Painting: Night Vision, acrylic on canvas
This poem goes with the painting “Night Vision” of a woman dreaming on a crystal sea under a night sky full of lights. It uses the imagery of the lovers in the Song of Solomon and also makes reference to the story in the book of Hosea of a man who keeps rescuing his unfaithful wife. Ishi is the old Hebrew word for husband/saviour/hero. Through the prophet Hosea God tells his people there will come a time when they will call him Ishi and not Baali (master). The ancient Hebraic written symbols for seer are a wall, a cutting implement and an eye. For kindness they are thorns, a cutting implement, and a door.
Come away with me,
her lover calls.
He peers through the lattice;
he tosses pebbles against her frosty window.
Arise, my love, my chosen one
and come, come away with me.
The winter is past; the sleet is gone; the flowers lift their heads.
The season for singing has come.
Leave your compass on the desk;I am the way.
Our secret place lies in the rock’s cleft.
She stares through the glass darkly.
Ice shatters her view.
Where are you, Beloved? Where are you?
She rises, lifts the bar
and crosses the threshold on freshly washed feet.
Behind her ears, the white wolf,
descended from the city’s seven mountains,
yelps as his howls
meet the linen fence.
With her newborn eye she cuts a hole
through the thinned place in the thorn wall
and climbs into greater truth.
A pillar of lilies awaits her.
With one look you have ravished my heart, he whispers.
See? I rend the curtain of heaven
and like a gazelle leap the hills for you.
Let us swim in the sky, fly under the sea.
Come dance with me, my bride.
We are like children spinning amid the galaxies’ swirling skirts.
Together, let us puzzle the pieces
adding breadth and width and depth and height
until you sit at my side,
the earth our footstool.
Your eyes will hear.
Your ears will see.
Your fingertips will taste and know that I am good,
and in the language of the Spirit
write of colors you’ve never seen before.
Her lips move gently with the mouth of sleepers.
Ishi, my breath, she breathes.
Ishi, my hero.