The Power and the Glory
We flow into this world in a river of tears
Over whitewater rapids of fury and pain
As though dragged from our home, now a memory’s glimpse
That floats on the surface, breaks the skin, and then sinks.
And thus we dive into a long-dead sea,
Or so it seems despite the blinding light—
But cold, so cold, it bathes our naked flesh,
It flushes out our newborn innocence.
And yet our eyes are cleansed and truly see
Until the bitter waters of this timeless sea
Of mortal blood collect like cataracts, and years
Occlude in filmy, salty, stagnant tears.
So how can vision ever penetrate
The blinds upon our senses sealed and shut?
Or hope? What hope can warm the darkened hearth
That chills within our chest and gathers dust?
The vision fades. The womb becomes a tomb.
The endless Earth seems but a coffin’s core,
From mountaintop to valley, buried all
Within a claustrophobic, airless, shrinking space.
But breathe, just breathe the air, expand these lungs
That fill to feel what freedom might remain
For angel-minded beings bound in human skins,
For birds at heart who walk with crippled wings.
“Awake! arise! or sleep and farther fall!”
Each breath and burst of heart commands and begs—
But have we sense enough to hear and to believe
What every thrilling nerve and sinew sings
In every second always vibrating
With every other one in wondrous harmony?
For all the darts that seem to pierce our hearts with death
Are yet the pricks of hungry bumblebees
That enter in our blooms and work the spell
That fructifies another season’s miracle.
The atmosphere that shuts us in and holds
Our field of vision to the stark horizon’s edge
Is yet the greenhouse that allows our shoots
To grow protected from the wintry night beyond.
And the power of life is a heart that is broken
As the world shimmers softly when seen through our tears,
And the glory of life is a heart filled to bursting
As the world shimmers sweetly when washed with our tears.