Dawn on the Baca
Mist-drenched mountains stand patient
and ever-green but for snow bursting
bomb-like off their white caps, frosted
ice-dust mingling with wind-driven clouds.
Wild grasses bend beige beneath winter’s
last gust, and skeletal aspens shiver. But
bright birds sway confident in high boughs,
deliver warm morning song, defy a chance of flurries,
dance on fragrant twigs of cold desert
sage, welcoming back certain spring
even as scant rain freezes before it drops
onto awakening earth and waits to seep in.
on God Measuring the World with a Compass
~ from a moralized Bible, c. 1250, Vienna
Back bent, as if the weight of the world He created
is somehow unexpected, he steadies the tumultuous orb
with one deft hand. His other wields a compass
with delicate dexterity, his eyes following
the arc of the edge of the world. He does all the math
in his head, double-checking his efforts
from that first busy week. He knows the numbers work,
but, like any carpenter worth his salt, he also knows it’s better
to measure twice and cut once. One wrong move
could deface the whole damned thing. He braces Himself
as he works, placing his foot decidedly outside the frame.
When he’s finished measuring, he’ll grip the firmament
with his bare toes, getting ready to push, to roll us, clinging
tenuously to our little precious earth, back into play,
and then to stand up straight and breathe slowly out again.