The azure sky and verdant land meet quite afar
Along a rippling line of undulating hills.
It was so vast that I imagined myself consumed
By a giant chthonic god in whose maw I was entombed.
And then again I found myself in a Daoist scape,
So small and frail among the giants of nature’s realm,
Just like the boatman in his smallish fishing bark
That floats amidst a watery grandeur we mortals mark.
The far-distant blue became a wall of dark-colored cloud,
A certain portent of the fury of that rugged and pitiless land.
And when it was above, it roared like a fearsome beast
That gave my heart a start and chill, at the very least.
Soon after the raging storm was o’er and my wits returned,
I heard the song of the bobolink in the quieted land,
Reminding me that every tempest is followed by calm,
To my anxious and worrisome soul as soothing as Gilead’s balm.
Michael G. Tavella
Saint Mark’s Day, April 25, 2023