A Pause in Space-Time
The first reading of MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul, dedicated to Sophia, was given to a small invited audience on September 24th. It was a special event—a wonderful poem read to an appreciative audience under a brilliant blue sky with rainbow lorikeets for accompaniment. It was gentle, intimate, and real—a “pause in space-time” that will speak to those who understand why it matters.
Sophia was—and is—a joy and a gift. The poems written for her award are intended as a gift to others in her memory.
MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul is a beautiful thing.
Sophia would wish it to be shared. . .
Below you will find the text of the poem sequence, Sometimes the Soul, and video files of the poetry reading.
Video 1: MTC Cronin’s reading of Sometimes the Soul:
Video 2: reading of Sophia’s poems:
Video 3: “Reminders of the infinite appear everywhere”
SOMETIMES THE SOUL by MTC Cronin
for sophia nugent-siegal
SOMETIMES THE SOUL
Sometimes the soul
just makes an appearance.
Undoes the vacuum
to be born in nothing’s wonder.
Then the soul prays you
so that you may anoint the reply.
Reminders of the infinite
With the void in your hands
chaos has less now.
You and the soul
Its little knot.
The little pebble of sorrow
moves closer to the thousand
pebbles in the stream.
Becomes fastened in it.
The hour has departed, memory is an exile.
How light the catastrophe on my back.
The thing that has been killed is being attended
by dogs in the running water.
The moss on the rocks bears the marks of my hands.
The day is wrapped in transparency.
All the detail could be taken for circumstances;
the weight of it falls on us so we hold it.
Like blackened marks, small wings stir the bracken.
The pure chance calls out its name
She will never leave me alone with her.
DIGGING FOR THE GRAVEDIGGER
I put my hands under the roots
and gently lift the tree aside.
Its crown is now
between me and the moon
and the night adjusts its hood accordingly.
A little blacker so that I can not see
how deep the hole.
The gravedigger is asleep
in a chair facing the fire.
The angel sitting on the rising pile of dirt
tells me the truth.
The earth will forgive you
for taking its place.
THAT LITTLE PILE
Are they your clothes
that little pile, catching my eye?
This I ask the angels
before following you into the forest
where we bury our mercy
THE HEART IN THE ROCK
The heart in the rock
is comparing translations –
no door to this door.
How inescapable the world,
how incomparable, death –
the jasmine, clinging to the gate.
The mystic has pulled
these four directions tight
for you to avoid the knot.
The rock’s heart is concealed –
to be inhabiting Spring at night.
VOW OF SPRING
The heart it flooded
on the naked doorstep
where a welder of thorns
and a songstress of the apple
honey from all the trees
from a wound
in the sand.
I DEALT WITH THE QUAKING
I dealt with the quaking.
I prayed you.
A dragonfly, possible only in this
blue prayer, was the day
which anointed us.
Its busy wings
screwed my bones to earth
and courting the river
lifted me into the upper tree
of a root
surrendering to heaven.
Gradually, having dealt
with the quaking
I grew into the answer you gave
when asked if you loved.
Are you going to undress that zero?
Do you know about the knot?
Under your hands, in the gleaming
black trembling, your inner greatness
burrows and begins to myth.
Did you know it was the sand of God
burying you in birth?
The sea rehearsing a deep real blue
to become an alder, not a stone.
A moon which won’t protect love.
Three young drops of rain, though older
than the storm.
Afterwards, I find myself naked
as if the cold snow had mentioned my name.
Night is thrown like a bone
to a barking tomb.
A shining white world replaces another
shining white world.
The sun can destroy a coat
all on its own.
THAT OLD DREAM
An angel never wakes you.
It slides the moon under your door
as a ship slips out the window
and the waiting continent floats…
Wars, centres of learning, the anaphora
of clouds, shape changed to shape
in the chaos chaos causes to chaos…
Everything beautiful floods into it.
Marvellous at least
though there is no sun in sunlight…
Ahead of you, along the horizon,
the earth sails. His gait, his hat, his
shoulders – a dark lane and wish
bring the dead to life…
But the angel does not wake you.
Simply slips into your mind that old dream.
The one you do not want.
The tomb has a plaque
on which there are no words
but light etchings which resemble
what the fern has said
over millennia to the stone.
Eyeing the cemetery
a moon compares itself to bone
while in place of heaven
a field of flowers
addresses the silence.
IN THE SUNNY WINDOW
In the sunny window
I am dreaming my absence
little by little.
My warm sunny absence.
into the unowned night.
One long empty night
strung together by days
where I am waiting
on the island of everydays
or exactly at noon.
Sitting in position
from one place to another
until my chair
moves out of sight.
Why are you burying me?
When does waiting change
from suffering into something else?
© MTC Cronin 2019