Logos

At the beginning God expressed himself.
(John 1:1 – J.B. Phillips Translation)

The urge to speak, to connect:
is it heresy to find this in the Immortal,
the all-sufficient? Having
no need of us, and yet

He speaks –
is Word. And we,
the subjects of His sentences,
are warmed by the light of His present tense,

turning
this way, and that,
choosing darkness and silence
yet crying out to the night to hear us.
Hear us. Here with us,

in word, in deed,
in breaking bread.

They knew Him too at breakfast

where, on the shore, He had
already assembled, as a table,
prepared for expected guests,
a charcoal fire, some fish laid out,
and, being himself the bread,
a loaf laid for good measure.

No need, of course, for the fish they brought.
No need, either, for that excess in their boats.
To feed seven mouths plus His,
that net-bursting horn of plenty was,
as old Judas, wilting, would have had them know,
not quite au fait.

Yet fitting – that He who made Leviathan solely to frolic
should choose to play with the resources of Galilee
to make much of these staples,
to invite, to delight,
and in the olive branch of this table set
in the presence of friends and enemies

to ask, as the mercy-cup overflowed in the background,
Simon, do you love me?

Poema

You create and give; I take and arrange
words like atoms, rhythms like pulses
and the matter of your cosmos like
the setting of a table:
an act of grace here, a wilderness feast.

You create and I, created, imitate.
More, I steward
the tones you have embedded in our movements, our speech.
I listen and echo
the hidden poundings of the muted heart,
to say
as a host at table might –
Here, a space is left for you.
And then I point,
first to you who, poised at the vast edge of nothing,
said, Let there be.
And then, second, to the open arms,
the nails, the wood,
the carpenter carved up to make
a home for us.

For the New Year: Again

And so it starts over: our spinning way
Around the sun; our cycle of light, dark,
Hot, cold; plants losing, gaining leaves and bark.
If we hear what the seasons have to say,
It will be only their incessant bay,
Their insistant reminders – at the park
Or down the street – to heed the spark
Of summer light, and the dying winter day.
If dull the repetition, or senseless
The way we never move on or remain,
I will take a toddler’s view and address
The new day with the delight its maker
Feels when he sets the sun’s circuit to recur,
That this – all this – can happen again, again!

Being There

It lies
entwined with the gull’s wing
in pink seastring
among polished shellflakes
where the dog inspects the ocean’s rip
and the children tag along.

It sits
beside you with the waves’ murmur
as ever-renewing current speaks
of voices long ago which said,
Here shall you go; no further.
And it hums
in the morning wind which blows
skeletal details
like tumbleweed over
the criss cross of the sand.

A gift.

20 Contemplations #12: Alpha, Omega

Filomena Booth, “In the Beginning the Word”, http://www.dailypainters.com

What did you expect when you came to see
The baby, all wrapped in swaddling bands?
A king, mighty, radiant in glory?
A beaming cherubim, good will in his hands?
Did you come to bow or to learn or be
Affirmed by all that you saw? Herod bore
No risks; and the heavens were certain that He
Was exactly the one wise men had looked for.
This only shows half of the truth. Alpha,
Omega, the Word in His world, the Light
At the core of all being; the Morning Star
Who speaks, and it is; the Father’s delight…
What child is this, you ask? I will tell you:
The one the teeming universe calls to.

20 Contemplations #8: The Heights

image
Marc Chagall, Detail from "Starry Night", stained glass

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
(Psalm 148:3)

Though He is lowly, they recognise Him,
For He commanded and they were made.
As they burn, they can still hear the hymn
He sung to create them at the Father’s side.
One is elected to proclaim, yet choirs
Sing to herald Him, silently glistening.
The night is coming; if mankind enquires,
What child is this? the host will be listening,
Ready to answer with all heaven’s angels:
Gloria! Gloria! Yet where are they now?
The kings to bow down, the dancers and timbrels?
Herod searches, yet breathes a fuming vow.
But if people ignore Him, rocks will cry out;
Now heavenly fires sparkle and shout…