word was squeezed out like a drop
of ointment, a single spot
in the desert, or the first tiny crack
in the fault before an earthquake; the word was
barely audible, but in the hollow
of our hearts it echoed, and the echo grew
sound that made the whole world
stop its ears in case its ringing should crack
glazing of our self-satisfaction and into
our earthen vessels pour its treasure. The word
like a visitation of angels,
its bright light scattering the thin
our achievements that we graze
so carefully in high, unfriendly pastures.
into our earthen vessels pour its treasure cf 2 Corinthians 4:7 (Authorised Version: the NIV calls them “jars of clay”).
the thin flocks of our achievements The metaphor is of the shepherds at Bethlehem, the story of which is the basis of Sonnet 30 following.