01 January 2011

January Poem of the Month

Preaching Power
For my pastor, whose sermons we missed for three weeks

The Word stands dusty on a corner shelf,
Cobwebbed with worry, feathered with the soft
Gray stuff that gathers through unreading years,
Its binding nibbled by some modern moth.

And then you take it down. You dust it off
And all the mould of higher criticism
Flicks in dried-out flakes and whispers free
And briefly bears away my cynicism.

For those moments when you mouth the Word—
Rustle its leaves with laughter, color in
The black-and-white type wit the hues of light—
My mental spiders, freed from mortal sin
Dance in the live, dry air of Palestine.
And then you close the Book, and it goes dead, till next time.

© 2010, Sørina Higgins. Do not use this work in any way without permission from the author.

1 comment:

Annelise Holwerda said...

We were like book worms, nibbling at the Word until it filled our bellies with fibre and nothing else (even in the silence). In our cocoons we were being reborn. Then we were moths, biting at the same pages and still hearing nothing. The light shines in the darkness, and the flickering flurescent library light attracts us instead.

Meanwhile, a reader by the window sits enthralled for hours.

"Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." Where is the philosopher moth who could fast and attain any mothic mystery?! Even in the burning of real light or the drowning of fragile powder-wings... "Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' No, the word is very near you..."

Such hope in being one of humanity, the race whose hearts God is softening and whose eyes He is opening ever- until glory. We who understand that the first and the last ache of love is the gaping question of trust- and the amazement, the closeness, when goodness deserves it! Among whom He dwells, in historical, all-filling and personal promises. It is hard. Moths can't read, and as to the most awesome things they are also the strangest. Yet He is true who gives us Himself :)

(Doubt and awe might thrive
together. Swiftly growing,

green in the earth
all wrestling
for bright daylight.
Stories limp profoundly
as they wade, towards
a second birth.)