a court or classroom only heard as something small and humble sounding in the dark, cricket of the unmailed love letter, the undeclared desire of kiss me, kiss me, kiss me where I stand or kneel, cricket of the astonishing verb to be, cricket pogoing for the longer blades of grass, cricket a two-syllable wonder and fricatives of rubbing legs and oh, how to my wonder and almost shame I have spent all of my life crawling to a river, cricket match and batman in the box, cricket poem and verse, oh, lover of this earth and how my very veins do tremble inside my skin, my body, mirroring rivers and how sore can I be, Lord, as I walk and wade these many miles of water and such clear windows to see through sustaining me, holding me, lifting up my spirit and the heartbreaking beauty of this earth whose roundness shapes my own in a loving swoon and embrace, leaf blown pages of a holy book whose spine is lunar pockmarks and endless staring, oh, my cricket, my windblown cricket, my frailest and gentlest folk singer and gypsy bard whose cadence blows back beauty in the dark from lonely chorus of forever and mutable mortality, little crucified redeemer of the world on your singular pulpit of grass, playing your homemade violin as I wake and sing this gasping praise, your tribute, your triumph, your many eyes that see and feel so much, taking in the moon, the sky, the holy trees swaying before you suddenly go silent.
Robert Vivian is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy, Water And Abandon and two meditative essay collections, Cold Snap As Yearning and The Least Cricket Of Evening. His first poetry book is called Mystery My Country–and he’s co-written a second called Traversings with the poet Richard Jackson. He teaches at Alma College and as a core faculty member at The Vermont College Of Fine Arts.