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Keeping the Sabbath, a poem by Laurel Smith

Keeping the Sabbath     

     My worship is a blue sky and ten thousand crickets in the deep wet 
     hay of the field. My vow is the silence under their song.
                   –Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

The sycamore laughs,
her new leaves confident before
      the storm, her limbs stretched
like a dancer’s ready for
thunder, clapping for rain.

Jasmine—the real thing,
though I’m still learning its first 
      name from bees in love
with those blooms, swirling breath and
nectar for their jubilee.

The hours fill, then spill
then fill again: time itself
  fluent as a cloud
or tree or pebble speaking
to a friend longing to listen. 

By the creek, a blackbird
stops on the wild grass.  Does he
      pause to scavenge seed
or signal his mate or scan
heaven for a psalm of flight?

Spring’s palette dims 
at sundown, swallowed by shadow.
Enter a million stars:
all day they keep their places,
all night the rainbowed world sleeps.

Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily volunteers to promote community gardening, social awareness, and creativity. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, English Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Flying Island; also in the following anthologies: And Know This Place; Mapping the Muse; Visiting Frost.

Image via: Groups of Stars. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.