Dave Margoshes is a poet, novelist and short story writer from Saskatchewan. I won’t go on about him or my long and checkered past with Saskatchewan because Dave has already appeared on these pages and I would be repeating myself. The last time I saw him my son Jonah was about six and he and I went on a reading tour of Saskatchewan, driving up and down the province in a little rented car, meeting old friends, exploring abandoned homesteads, peering at distant bison, clattering around cluttered wayside museums. I miss Saskatchewan sometimes. Its astringent landscape is always exciting to watch and the people are delightful. When I used to edit Best Canadian Stories, I seemed to put a Dave Margoshes story in just about every other year. And now he has a new poetry collection just out with Black Moss Press (which published my first little book of stories, yea, these many years ago). “Theology” is from the new collection Dimensions of an Orchard and is particularly apt as it dovetails nicely with my Bible-reading thoughts these days. I love, here, God’s refolded tour map and “the illusion of unintended routes” and “against his own idea of tide.”
A quarter moon hangs low in the morning sky,
a thumbprint reminder that night is not through
with us, oh no, not yet. Day, night, light, dark,
the cycle carries on with tedious regularity, each
extreme laying a trail of clues leading inextricably
to the other. The seasons too pass in their cycle,
and the ages, infancy to infirmity and through
the transmigration of souls into infancy again
if that’s what you care to believe. The tides rise
and fall, the leaf buds, greens, browns, withers
all according to plan. And where is God in all
this? Puppetmaster, enmeshed in his own strings,
or tourist, folding and refolding a map? The creases
are worn thin from this incessant folding, creating
the illusion of unintended routes, a false cartography.
Like any man, God is reluctant to ask directions.
He batters on, against his own idea of tide,
seeking a way.
Just for fun, see also “The Persistent Suitor.”