Without Knowing It

by Ed Higgins

                                “We are full of paradise without knowing it.”—Thomas Merton

If this isn't Paradise, what is? 

Your own eyes wide with 

the imagination, the knowing, 

the not-knowing of it all.


As the sometimes porcelain 

of summer clouds, or 

their crow's-wing black 

of threatening, then actual rain. 

Or as in your vegetable garden, 

tomatoes so near to ripe 

you can't wait to pick them. 

But must, knowing the

ripe taste worth the mid-July wait. 

And then there is garden corn,

almost Heaven itself (even if 

not a worshipper of Centeoti, 

the Aztec maize god) slathered 

with butter, salt, and pepper.

Everything alive or dead, or 

whatever's in between, as 

most things are. As our rapt 

or frightened attention 

to contingency demands. 

Or else just to prove you're 

able to stand it all sometimes. 

Then you can at least pretend 

it's all meaningful. And maybe it is.