NOW REJOICE: EXSULTET

This is the Light surrounding the smallness of the engendering explosion,
shining behind the sun, darkening the stars,
flashing in the lingering raindrop on the unfolding
olive leaf carried swift through the clearing sky,
glancing from the stone knife trembling
over the heart of the bound and plighted child,
pulling and driving the fretting dancing
slaves through the desert and the sea.

This is the night of trumpets sounding in the high places,
in the low places, waking the Earth  between,
every creature rising up, winging down
through the old darkness singing
one word, one word, one word.

The flaming sword is broken,
the tree of life spills her fruit into our open hands;
the life is poured out on the ground,
smeared on the door for ever.
The Watcher’s work is done.

This is the night Grandfather Adam rises
from his grave beneath the place of skulls,
he dances with Grandmother Eve in their garden.
We are remade with new breath and the dust of stars.
We dance together, all together
the dance of the bees and the flame.

This is the Light beckoning
from the doorway of the stable in the rock,
blazing fast and fierce through the gray places of all created time,
spilling red and warm from the cup He holds between His trembling hands,
dazzling and glittering around the tomb’s heavy seal
in the deepest night of Earth,
burning passageways in the dark:
one path for every soul.

A shorter version of this poem was published in the now-defunct magazine “The Other Side.”  It had been published in “The Living Church” earlier, but the editor of that did not even notify me of its publication–and would not give permission for republication without being credited.   “The Other Side” editor  considered that a justice issue–so she published it again.  I’m still grateful to her.  Interestingly enough, “The Other Side” is one of only two places I’ve been published that actually paid me.  The other was another radical Christian magazine.  Justice for poets!!!!

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