For Angels Be and When


One of the many statues at Sakin’el
is of an Angel playing a flute –
knocked off a table by a nuzzling cat.

I have attempted to glue and fix
the broken wing seen lying there –
but have surrender to art over form
and syncrosity.

Now, one might muse a note or three
whether the wing has fallen off,
or is waiting to be affixed,
and whether the tune is of joy
or of a minor cord.

I once wrote — perhaps in vision …

“ then is the entire purpose
of man’s existence,
to provide the means
for angels to fly?”


“When one considers how angels swing about,
tethered by Agreement strands to Council,
and drawn by human compassion and delight,
but paced by Current call to other Light;
it is a wonder that they don’t collide
or and least suffer a wing – ding or two.”

but I am always drawn to Poe’s Israfel,
posted here in case you know it not.

by Edgar Allan Poe, 1831

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
As the angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.

Tottering above
In her highest noon,
The enamored moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads, even,
Which were seven,)
Pauses in Heaven.

And they say (the starry choir
“Whose heart-strings are a lute”;
None sing so wildly well
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli’s fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings-
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.

But the skies that angel trod,
Where deep thoughts are a duty-
Where Love’s a grown-up God-
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.

Therefore thou art not wrong,
Israfeli, who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest!
Merrily live, and long!

The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.


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Male, 62 - owner of an eclectic retreat center called Sakin'el in Knoxville, TN. Author of many books listed on

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