Sweet Face of the Khmer Woman


Reveal thyself, reveal thyself

but I am the one
from whom God's face
remains hidden.


In every field
I searched
and into the woods
and cried,

Where are the pink rimmed eyes
of that white faced cow?


By night
with fever
I dreamed a dream full of longing
and I know God came to me
and lay with me and when he turned to me
he had the face of Brando.


God thought
an emissary, cool Death,
a clean shaven man in a suit,
patient at my computer while I slept
would do.


I read:
to the Australian reporter
the Vietnamese said
the soldiers knew what day
they would die, the day the Woman visited:
"Death she is a lady."


Grace is bestowed
and there is immortality of the soul.

At the home of my friends, the So brothers,
I see for the first time another visitor, their mother,

and I bow to her sweet countenance
and she hurries over to embrace me.

This poem was first published in The Green Mountains Review and later in the anthology Illness & Grace, Terror & Transformation, Wising Up Press :


Illness and Grace - the Divine - will add tomorrow John Milton (Paradise Lost/Regained) on losing his sight prematurely.
thanks Merry. I've been enjoying these. Don't always understand them, but that is half the pleasure.
You are kind, pamb. When I read the last sentence, I laughed.

I prefer reading poems that are somewhat mysterious and evocative.

But I've recently slogged through an anthology of language poetry (or work at least influenced by the "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E" school of poetry) and not being able to understand much of what was going on or even to pick out a tune was mind-deadening. I could see that some of the poems in the book were interesting word puzzles for someone to work out -- but someone with more brains and energy than I'll ever have.
As promised Merry - poetry on "illness" and the Divine. John Milton and his Sonnet on his premature loss of sight.

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talentwhich is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labour light denied?"
I fondly ask. But patience to prevent
That murmer soon replies "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve Him best. His sate
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait".
Don't know that this relates to your poem, but it's sweetly positive about a dire situation - and "they also serve who only stand and wait" so recognisable in the depths of this illness with much loss.

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