Poem 80

As if carrying over from the previous poem our words are made to seem futile next to His boundlessness. But we still have figures, figures in the nature of symbols, symbols which figure forth His majesty and beauty.

We have no way of sounding the depths of Is-ness of Him,
We have no way of measuring the extent of His divine whim.

(‘sounding’ here can mean both measuring depth and speaking.)

He has given us figures such as an ocean without a shore,
To try and stretch our hearts, lever open our sleepy eyelids a notch more.

Great physical images of our sleepy state; we are too busy basking on surfaces full of greed and vanity. The humour keeps it from being preachy.

Gorged on seafood (cannibalism) we cannot listen;
All we can do is climb on a wavecrest and glisten.

Male-glisten and female-glisten with greater or lesser reflection.
Take away the bubble, and the drop loses its attraction.

Those bubbles are always popping and losing their charm. We are in a fish-eats-fish world here. However He still comes to us at a deeper level of consciousness in the symbols of our dreams.

He has given us figures, woven them into the fabric of our dream.
Sometimes in the deep night when the sea is quiet they fitfully gleam.

I think of the star-stiches on His beautiful dark blue coat –
And His Isness, while still incalculable, is not remote.

As in Poem 1 the figure of the night sky in its beauty is capable of relating us to His immeasurability. Only in quiet can we feel this link. So the opening stanza’s bleakness is now qualified.

He has given us figures – but more than that, the lustre of His eyes
To dream upon and establish the planes of a New Paradise.

The poem culminates with the assertion that among all the evidences and symbols of the Divine beauty the God-Man’s incarnation is the key to passing beyond the gross plane of the senses, of entering the Kingdom of God. This is the dream of reality.

Even a simple poem like this remains so fresh in its immediacy and in its avoidance of all didactic clichés. As usual the poet puts his own difficulties in, making the poem a shared experience and discovery. We recognize, we share, we participate. This is the engagement which poetry provides.