Master of energy and silence Embracer of contradictions Who withdraws behind death Like horizons we never touch Who can be One and Many Like light refracting through glass,
Stepping in and out of logic Like a child unsure of the sea In and out of time Like an old man dozing, waking, In and out of history Like a needle through cloth,
Who we chase and bother with theories Who hides in equations and wind Who is constant as the speed of light Who stretches over the Empty Place Who hangs the Earth upon Nothing Who strikes like lightning.
Master of Light, my God, Before whom stars tremble And fall into themselves,
Who glows within each thing Beyond reach of language And deeper than silence,
Who passes through the Dark That draws us towards death And makes it one with you,
Whose Light is everywhere Wherein I stand and see My shadow disappear.
You do not speak to me of death. You do not pester me, like some.
Far too busy with the universe, Sometimes not busy enough,
Searching out your softer parts, Trying to squeeze yourself in:
Showing off your famous night sky Like a child with a new drawing,
Forever posing impossible problems We try to solve like crosswords:
So when I wake and see the ceiling Mottled like an old man's skin
I think of you, When I imagine the grinning dead
I think of you, And also when, at night,
I sometimes wake to find A hand slowly stroking my thigh.
from Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poetry ed. David Craig and Janet McCann (Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2000) p. 57-8