Welcome to 2015!
I know; I know–I’m a little behind. But rest assured, I was sucking the very last bit of marrow from the holidays, enjoying the sabbath. All good sabbaths must come to an end (this side of the veil, anyhow), and the grind must go on, which brings me to my first post of 2015.
In considering what I’d publish first in 2015, I ran the gauntlet of ideas. Should I lead with my One Song for 2015 (my take on the “One Word” craze)? Would Amber and I open with a Marriage Letter? Would I pen existential thoughts on wonder, or beauty, or the inevitable rise of the machines against humanity? I considered each of these (save and except for the bit about the machines), but instead opted to kick off 2015 with a continuation of my psalm series.
Sure, it’s not all cannons, fireworks, and inspirational quotes, but there’s something about the sparseness of a poem, the economy of it. And perhaps this is a metaphor for my 2015. Perhaps I’d like to explore sparser, more economical words.
On to the poem.
Psalm #21 (Sanctuary) was inspired by a holiday drive through the Arkansas Delta. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain on the eastern side of my grand state is home to a winter migration of birds like you’ve never seen. Thousands upon thousands of our avian friends fill the delta fields and squawk one to another. It’s a sight to behold, and speaks a metaphor of sorts (if you’re willing to listen). This morning, I’m offering you a window into that world.
Psalm #21 (Sanctuary)
Gather all creatures of God and King,
far from the riverbed’s evening blush.
Come near alluvial’s winged throngs;
Listen to Delta songs sung.
Near the rice tassels of Carlisle’s skirt,
singing the songs of God’s ashen sky,
rising and falling like ribbons of smoke,
Flock of best Delta songs sung.
Congregation of the fowlest found—
Snow geese in hunted month’s plumy field,
Mallard drake, murder of crows, sparrows—
Singing the Delta songs sung.
Here, find the Great Blue on stickish legs,
priest of the flock belching herron hymns.
Rhythm of liturgy, heaven bends
Hearing the Delta songs sung.
God and King’s creatures gather you here.
Listen to best congregation’s song.
None is as simple, as loud, as bold.
Emulate Delta songs sung.
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