After Rosemary Dobson

Worn, I long for the simplicity of desert,
for Abba Poemen’s knee to rest my sleeping head.
I call to heart the peace of silent communion,
of neighbour and myself in essential speech.

But mind is Baroque in its impulse.
Chiaroscuro in substance, it curlicues toward ceilings,
rhizomatic and elaborate,
frantic in its downward and upward questing.

The finger outstretched, God to man,
is lost in my musing. Does it reach, nonetheless?
I seize this moment; possibility yawns.
At the foot of the morning’s cave, I listen.

20 Contemplations #16: Consolation

Michelangelo, “Hiermias” (Sistine Chapel: Seven Prophets)

With weeping they shall come,
and with consolation I will lead them back…
(Jeremiah 31:9a, NRSV)

Noise. The ages seem to verge upon chaos.
Yet crescendo is not crisis. What men
of old saw has not failed. Four hundred years
of silence did not climax now, to then
leave us empty. He always spoke gently
to the broken; to the proud, with warning.
Those with ears to hear: with kind intent, he
whispers. To the deaf, the patient dawning
will soon not be patient. There is abundant
grace for the longing wounded, or the pilgrim;
if you never sought Him, why now vent
your spleen upon the One you will pierce? Grim
the truth, endless the consolation
for the weeping on whom the new day shone.