Holy, holy — a poem by Marge Piercy

Holy, holy


I was never looking for a personal g-d

not even in my poor and spiky childhood.

I was always looking for the experience

the knowledge, the sensation of holiness.


Something beyond my self.  Not lightning

or the whirlwind but powerful and still

at once.  I thought of strong light.

I thought of the burning bush, consuming


but never consumed. From time to time

usually but not always when writing

something would seize me, bear me

up and out of myself as in an eagle’s


talons.  I’d almost forget to breathe.

It was never for long. I’d return

shocked, my mind on fire, a rushing

in me, a coming together, clarity.


It happens less as I age.  Perhaps

I can’t bear too much of what burned

the trivial from me.  Maybe once more

before death into that high bright place.


I’m not a shaman or religious scholar

but from time to time something power-

ful, barely endurable, takes hold of me

by the nape and shakes me clear.


Copyright 2018 Marge Piercy


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