Buds frozen in springtime, dull and half asleep,
unfold, soften, brighten, when distant sun-fires burn.
Love is gentle, thoughtful, careful, giving of its own;
but every passion squeezes tightly; all true hearts burn.
With all myself I called you, asked to know you well -
then you were there before me, within I felt you burn.
Excitedly I dreamed of how often we should be
close; how you would meet me, smile - how I would burn.
The spirit flies when, where it will: white bird, a wind, a flame;
no clockwork toy to call the hour - how my cheeks burn.
Six-winged seraphim cry ‘Holy!’ to eternity;
in the presence, flying adoration, how they burn!
What bits of sticks of we gather round us daily, for our pyre.
Night comes to embrace us - through it all he’ll burn.
Wood is blackened, wizened, ashened in the fire;
Living gold and crimson, dance around its burn.
Pale and cold as bedsheets, the slowly dying shrink;
those who breathe on loving - with inner radiance burn.
Stripped of Time’s quilt, flesh-cover, then we will feel God –
I AM who is the Lover – how He will burn.
Fire! Fire! Life’s energy; God is all aflame.
Oh come to me, Emmanuel! my heart… and let me burn.
Ruth Asch is a poet and teacher, who has been much published in literary journals, such as Peacock Journal, Poetry Repairs, Bamboo Hut, Anti-Heroin Chic, Classical Poet’s Society and Haiku journal.