upon speaking with gerard manley hopkins.

Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “I feel the fell of dark, not day”

i.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours.
But which is being soured? The dull dough? The self?
Today, both; I feel the fell.
Breathe in, exhale.

ii.
The fear cuts through like a gale.
How can I stand resolute? I will lose leaf and limb.
Do leaves and limbs lost leave forever?
But wait! are my limbs and leaves the tree, or am I,
I, resolute with this trunk and these roots, these veins,
pied, stippled, counter, original, spare, and strange
The wind can strip me, but it will not fell me.

iii.
Yet I feel the fell of dark, not day–
yester was day, and I miss it.
I stumble until darkness lifts,
until dark rises instead of falls.
Veiled in these black hours,
I do not see what I would see.
Selfyeast of spirit, wait.
Wait and remember: glory be to God for dappled things
whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
–or why.

iv.
Admonish this panic.
It is neither of me, nor Him.
My selfyeast of sour spirit, this dull dough
will not be so forever

v.
nor will the gale uproot me.
I am the tree–without leaf and limb–
but I am the tree.

vi.
Catch your breath.
Stand up. Adazzle or dim, do not wait; rise.
You are the tree.

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