For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. — Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”
There ought not to be anything but that my mind has ordered it so —
So I had been taught — for the mind is designer
Reality but the by-blow, bastard child that diminishes as I diminish
But that the Emperor of Ice-Cream has clay feet
Which stand on eternity’s threshold eyeing a feast.
There the bread and wine of Thy design
Grain and grape sweetly lies upon the tongue
To “taste and see the goodness of the LORD”
Yet nothing tasting if not sanctified by Thy Word
Blood spilled and body broken
Spoken gospel of love heard by a few
Who once nothing being are born in You
Till nothing become sons and daughters
Alive to You.
Laura at dVerse asks us to address paradox as a matter for today’s “Poetics” prompt, including using as a starting point and/or epigraph the above Wallace Stevens quotation. Click on Mr. Linky for more and join in!
Dyma gariad fel y moroedd (Here is love vast as the ocean)
Welsh hymn by William Rees; Translator, William Edwards
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten,
throughout heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.
Awakened to an eerie self-examination of the soul
on the steel-cold surface under surgically precise lights
unentombing cancers, contagion-carrying arteries, dismembered
corruption to the dispassionate gaze of an Enemy brooding,
Still sweating under the administered fumes seeping
through pores, guilt-driven language of parents driven
from home to carnage of children preying on children, warfare
of wretched depravity in the eyes of a man, a woman seething,
Cannot speak, cannot hear, cannot see, cannot feel anything
but the weight of irreversible fate, the darts of the Enemy
injections of delirious oblivion only to awaken to endless night
where no refuge lies from grief and fear and the hate pursuing,
Helpless, my tongue dry, the light dims, darkness closes in,
but a voice is heard, a minister to prophesy over the bitter
collocation of bones, unholy, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”-
prophesy!- in the body and the blood a Life that is not mine breathes,
The lamb has yet to lay down with the lion
There is no peace in any day and age
Look beyond your walls! Can you not see
Enemies at the gates, barbarians rising
To receive as their bounty your life,
Your fortune, your freedom denied?
So cries one, and still another rages,
Voices of confusion and calamity.
Where will you go, with whom will you struggle
To find the security you seek within your walls
Where disease and misfortune and betrayal
Lurk at corners beyond your control?
Life in all its disarray where even within your soul
The enemy lurks to cause you to despair when hope
Seems all but lost, meaning all but gone, love
All but illusion – Where then to find the truth
That sets free? Who the author and the champion?
Who the founder and the deliverer – but God?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
A weary journey, a wakeful night,
They left their camp before daylight
An old man carrying the weight of years
Wrinkled cheeks wet with tears
At hearing the young boy at his side
Prattle on with childish pride
That he alone had been chosen
To help his father on this mission.
It’s not so difficult to believe that God, the Creator of the universe, sings. After all, he made so many creatures that can sing including humans (to varying degrees), birds, crickets, wolves, frogs, dolphins, yes, even mice!
There is singing in all of creation in one form or another, the sounds of nature in the air, earth, and sea. There are those who have believed in the singing of the stars, the music of the spheres as they move about it space.