Friday, February 09, 2007

Gathering (a poem)

Stand in Notre Dame Cathedral if you like, or Westminster—
windows cast brilliant Mondrians on the floor,
though I prefer Sacre Coeur, a small, dark place
where light springs from circular portals,
convincing everyone that glowing is the beginning of beauty.

We are mere shards of a colored pane—
not dropped exactly, yet broken.
A dirtied mirror, even when pointed at the sky,
reflects light only poorly. Who can see it? We
do not believe in bad luck, but certainly in evil.
You ask how one becomes many
on its own. A troubling question:
How did the first cell divide?

John recorded the beginning: be one, even as We are.
East and West shout across a frozen lake;
ears strained from such a distance:
"We will tell you where Spirit comes from."
The stained glass window cracks—then fractures,
nail pounded into door, sword into flesh.
Corruption petitions the night for indulgence—
the king is sharpening his axe!
"I will marry whomever I want."
We scream and scream, and, and, and, and:
"We do not like the way you paint or sing."

Glass bits fly out to sea-worthies,
cross into an experimental world, settle into the dust—
we prefer our secluded corners and cracks.
Convenience has created multicolored grains of sand—
coming soon to a beach near you! Sing praise!

I have taken to washing windows on the sides of skyscrapers—
hoping that one day, after removing the stain of grime,
the stain of colored glass will be revealed.
Though they reach toward Heaven, they are not
another of Cana’s wonders. Still—
set aside the best till now—imagine
reflections from a building made all of glowing windows.

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