The earth only endures – I read it once,
so long ago. Is this our history,
mankind immersed in nature’s overflow?
I feel for you – a people far and near.
What have you done? Where do you go? The silence
of those hills, the sorrow of the snow.
What have we left? A world corrupted, life
now out of tune. Yet nature has its way,
its mystery rights every wrong. But this –
humanity itself – who can redeem?
His everlasting love endures. I see
it in the cross. The universe transfigured.
Is this the overflow? His earthly will
becomes the fount of everything fulfilled.
Eden – dawn – humanity – a stream –
a garden – cyprus trees – a place to work
and care – wild animals and birds – a name
given to all – a source of gold – the human
dreams – a woman born – a serpent there –
the voice of God – two cherubim – a flaming
sword – where are we now? – Messiah – tree –
a glory – living streams – but what of nature? –
another age – at the renewal of
all things the twelve tribes shall be judged – but what
of us? – between the ages – humanity –
our farms – our water source – our trees of life.
Anthropocene – another age – in us
the earth has found a new identity.
“Here is the man!” The stars are high – at dusk
humanity. The crowds cried “Crucify” –
a beggar now – the King – infinity
engraved on wood. The finitude of earth.
A law. Today a hundred companies
inflicting suffering – what are they worth?
What price – terrestrial inhumanity?
They clothed him in a purple robe, they slapped
his face. “Here is your King.” They crucified
and buried him. Eternity is mapped
in men’s disgrace. Emmanuel in dust –
in death as was in life – a holy gust.
Extinction. Circles never end. A line,
made up of ceaseless points, concludes. A life –
a spiral – emanates – a point beginning –
circling – ending – infinitely – a crisis
when it is no more. Each life revolves
around its core. The marks of spring appear –
green shoots – the generations past involved.
A darkness now – the spring has disappeared.
A human world. A night without a star.
A grandeur lost – the heights and depths – the we.
Humanity abounds – horizons far.
To be – a little less humanity.
A corporation’s greed – infinity.
A life – a gift – a bright eternity.
The earth’s in pain, besieged by Capital.
A slow attrition. Like a noose its power
grips the neck. All is expendable.
Relentlessly – a weed without a flower –
expanding into virgin territory.
Exploiting wealth indigenous – of people
and of place. Expropriated free.
Who can resist? Its influence the steeple
and the bank defend, the mighty set
against the suffering of the poor. Five hundred
years, its character unchanged. The best
of men subsumed. A crime. A fearful wonder.
For those who break its spell, a world repaired,
in time, the wealth of earth and nations shared.
The stars are high tonight. I sometimes think
that there are more of them than us. I know
that Abraham witnessed the future so –
his nameless progeny amidst the inky
sky. I understand their power to link
us to the future of mankind. It’s only
in more recent times that distant zones
of space have been revealed, and tiny twinkling
stars in countless multitudes appeared
where none had been before. But what of those
they represent – if they should never be?
If putting down our telescopes made sheer
abundance disappear? God never chose
it to be thus, and never too, should we.
A gum – a ghostly presence – certainty
subsumed – the mountains silent – rocks eternal –
one by one the trees exist – a name –
the morning sun – the distance drawing near –
humanity unseen – a radiant sky –
an Eden far from paradise – the purple
ridge – the sunshine on the grass – the nameless –
image of another world – a country’s
heart – a nation failed – eternity
engraved – the painter there – a ghost – what is
and what is not – the arch – the shelter – red
the roots – a life appears – a silent dawn.
Intangible – the gentle path of ants.
They shine. Beneath the sky – eternity.
A galaxy – each ant a star – advancing –
circling within circles – silently.
They touch – a transcendental immanence.
The sunshine moves. What God is this that arcs
across the sky? We search for permanence –
the ants endure. As shadows fall a spark
of holiness appears within the husk.
They pass – a constellation – one by one.
They signal. Silently they turn. The dusk
declares their innocence – ten thousand suns –
their multiplicity. This is what is –
community – divinity that lives.
A Single Bird
A single bird is floating in the air.
Its eye observes the sprawling marks of our
humanity. It meditates, a flower
in bloom within a field, its heart aware.
A timelessness has come and settled there
and beckons us to stop and, like a tree,
send tender shoots into infinity.
Our certainties give way to a despair
as nature takes our image. Solitary,
the circling bird ascends and disappears.
A riddle left for us to solve – to see
an image fade – which one remains unclear.
It’s unimaginable, the sorrow soon.
When numbers grow through millions to beyond
our minds are left behind. It would be wrong
to say we understood. A flower blooms
and we are moved. Our soul is pitched in tune
with other souls, we feel the dissonance
when sorrow sounds in them. But this abundance
overwhelms us. Suffering in bloom –
in orchard after orchard, spilling over
each horizon found until another’s
seen – no soul can contemplate. We must
retreat. But even this is sobering –
imagination, feebly seeing our brothers,
teaches us to not betray their trust.
A church beneath the sky. A magpie, silent,
now begins to sing. A gold eyed fly
observes my form. Each fallen leaf is quiet.
A mystery, what is. Identity.
A fragment of a great reality –
each being a token. Ceaselessly the sun
appears. In everything the dawn. To be –
the surface breaks. What is – what was begun.
I watch the long wake disappear. The sea
grows silent. Nothingness. I feel for you –
the sun that sets each afternoon. To be
is not to be. And yet – the sky is blue –
in love there is infinity. The singing
bird – the evidence of other things.
Each dawn a light appears. I see it now,
reflected on the water. Hope is here –
we feel it in our bones. Is this the flow
of history – a mercy drawing near?
A stream of ants – each one declaring that
they know this great reality – the light –
for this is what they speak about, as friends.
To act justly, to love mercy, to humbly
walk – the prophet guides humanity –
a river’s radiance – the sun reflected
on the waves – this is what comes to us.
I sent you Moses, Aaron, Miriam.
I lead you out from slavery. To love
is like the dawn that rises in its strength.