Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three Poem Drafts

All very rough stuff. The third one, the roughest of all, was actually inspired by this post.

Fruits

Squeeze the fruit of life, they said,
drain its every drop.
But in the end a rotting pulp
was all that was left, and sterile seeds
that vanished in the morning.
The fruit that made the future
ripened slowly on the bough,
and over-ripened, fell,
decayed, to give the world
a birthing of new trees.

Examen

O God, you are thrice holy as you dwell in endless light;
send down your flawless splendor to your children in the night,
for if you do not aid us, how empty is our song!
And how clearly all our virtue but a mask to hide our wrong.
When I think upon my life, Lord, I should weep with tears of shame:
each moment hides a weakness by which I've failed your holy name:
when nations look upon me they should see Christ Crucified,
yet often how it seems that I am nothing but a lie!
Should I not become a living sign of endless, holy grace?
But my life is more a symbol of the failing of our race.
With your sanguine power flowing, Lord, cast out this sin in me
as the music of your Spirit moves in psalmic melody.

O God, you are most holy with your goodness ever-same
and who would stand before you if you chose to render blame?
Not I, my King, most surely I would drown beneath the sea
of times when I have fallen short of where our hearts should be.
The love that I have given has not always come from you;
my hope is streaked with cowardice that runs it through and through;
in all my faith how truly rare are glory's little gleams;
and prudence in me shifts around like faces in a dream;
my courage, not a martyr's, is but mostly comfort tame;
and moderation flees away like children in a game.
With your sanguine power flowing, Lord, cast out this sin in me
as the music of your Spirit moves in psalmic melody.

Susan Pevensie

We once saw beyond the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all
and visions of light in snow-laden wood
almost came at our bidding and call.
And the light of the gods was bright in all things
and their songs on the wind were still heard;
while mer-people chanted the music that rang
in the echoes of waters and birds.
Doors we would find that, more than mere doors,
were the gates to the gardens of grace,
and paintings could lead to ships that were fair:
on the waves of the storm they would race.
The horn of a train might call us to war,
where we valiantly took up our sword:
of Thoughts in the One we were still aware,
and of power that fell from the Word.
And that was the thing that made us mature,
giving freedom of thought to the child;
and that was the thing that God made to endure,
the thing that preserved us from guile.
But children are free in thought, not in will;
our paths by the world were then ruled,
and we all were then bound to wishers who wished
but the best; but some wishers are fools.
And now? We are grown; our wills are our own,
but our minds have no vision to see,
and dreams are all dreamed in the darkness alone
with a thought that is no longer free.
Now all of our graces are dollars and names,
all our worries are cold and mundane,
and words are just marks; no Pentecost flame
gives them power to brighten the brain.
But once all the marks were emblems of truths,
like a language the world itself spoke,
and once we saw through the thing to the Thought
that the angels in morning invoked.
And Susan was there; her eyes were our own,
but more gentle, like soft summer sea.
She was crowned in bright gold, and on her fair throne
she was utterly, perfectly free.
And Susan saw through the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all.
She passed through the door, with the darkness she fought,
and her horn with salvation would call.
But now? No sign can capture of her
in the realms of the Upward and In;
of Susan the dryads still carry no word
of the paths where her footsteps have been.
But you and I went in days long ago
on this path of the burden of men,
and a Susan behind this face that I know
in the mirror reminds of my sins,
how I, who had seen past the thing to the Thought
in the Mind of the Maker of all
and felt the desire for goodness from God
(to which all this creation still calls),
now toil in the dust from which we all came,
with dark sweat and the thorns in my side,
and slave for a mark made of gold from which comes
the only freedom in which I can pride.
And you, once when you with suddenness wept --
in your face I saw Susan return.
Her sadness was there, and tears in the depths
that are liquid, but nonetheless burn.
As Susan is lost, so we too are lost,
and her loss is the loss that we bear.
But even Susan may yet find the pearl of great cost
and a chance beyond courage to dare,
to see through the thing to the glorious Word
that is spoken by He who made all;
and the horn of salvation may someday be heard
as Susan sounds out the great call!

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