On a forgotten summer night,
Among the fighting waves of humid heat,
I catch a glimpse of cold grey light,
In that moment summertime grows weak,
Glimpsed between the blinds in my sight,
The unseen snow beckons me.
Dart among the invisible leaves,
As the sunset races,
Tangerine skies cursed between,
The dying grasps of sapphire and wine,
We think we see,
Harbingers of night,
Beckoning the blind forerunners of dawn,
Flickering hope among rustling leaves,
Who sing simple harmonies,
Now only at first light,
We may see again,
And bid farewell,
to death’s fading cloak,
the diminishing gray of night.
I am fascinated by devotional books. Some of the oldest devotionals in the western Christian tradition were known as “Books of Hours”. Usually smaller than most books, they were exquisitely decorated with illustrations of scriptural scenes, depictions of the Virgin Mary, and art outlining the understanding and insights of medieval theology. If you see an illuminated manuscript these days, it’s probably taken from a Book of Hours.
There is a page from a mid 14th century Book of Hours which always catches my eye. It’s a depiction of the universe and all things between heaven and earth. What makes this illustration unique (particularly for this time in history) is how the artist conveyed Earth’s relationship to heaven. Earth is portrayed at the lowest and darkest point of the universe. At the top of the page, light from heaven, light from beyond our universe, streams down to illuminate the earth below. Earth isn’t the light filled center of the pre-Copernican universe. Languishing in layers of distorted darkness, light comes to the whole of creation from the epicenter of heaven. Somewhere in the Middle Ages someone wanted to be reminded that God’s light shines on everyone and that humanity’s relationship to God is one bathed in light, hope, and love.
Front Porch Poem
Wooden castle walls,
gardens of dust,
creeping fingers of green
to strangle the
While I await,
to the unseen,
round the corner,
beyond the light,
Broken Blue Sky Monday
I’m grateful the rain has stopped
the sky is broken, ripped, and torn
it needs no mending, it isn’t worn
the blue is breaking through the grey
at nine pm we start the day
Mary walks the dog with Mackenzie
her day has been the usual frenzy
the doorbell never ceases ringing
now I hear someone singing
Christmas carols in mid May
is this weird or a Monday?
Some of both, who can say
I wouldn’t miss this either way.
This is my posse, these are my peeps,
I live with my gang, this is for keeps.
Darkness rises on an Irish night
will all things be all right?
Behind the hedges, we will sleep
and our strangeness help us keep
safe until morning, rested till dawn
when our fears are safely gone.
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