this i deserve: affirmation for the deeply worthy (audio poetry 3:50)

Another one from the archives; first time in audio (I think).

Saint Bride, by Scottish symbolist John Duncan, 1913

when others rushed to the trough to feed like hollow pigs
i remained content with crumbs scented by the hand of god,
laid before me on scraps of thrice-read newspapers
and now, the ripened oblations of the holy,
this i deserve

while all around me, those of faint courage clanged shut the gates
and retreated behind windowless walls,
i opened up doorway after doorway
cloaked in a herringbone of tremor and valor,
freely sharing the keys to my most delicate sanctum sanctorum
and now, the master key to unimpeachable joy,
this i deserve

in exchange for oceans of tears shed over countless hearts
blades of grass and bloodstone
in exchange for rampant willingness and unshakeable faith,
for waiting while gnawing at meals of hope swimming in optimism
i deserve a seaworthy vessel stocked with all manner of provision,
a gentle breeze at my back to lift me o’er a riotous tide
the sun and moon chanting in sacrosanct communion
a glimpse of the near horizon and the promise of a shade tree
dripping with first fruits,
this i deserve

showerings of love from the core of Creation,
authenticity that mirrors my own,
full-hearted responses over thin-necked reactions,
presence over projection
a few choice words that reek of consummation and gravitas
spoken without hesitation and reverberant of tone,
this, o this, o this i deserve

an ungloved hand,
contents proffered unsinewed in a sheen of transparency,
a steady gaze from shimmering eyes
footsteps that move toward me with hushed determination
a kiss planted sublimely on unrumpled cheek,
ringed circles of nested knowings
embraced by waves of flowering familiarity

bushels upon bushels upon bushels of rambunctious birdsong
the shine of the infinite spreading in a rapturous glow,
my every desire met with a disproportionate outpouring
tinged with neither sacrifice nor renouncement

this i deserve
i deserve it now
and grateful to receive,
i am deserving

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