POETRY: The Angels by Paul Ramsey

The Angels by Paul Ramsey

The angels take approaches. Some enter by root
And others cloud-following, cloud-brightening, come.
Some in street clothes walk a gloomy one or two miles
And do not enter conversations, but watch trees,
City soot, gables that are cracked with many snows,
And limp into a bar, and hear each word which speaks
Even with broken love to cheer them as they turn,
And look into the empty mirrors, and depart.
And there are lovely angels which touch young faces;
These are as necessary to us as breathing
And words rarely capture the approach of their wings.
And there are great angels on great hills when wars come
Who know so much about justice they grow weary
But hold their beautiful adamant swords steady
And have such endurance we have great need of them.
And there are others who can do nothing but stand
In a given place and enter water and trees,
Wooden benches, a turn of weed-fixed light, a stone
White barred with grey and singular in its standing.
At certain hours one can view their plain, their sacred
Countenances. These are the ones whom I know best,
My companions, my intercessors, and my friends.

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