patches, unlike the smooth silk loveliness
of the bought,
this made-ness out of self-madness
thrown across their bones to keep them warm.
under the patches a smooth silk loveliness
two bodies are better than one for this quilting,
throwing into the dark a this-ness that was not.
of the splintered irrelevance of doubt, sharp
hopes, spear and splice into a nice consistency as once
under the pen, the brush, the sculptor’s hand
music was made, arises now, blossom on fruit tree bough.
exegesis of the will captures and lays
haloes around bright ankles of a saint.
Exemplary under the tree,
Buddha glows out now
making the intolerable, accidental sky
patch up its fugitive ecstasies.
From the making, and, made, now making
certain order—this excellent despair
is laid, and in the room the patches of the quilt
seize light and throw it back upon the air.
A grace is made, a loveliness is caught
quilting a quiet blossom as a work.
And do you,
doubting, fractured, and untaught, St. John of the Cross,
come down and patch the particles and throw
across the mild unblessedness of day
lectures to the untranscended soul.
Then lotus-like you’ll move upon the pond,
the one-in-many, the many-in-one,
making a numbered floral-essenced sun
resting upon the greening padded frond,
a patched, matched protection for Because.
And for our dubious value it will do.
It always does.
by Phyllis Webb
from Poet’s Choice
Time/Life Books, 1962