13 October 2019

III. Stars in the Universe

For Wes and Bailey
Here in Nashville, city lights dim the stars,
Edison’s electrical artifice
Obscuring the breathtaking grandeur
Of promises made a long time ago,
Sealed by galaxies far, far away.

Nonetheless, an unfathomable host 
Of unflinchingly faithful stars
Still testifies in silence,
If you know where to look
And how to see.

Try an Ozark hillside
On a clear winter night
When the moon has waned away
To nearly nothing
And inside a warm delivery room,
Strong and gentle hands
Comfort, uphold, protect, 
And tenderly birth into the world
A bloody, squirming, squealing miracle.

Or try the red-dust high desert
Of Navajo country, 
Where a man runs alone
From mesa to mesa, contemplating
His next idea for bending, shaping
Lifeless wood into a living, singing
Thing of beauty, 
Another weapon in the war he wages 
Against damnable darkness.

And if you still can’t see the stars
Go to an inviting space
Amid a crowd of strangers
Who feel like ancient kin
And listen to the songs of a man
Playing on a 12-string guitar
Songs of life and loveliness 
Wrested from the very maw of death.
(And be sure to have a piece 
Of sweet, tart, mouth-melting apple pie
If you can bring yourself to cut into
Its intricately adorned crust.)

Watch the stars carefully while you can,
For they all inevitably fade into obscurity...
But not forever.
Some glad morning, we'll see their glory
Born anew, as the elder stars foretold
When first they flooded light and life
Into our crooked, hurting world.

1 comment:

Doug said...

How many gifted songwriters/poets are in your family? I'm up to realizing of three now.