Friday, September 14, 2018

Three Poem Re-Drafts

The First Way of Saint Thomas Aquinas

The changed all around us is easy to see.
Unchanged by another no changed thing can be.
What is able to differ cannot be its own act;
it is only potential that another makes fact.
Can-change with a changer is actual change
and by changing of changers is order arranged.
Take the whole changing order, suppose it unmoved:
that's a change with no changer, and impossible proved.
Every series of changers, in an unchanged cause ends,
and from that first changer those changes descend.
But a first cause of change that nothing can change --
to call this cause 'God' is not at all strange.


"I do," said God. The Dove upon the sea
was baptizing creation with the wind,
and light burst forth, a promised liberty,
with streaming rays out to endless end;
then order, breath-like, filled each kind,
like covenant and contract forming law.
It echoed from out of eternal Mind
as dawning stars formed ranks of awe.
Reverberation gave to world a form;
the sun and moon were bright and clear
as fish and fowl rode waves of storm
and beasts began to growl with cheer.
The heart looked up with thought anew
and sallied back with words: "I do."


Speak to me, O Muse,
of the man of many turns,
who wandered over-far
when he had toppled holy Troy,
seeing the many cities
and learning the minds of many men,
enduring in his breast many woes,
reaching out to seize his own life
and the return of his companions.
Yet even so he did not save them,
for all the ardor of his desire --
they died in frenzy,
having eaten the oxen of Helios on high,
so that he took from them their return-day.
Of these things also,
from every source,
O goddess, daughter of Zeus, speak.

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