November 3, 2016

A Symphony for the Hills, the Valleys, the High Places of the Earth, and the Crusher of Snake-heads

To the chief musician.

The earth collects the first of its orchestra from the harmonies of streams,
rushes and reeds accompanying one another as water cascades
cadential over ledges, accepting the blood of the lamb and
running red, turned to wine. It cascades and cadences in praise

of the power to render motionless suns, to split the seas,
to calm the crescendos of waves and wither fruitless figs.
Now others must join the number, to sing, to bow:
Trees with clapping branches rise, and branches catch,

catch one another, spruce and maple, form hollows to hold
the great chorus of marching poplars plucked like strings and
bowed by mighty rushing winds. Canyons and crevices bend
in river-cut valves and gravelly tubes, resonating with

the breath of God, the breath of storms, soothing
the rocks that spit water and the shrubs that burn unburnt.
In the sky, pillars of consuming fire confined to webs
of electric streak, making the valleys to reverberate as

the deepest drums, and the fire falls to fell the cedars, high
and lifted up no longer. From the cedars felled drips
heaven-bled rain, to heal the land and clothe the grass,
steady and soft, pattering as light-pressed keys 

in lilting arpeggios,
while all else rests:
a still small voice.

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