The First Second
Let’s take a second, not just any one,
But the first second in the universe,
When everything was sorted as is now,
The start of being – quarks, innumerable,
Explosion edged space, full, outward bound,
Irregular to prefix nebulae,
And form the vastest galaxies,
You face the God, Creator of this show,
The big and small, and not on the outside,
A million times more clever than all science.
Then, God will meld particularities,
For heavy atoms, complex molecules,
And you, his creature thinking after him.
So, treasure now this second given you.
And so you took some thirteen billion years.
The micro-macro bang was exquisite.
Your word of power was soon particulate
To hold it all in being, gathering,
To galaxies and endless growing space,
and then you needed supernova waste
for heavy elements, and later sun
and earth, and carbon life and complex cells,
and DNA and multi-billion codes,
a little gold sparse scattered from the sky,
and butterflies, and dinosaurs, and mice
and Weddell seals and sooty albatross,
and men and women, giving back some praise
for your creation given us in love.
To see with holy sight each gift of God
can happen only when my ego’s gone.
A shallow self is grafted to my eye;
I see the world through mirrors which reflect
Back vanity, out angled stereotypes,
A hall of mirrors, pride distorting all.
The shaving image holds me in its grasp.
No smashing free, but to be seen through God,
Creature of millions, yet with numbered hairs,
No outward view, but loved with visage marred.
So, darkened, face each detail of the world
crafted by God, not other than it is,
and gasp in awe creation is so good,
so blind my normal use of human sight.
Here, now, the Spring sprung glory of God’s year,
Reverse explosion from the bombing bud,
Each leaf exhaling new born oxygen,
Unpackaged to fragility in air.
Trees turn to green from amber, blossom white,
To go another ring unseen in trunk
From roots frenetic to the highest bough.
The precious metal green of spreading oak
Sits by the black knob ash, all fiddly now
Before the mass of leaves takes over May.
Green see acoming, every tree in specks.
What is the point of growing? Every point
Now points to God, to grow to God. You feed
For faith true, living, lime and it is so.
Behind Snape Maltings
Cathedral sky vaults over flat salt marsh,
not dark, but eye-hurt grey, rebuilt each hour.
Endless shard reeds change places, back again,
light headed totter from the coming shower.
Breathe wind, and stir the grasses’ frequencies
in holy exhalation of pure praise.
Hiss hymns, slide dunlin, quiver drops off leaves;
make distant river water glitter craze.
Stand, swallow, undecided on your tail.
Peel off, you screaming swifts and slash the glare.
Flap out, sad heron, beaten by the wind.
Wheel, seagulls, and find liquid in the air.
Behind: Snape Maltings. Wild applause before,
performers clapping, always God’s encore.