Friday, January 16, 2009

A Voice in the Wilderness

Somewhere a voice calls out
Just beyond hearing.
Birds twitter and rise from their roosts.
Leaves of grass flutter and flatten under foot,
As residents rush to below ground homes.
I see it all as I run, holding the pain in my side.
Too late.

Here. Is this the Holy Land where the voice was heard?
Was it a cry or was it a murmur?
Only air in motion or filling all with meaning?
I wait, sitting here beneith the tree whose leaves have heard,
Pressed against the bark, listening with ears and fingers.
Did I hear? Was it a voice of love or hope?

In the city are many sounds at all the hours.
The silence in spaces beacons loudly.
I lie in an empty moment holding tight to the memory
Of when the voice was nearer — ah, youth.
Babies cry, engines roar, lovers whisper in the dark
Just beyond hearing, but the echo lingers.
— Oscar Handler, “A Bevy of Lies”, 1938

Here is how it is expressed in Psalm 50:1-5:

The Mighty One, G_d the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
G_d shines forth.

Out G_d comes, he does not keep silence.
Before him is a devouring fire
round about him a mighty tempest.

He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth ...
"Gather to me my faithful ones...."

No comments: