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Louie Skipper: Yellow Dust

Christ gazing up from a page in Matthew

meeting my eyes, telling me to look within,

for where your treasure is there will your heart be also. 

What could I say to such endlessness spilling over me

from long before being human was ever considered?


What miracles will the prophet of the hummingbird proclaim?

I wander about in one life looking for eternity in the next,

a blind man following a light he cannot put out.


Only when I was content to remain alone

did you open your arms to me.

Now I lead you by the hand,

never knowing if you are before or behind me.


Is it true the moment of my dying (which has borrowed

so much brightness from the sun) will demand

such satisfaction from me that I will be

blinded by my own last words?


Too many words

trying to fly

out of my mouth at the same time.


Do I weigh down

the grey shell on the grey snail’s back

with the sound of my voice?


The abyss is not so much the absence of a place

as absence of deceit,

like light falling down

the neck of a girl that might take a painter

a season of late afternoons to catch.


It is still afternoon. The light refuses to stay and refuses to go away.


Driving along back roads

across the dead cold cotton fields,

in the early darkness of the three-quarter moon—

some gentleness upon me,

yellow dust following the wind it looks to be leading.

Copyright 2018 Louie Skipper. From The Work Ethic of the Common Fly (Settlement House, 2018)


Louie Skipper is an Episcopalian priest and college chaplain in Montgomery, Alabama.

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This entry was posted on April 12, 2020 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , .

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