This is the sort of book we like
(For you and I are very small),
With pictures stuck in anyhow,
And hardly any words at all.
You will not understand a word
Of all the words, including mine;
Never you trouble; you can see,
And all directness is divine—
Stand up and keep your childishness:
Read all the pedants’ screeds and strictures;
But don’t believe in anything
That can’t be told in coloured pictures.
(Words inscribed on the opening page of an illustrated children’s book by Randolph Caldecott that G.K. Chesterton presented to a young friend)
I”ve fallen out of love with him; this band”s become a fetter
A quick glance back, the thought emerged
I could have done much better
Deferring hopes became as dust and settled round her soul
Shadows stretched by sinking lights collapsed into the whole.
And then one morn a sunbeam danced and flashed the gloom apart
A peak was glimpsed, its hoarfrost head
etched pangs across her heart
God”s love”s a furnace and the sparks that fly aren”t all the pleasant kind
The dross that burns to make us whole, the lees drawn from the wine.
And then she saw the man again, the man who”d one day be
Glory shot through all about
transfigured by a tree
And love reborn her breast did quake as greater light did shine
and then a greater thought emerged, so sharp and clear and fine
I”ve fallen into love with Him – or rather His love”s won
As “I will make” knelt down to take
a side to form the one
Who”d take the man and help him be the one like no one other
a brother to her sister moon, a father to the mother.
(This poem was inspired by – and speaks to – a number of things. I”ve been thinking a lot about love and marriage ever since I started studying the various issues surrounding the normalization of homosexuality and the war on Biblical marriage and gender identity. I”ve also watched as the marriages of some long-time friends have either collapsed or gone through some very rough times. Then my second son, Jared, got married. I wanted to remind him and his young bride, Tulane, how fickle human emotions can be and how easy it is to drift – unless the love of God and the anchor of the Holy Spirit”s presence burns hot in our hearts. Finally, like all marriages, the one in this poem speaks to the ultimate marriage between Christ and His bride. One reason I chose the woman to have the unfaithful heart is because each of us is that woman in our relationship with our Bridegroom and Kinsman Redeemer. May His love draw us unto Him that we can rise up with wings as as eagles and – as the moon to the Sun/Son – more faithfully reflect the light of His glory and love. Eric)
and beholds things as they are.
With singled eye, her form grows bright,
moon-bride to the Morning Star.
No glory hers, no image fine
without the Bridegroom’s light.
As cross the sky He runs His course,
burning towards His wedding night.
When she’s complete, each cell in place
from darkened sea is called
The land, the garden, each living stone
quarried from the first man’s fall.
From days of old, with love-light lost
the best that she could know
Were shadows, outlines, fading forms
what glory’s left…mere afterglow.
But now is drawn from Adam’s side,
pierced by death and angry sword,
Water, blood and new Eve bride
conceived by love and shaped by Word.
An angled mirror, her true love’s light
in to the darkness spreads
A foreglow now that rules the night
as little leaven shapes the bread.
What an explosion would unsky the world and rock the bones of men into little white fragments if the veil were lifted and Truth’s fulness revealed. Only a new creation and a new type of man can stand – more embrace – its measureless weight and glory.
Adapted from ROBINSON JEFFERS, “The Silent Shepherds”