Having pledged his voice
to the monastery, he attends
the growling sky; clouds muscled
with pure element brace duskily,
crafting thunder in their bowels.
This, he knows, is something steeper
than any cliff of manhood; it is the last
ascent into solvent beauty.
Within his robe–a gift
of the friary and fitted to repair
the iniquities of flesh–
he angles every nerve
toward the orchestra
of Autumn’s grand departure.
A blinding root cleaves the soil
of night, and the drum
of the heavens is started.
Soon, winter will mute the land
with its slow, white plague, asking of it
the same vow.
And with the land, his mortal sense
diminished, he will learn the key
with which one harmonizes
the silence without and the silence within.