Well, it’s hard to believe, but this is apparently my 500th post here at The Consolations of Writing. It’s been quite an amazing couple of years since I set up this site, and I’m very grateful to have wonderful readers to share it with.
Today’s poem comes out of a Bible study that I am leading tonight on Romans. In my attempt to understand it, I’ve looked back to Genesis, a place which Marianne Moore’s poetry has already taken me to this month. I have found it comforting and helpful to go back to the beginnings of God’s story and to see in that moment the way that the big picture of salvation slowly unfolds out of our weakness and failure.
“The invisible things of him from the creation of the world”Fruit glistened in the garden with the rising of the mist, and all was golden, fresh-green, hopeful in its naked, shameless days. There wisdom grew its faithful flowers and put seeds in fruit, the Tree of Life’s triumphant bough an arch, a bow across us; what knowledge that we needed, we found in hand-in-hand walking, truth of trees and seasons, flowers’ names, the songs of hours. And what was seen in the sky, what walked amongst us on the garden’s paths, we knew as truth, sufficient unto the day: a righteousness revealed in days ordered and perfect like each one before, and worship-choirs heard on these breezy nights; a righteous trust that held the hand of its Father-Maker in the garden of its making, where nothing else need rule. Still, fruit glistened in the garden with the rising of our dreams, thoughts that burned like snake-bites in our wisdom-longing minds, where what was seen, invisible – though all that we need know – was not enough for our yearning throats that surely would not die.