Ecphrasis on ‘Tree Growing from Adam’s Grave’

(Friday Hours of the Compassion—Terce) in
The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, vol. M, p. 87

Seasoned scenes release their power in yellow.
Toward the end the sunset folds away all
Footpaths to the city. A pale opossum
Lumbers by as if the night will always
Fall.
There’s a lid—it looks some like a door—laid
On the ground. Beneath it where the possum
Goes and also in a coyote’s lair are
Human bones gnawed clean and blanched like snow in
Winter.
Cold atop the door-like lid sits Adam’s
Skull, grieving his chalky sins, awaiting
—What’s this tree that rises, crashing through to
Split the lid? A pomegranate full of
Spring.
Branches beyond counting reach the luscious
Azure skies inside the frame. To wander
On those grassy hills and picnic in the
Arbor! Oh, to eat the endless seeds of
Summer!



Doug Taylor-Weiss

Doug Taylor-Weiss, a one-time “Evangelical on the Canterbury Trail,” was for more than 30 years a priest in the Episcopal Church serving most recently in Auburn, New York. He entered full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 2016 and now lives in his native Grand Rapids where he sings in two liturgical choirs with his wife, Debra.


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