I’ve seen a certain hubris
An idolatry of valuation,
The sacred kept on a short chain
Of tradition and education
Who, upon passing an orphan
In oversized church attire,
Pats the beggarly head
With stature rising ever higher,
Dismisses the ruffian with a kind word
And the double-edged demand
(The child is easily banished,
As he is citizen to no land.)
This walking hubris turns
Fingers to the golden chain,
Pleased with the service he renders
To the sons who may remain
He condescends and reiterates,
Proud of his behavior,
But at the true center of his sanctuary
You will not find a Savior.
I’ve read the freshly fallen snow
Frosts the world as a wedding cake,
Smooth and crisp, sweet to know
The world in pure and pristine flake
Yet my children don their war attire
And carve out channels fit to pass
They chop and dig, stacking ever higher
All the snow they may amass
With buckets leftover from sandy days
They shape their castle walls
Pouring their work into their play
Grappling and clambering, their falls
Are buried in the foundation
Of the spectacles they build
The feats of effort and imagination
A marriage of fantasy and will.
If I should have to choose between
Untouched snow or their forged civilizations,
I’m forever grateful I have seen
All their passing, perfect creations-
Their evanescent ecosystems
Of icy delights.
My life has crossed a vast terrain,
A train through many foreign stations
And very little still remains
From the dawn of my creation
That world has aged and passed away
While the train increased in speed
I have more now than I ever hoped,
But remember my basic needs
When my journey began in lilting motions
As I waited for it to end
And all I had, all that stays the same,
Was some paper and a pen,
And my Eternal Friend.
These bizarre days crawl
Like a fat mosquito
Stalled between the humidity
And his next meal
While I slap at the place
He used to drink.
Sweat beads and races
Like a townhall turned
Into an angry mob
Running with no sense
And I scratch the itch.
The sun sets.
Wind gusts around me
From the broad face of the sea,
It’s a cool comfort
To be still,
And to borrow the motion
Of a thousand year-old wind.
I want to sing a new song
As this moment demands-
As a family, the Church,
A citizen in this foreign land
I want to stand for
All that’s good and true.
Seeing these strands unravel,
The former days now through,
Leaves much to be woven
Into the fabric of our age
No commonalities in our common ground
Soft answers shall sing through the rage
A brand new song.
Our God is good and true.
He establishes and directs our steps.
Forced to choose, we renounce
The dalliances which crept
Into our work, our worship,
Our endless days at play
His patience built skills into us
Preparing us for this day.
He will lead us to stand, to march, to sing
Through and against the railing night
Perfecting, confirming, strengthening, establishing,
He will set our course aright
The Almighty God of Truth.
Our first fetal cry
Is not for understanding,
In desperate strains demanding
Comfort, security, nourishment,
Until we may stand on solid feet
Shoulders to heaven
Walking the paved street
Of history in steady gait,
Taming the wild fields
Of the unknown future
Our fetal wails must yield
To the corridor of humanity
Briefly in scream, or song,
Or shout, or silence,
In cold isolation or dense throng-
We insist we must be heard
In this, our briefest eruption of time
Our pulse as our metronome
Wonderment in immense design
First steps beyond the bassinet
Our voices harmonize
With all the souls engaged before
In this momentous enterprise
Striving with all to mitigate
Our autonomy and our vassalage
The struggle, the sorrow, the song:
Our greatest irony and privilege
The complexity of our passage;
The simplicity of our cries.
Darling little songbird
Caught in the endless roar
Of man grinding his machines,
Progress and riot and war-
Such a pure melody,
Can it matter from whence you sing?
The dawn of life
Cradled hollow bones on wing
Winds of change, blindly persistent
Lifting you ever higher
Frail lungs expelling praise
Beauty born of fragility to inspire
Love in kind, like from like-
Whether caged or free
Beloved little bird
When God formed me
Did He think of you?
One moment, we both in flight
Turn to the sun,
The warmth of light
Carries us both home
Past the cruel usurpations
Of sandcastles and capture the flag
Slavery by innovation
Simplicity builds our home
Nesting in the songs that precede us
And in our timeline rooted
No din may impede us.
The sun will rise golden and sure.
Kingdoms will rise and crumble
Names will be heralded, feared, forgotten.
The mighty will run, and stumble,
And fall to gray, and spots, and death.
Yet you will sing
Your faithful opus raising
An anthem to our Creator King
Who was, and is, and is to come.
All our covert messages
Carried into the broad darkness
The stealthiest passages
Fallen, couriers by night
Commissioned to cross the battle lines
With the blueprints of our affections
Fallen into those mercantile minds
Dissecting the mystery for fishhooks
Gutting gill to tail to find the coin
Discarding the carcass undelivered
Paying me a coin to enlist, to join
The hands that smell of guts and rust:
This is my defense of silence.
And they’ve painted you a tart
Driving you through the public square
In open ridicule, the angry mob
Gaining wealth on slanderous wares
Maligning your origins, your heritage
At the first, how I advocated for your plight!
In delicate orations and tangled passion
Railing against the ignorant night
Threatening to close on us all.
Forced into gutters and foreign spaces
Mocked as a senseless jester,
Taken as a harlot through indelicate places
Until I stopped treating our post
With the graces it deserves.
Forgive me my unfaithfulness
Most eloquent and noble lover,
Send me constructions of introductions-
I pledge to read them undercover
If my mother tongue hasn’t cloyed
Numb and useless, still she sits
A colored stone cast as judgment
Her punishment severe persists
As my mounting inabilities
To recall your former visage
An open letter must get through,
A whispered hope of visit
Through the twilight fog it twirls, it twists,
Ghosts swirling in the gasses
Dancing as I yearn to dance with you,
In reunion of our passions!
Motionless, I’ve also paused in my tracks
To watch the woods fill up with snow
The flitting beauty falls to rest in stacks
And this one thing I’ve seen, I know,
God makes everything beautiful in its time.
My children laugh like the north wind
Pinked noses exhaling joy in play
In the fresh refrains their voices send,
I remember sorrow is passing away
Reeling in death throes against the night.
Already the carriage wheels roll the earth
Draped in layers of silken shroud
Carrying our strain and sin from birth
To sink beneath the cold, dark ground
Fresh snow momentarily covers the wake.
The life that rots, the worm that eats,
All these lay buried underneath the vow:
God will never taste defeat;
He is working even now
To restore the purity He made at first.
Against the screaming, seething dark
Shadows scratching free
In tooth and wail, embark
From the cavernous souls indwelling
A self-perpetuating night
Dealing in energy, trading days
Forcing the flame to open, too bright
Too hot, too attractive
For the moths in fluttering arrays
Who bank their potential
To invest in the day after day after day
Against the gravity of the void
Alice ever falling, aware and on task
While madness unmasked is employed
In measured ampoules by
Some ancient apothecary meted
Dissolving under the tongue
Sanity diagnosed and treated
With the ecstasy of reaching too high
Grasping beyond a standard stay
Brighter until the wick surrenders:
Burns outright or fades away
Against that inky wave.