word speaks into darkness
before the start of time (though darkness
makes no sense when light's not yet created,
and couldn't be before with time unmade).
The word is the maker making. When it speaks
it says order, sacred equations that
Einstein and Bohr will one day climb
the Sinai of science to receive,
and with it energy, the birth of stuff,
a blowout in the factory of quarks
and Higgses’ and who knows who else’s bosons,
a mess of mass spun into suns and planets
at last deoxyribonucleic
the lovely Lego bricks of life. It's all good,
in a too-hot-to-touch, tumultuous
kind of way, but what it really means
is love, which is what the maker's mostly made of,
and nothing is loved at speed. By the 4.8
thousand billionth day of creation, give or take,
something has emerged which can look up
to the skies it came
from and ask not only
how but why. It is lovable, the maker knows,
but it is troubled and will always die:
space-time's the working out of entropy,
a stage set for
compassion, the context
of the great experiment of transformation—
and so they make their entrance, having known
always that love would be embodied here.
The being born in Palestine is not
for human comprehension—two
natures that cannot be reconciled
and a double paradox, a free god
by their inherent character
to do what an immortal cannot do
and die for their beloved. From Bethlehem
the road never went back to Eden—
this was no Plan B
a ruined playground of perfection,
but the primary agenda of a love
unsatisfied until it's wholly spent.
Love went on by way
extinguished at the intersection of
eternity with existential rage,
its shroud shed like a chrysalis to birth
a kingdom of forgotten things
brought back into the light. It goes on still
through Pentecost to Revelation's glimpse
of heaven and earth renewed, and in between
and the king of glory walks
their most unlikely incarnation—us,
their body now, in via dolorosa,
the word made flesh, redeemed by Love to love.
for the carol service
("Out of darkness") at
The phrase nothing is loved at speed is adapted from a prayer written by the cartoonist Michael Leunig. I have used it in another poem, and make no apology for using it again here as it is a great way of expressing this truth.
4.8 thousand billion is an approximation of the number of days from the Big Bang to the emergence of hominids on earth. If you find my arithmetic faulty please let me know.
Deoxyribonucleic acid is DNA.
via dolorosa ("Way of Sorrows") is the road in Jerusalem along which Christ is said to have carried his cross to Golgolta ("skull" in Aramaic) where he was reportedly crucified. The more common name Calvary is derived from the Latin Calvariae Locus, "place of the skull".
Typical performance time: 2 minutes 30 seconds.
© Godfrey Rust 2013-2020, email@example.com. See here for permissions.