Love IV

In honor of Dr. Richard L. Caulkins and with apologies to George Herbert


They sit, men such as I,
In the glory of His presence,
Partaking of His feast.
I linger in the darkness
Gazing unsteadily in.
The Master stands beside me
Brushing snow from us both.

“Come in,” He urges.
“Your chair is empty, waiting.”
Once more I shake my head.
“I have seen this place before, Lord,
And it is not for me.”
“You have seen the halls of men.
But, child, this is My hall,
And I say to you, come in.”

I turn slowly from the golden hall
And stumble into the night,
Driven by distrust and unbelief.
But step for step the Master
Walks away with me,
Brushing the snow from us both.


There are no bitter herbs, dipped in salt water
Tears and hardships are shunned, not remembered
There is no lamb on a platter.
Blood symbolizes war not sacrifice.
No thought of death outside the door
Held back by a promise of redemption
No though for any miracle
From the deliverance of a nation to life itself.
Elijah wanders though the dark
Finding closed door after closed door,
Wondering why this night is no different than any other.


Death and redemption
Wander through literature
Hand in hand.
The war of life never won
Until a man dies well,
Sword in hand,
Baptized in blood,
Finding his way
To the hall of his Father.


Perhaps there is more in Beowulf
That is lost to a modern audience
Than the opening cry of Hwaet!
Meade halls and swords
Find an echo in ancestral memories,
And a desire for glory, power, and wealth
Is the steady beat
Our modern song is sung to.
But there is an older tune,
A mix of pagan splendor
And the riot of new found faith
That soars to a gracenote
Unheard by ears used to a harsher melody.
The song of a servant prince
Of a compassionate warrior
As lost to us as our own language.


He took the bread and broke it.
He poured the wine and blessed it.
This is My body; this is My blood.

He poured the water and made it wine.
He took the fish and multiplied.
Take and eat; it is given for you.

He took the dust and made it flesh.
He poured His breath and made it life.
Drink from it, all of you.

He poured the ink and blessed it.
He took the paper and said to write.
This is My body; this is My blood.

Do this in remembrance of Me.