Friday, May 13, 2011
A tree is a banner,
each leaf a flag,
a standard bornewith bud upon root
and grace upon grace,
the Spirit that seeps into the ground
to make things grow: the light, the heat
that makes you new
makes every breath a love song and
the stars cry glory and
a baby's laughter echo across the universe,
thunder in a bluebell,
soul in the dark,
a grave in the sky;
tells your eyes what your heart's been missing.
*The title of this poem was inspired by a prayer from Saint Augustine called "The Beauty of Creation Bears Witness to God." This is the prayer:
Question the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the sea, the beauty of the wide air around you, the beauty of the sky; question the order of the stars, the sun whose brightness lights the days, the moon whose splendor softens the gloom of night; question the living creatures that move in the waters, that roam upon the earth, that fly through the air; the spirit that lies hidden, the matter that is manifest; the visible things that are ruled, the invisible things that rule them; question all these. They will answer you: "Behold and see, we are beautiful." Their beauty is their confession to God. Who made these beautiful changing things, if not one who is beautiful and changeth not?
The poem itself was inspired by Psalm 19:1 ("The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands."), Romans 1:20 ("For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."), and a really, really big tree that I saw the other day.