Elegy for the Baptist

    Dance for us, oh Lord
Step sprightly on the earth you wrought
    Lift your hands to the stars
To the lights you spread in the firmament
    Gird your loins and leap
Rise up to the tops of the trees you named
    Above the oaks of Mamre
Over the crowns of towering Lebanese cedar

    Sing for us, mighty one
Lift your voice in an ancient stately tune
    Let your harmonies swell
Like songbird and raptor trilling as one
    May your low notes roll
Thunder crashing as waves burst upon stone
    Accompanied by your instruments
By rain and wind, infant’s laugh and mother’s cry

    Sing for us, Jehovah
Sing for us
    By no means sing for yourself
Omit your primeval tune
    Speak not through angels
Who shine too bright
    Nor through prophets
For they offend

    Yes, dance for us, God
Sway like reeds in the Jordan’s marsh
    Move for us as we expect
And do not surprise us in the very least
    Follow our lead, master
Please us as we please ourselves
    In no wise be extraordinary
For the word is so hard to spell

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
This entry was posted in Poetry, The Gospel According to Peter. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Elegy for the Baptist

  1. Greg Wright says:

    From Luke 7 / Matthew 11.

    From my notes while working on this poem: “It’s natural to go down to the Jordan and see reeds blow in the wind. John the Baptist was not natural. We may find wonder in a Malick-like fascination with the natural and the mundane; but what really makes the landscape come alive? We long for the extraordinary, but then mistrust it when we find it… because it does not ‘belong’ in the picture.”

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