14 March 2011

A Prayerful Poem in the Wake of an Earthquake

Listening to the shaking foundations by John Howell

The mountain's eyelids are closed with cloud;
snow etching its face with a moko;
a chiseling winter mirrored in the lake's lips;
layers of landscape stacked on the horizon.

The earth cracks and fissures,

like teeth grating in its jaw's vice,
squeezing the rim of a broken plate
while the land shivers with grief.

Treating nature as a commodity is folly;
Richter scales a different mountain.
A shaking foundation is a fragile dwelling place -
travel light through the place we call home.

Go and stand on the mountain.
It is time to dance to a different tune
to listen to the sound of sheer silence,
and songs of the suffering servant.

Creator God,
Tune my ears to the voice within,
that sings your evolving power.
Place my feet in the cosmic dust,
grounding your regal design.
Fill my heart with humility
to find my place in a community of wonder,
kneeling beside the Holy One, Amen.

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