Come Bask in the Divine Light

If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
from The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky

It’s so simple really,
and exactly as Dostoyevsky put it.
Practicing it for such a long
time now – loving every tree,
bird, animal, ray of God’s light –
I’d say he got it so right.

Such a surplus of existence
all around us – bright stars
shining down on devastated land,
carpet of scarlet leaves spread
under bare trees, season of
mists – every thorn bush drips
with moisture, holy
as a cathedral cloister.

If you love everything,
even the diseased elm trees,
you’ll plant seeds, defiantly
believing there is hope.

You’ll become transparent
among trees, the divine mystery
whispering in winter wind,
green holly, sun’s rising
and setting, tides that abide
by the moon’s bidding, the tribe
of Tiger, call of an owl on his
nightly prowl, finches perched
on apple branches, two bulbuls
exchanging devoted glances.

Yes, you’ll take your chances
on loving everything, though the more
you love, the more you’ll lose and grieve.

But nevertheless, believe
Dostoyevsky got it right.
Come bask in the divine light.

Diane Woodcock

Diana Woodcock is the author of seven chapbooks and three poetry collections, most recently Tread Softly (FutureCycle Press, 2018) and Near the Arctic Circle (Tiger’s Eye Press, 2018). She has two books forthcoming in 2021: Facing Aridity (a finalist for the 2020 Prism Prize for Climate Literature, Homebound Publications); and Holy Sparks (Paraclete Press). Currently teaching in Qatar at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus, she previously worked in Tibet, Macau and on the Thai/Cambodian border.

Pure and Simple
To Save Us From the Dark