He said, write down the vision
that you had,
and I wrote what I saw.
I saw the world
kissing its own darkness.
It happened thus:
I rose to meet the sunrise
and suddenly over the hill
a horde appeared
dragging a huge tarpaulin.
They covered unwary land
and hapless city
and all sweet water
And there was no sunrise.
I strained my eyes for a path
and there was no path.
I bumped into trees and the bushes hissed at me,
and the long-armed brambles cried in a strident voice:
never through here!
But I struggled on, fumbling my beads of no.
I came to a dark city where nobody knew
that there was darkness.
And strange! though there was no light I still coud see
what I did not want to see:
people who moved to the loveless embrace of folly.
They ate her gourmet foods; they drank her wine,
danced to her music that was crazed with rhythm,
were themselves discord though they knew it not,
or if they knew, cared less.
Outside the city wall I stood in thought,
parried a moment with a frieghtening urge
to court the darkness;
but I held back, fearing the face of love.
Crossing a field I wandered through a desert
when suddenly behind a rock I found
a little sagebrush where a fire was burning,
shining and dancing. After my first amazed
worship of silence I was loud with praise.
I watched with fear the darkness circling it.
lunging against it, swirling a black cloak
to suffocate the light,
until the shades broke loose and one by one
in terror fled.
The flame burned on, innocent, unimperiled.
There was no darkness that could put it out.
-- Jessica Powers, aka Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD