Waiting for the Most Extreme Home Makeover

Sept. 26, 2010

Bus driver, move that bus! We want to see

the rooms You’ve been preparing just for us,

Your temples rebuilt incorruptibly,

impenetrable to thieves, immune to rust.

So long we’ve lived in homes in disrepair,

inheriting fixer-uppers far too small.

We broke the windows, pried off the topmost stair.

Our childhood crayon-marks still stain the wall.

Why did You ever move in and share our space;

mend, plumb, repaint what might be well condemned;

leave the Spirit, a deposit of our place

in Your new city – perfect and without end?

The engine will roar – the wheels will roll away –

the twinkling of an eye, and we’ll be home to stay.


The Dawn Treader: The Last Sea

Dunk down the draught of light, and watch the sun

rise five times bigger, brighter on the sea—

nothing but light for fathoms. Ripples run

between white lilies floating silently.

The sweetness flows past open lips and fills

the stomach with some substance real as bread.

Here near the world’s end I can see the hills

reel without end to the sun where noon is spread

and spilled to mortal eyes. Light-water clears

my vision to admit more light, and more.

More swell desires to see these bright frontiers

and Aslan, lion-lamb, to touch the shore

and feel the light-grown grass between my toes

by ocean-light and mountains without snows.

Egyptian Pyramids

Egyptian pyramids — what can I say
of them, symbols of slavery and death
and slavery to death? All things decay —
in molecules and memories and breath.
We mummify the flesh or crush the bones
under the blocks – the person’s gone away,
no more to sleep in gutters or sit on thrones,
souls slumbering until the shaking day.
The elements will melt, and men will know
equality of sin and lift of grace.
Is heaven level? Even here below
kings read their vices in a servant’s face.
What shock when slaves and monarchs reunite!
The only One high will claim their service right.

For Hugo 2004

A Catholic Adventist, you hang between

two very different faiths. You must decide.

You love the chanting, prayers at eventide

and go to mass and study with your keen

and probing mind each lesson you can glean

from catechism. Protestants defied

Rome’s right to be our first spiritual guide.

Christ is our vicar, and we have no queen.

You see this and the place that Sabbath takes

but also see the richness of the saints.

Tolkien and Pope and Thompson, Hopkins stood

for faith creative. Mystery awakes.

It sleeps in our brown churches ’til complaints

carve Catholic wonder in Adventist wood.