12/23/2013 08:37 am ET Updated Feb 22, 2014

From Peals of Light (a Christmas Poem)

"Peals of light" for the parishioners of St Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY and Dalienne Majors, especially:

For as long as we have feared
darkness and frigidity, spires
we erect have nosed upwards
we have stretched to reach to touch
the celestial concert of bodies,
ambulant and fixed, whether
arrayed in borrowed light
or radiating with interior fire.
galaxies dispense the luxury
that light is borne
on waves as it traverses
space and time that we might be
carried away with ourselves,
our senses all fullness, as we behold
and are moved to return
the favor, courtesy of
the choreography
of fingers on strings, we,
in our colossal ingenuity, attach
to sound frameworks of our own
design, as with lips and
larynxes animated by muscle
and soul, we unleash
song all in the service of desire
gifts, reciprocal. We emulate
with half-lame gestures, insufficient
and diffuse, dissolving into
air like smoke
ascending from a goat
on an altar --
as if God were open
to flattery for we know
it's the thought that counts
out the measure, that calls
the tune, the pig-headed divine
within us as we hammer away
like clappers in crowns,
attempting scaled-down versions
of whatever meager quotient of
splendor we might
manage to render out of
love like that
which moved the God of Genesis
to cure his own loneliness.

Read "Peals of Light" in its entirety at Eureka Street.