I wrote this poem as part of a sequence of alliterative takes on some of the individual Psalms (Psalms 1-6) that I wrote between 1997 and 2000.
At least a wall might crack, crumble, weaken, fall,Tumble, overturned by roots, rain, wind and weather.At least the hail that blasts fields bare might falter, fail,Till roar rattles, patters, pitters, melts midair.But ah! Your anger, Lord, lasts longer than my bones can bear!
How long? Relent! In mercy mend me, for my spirit, spentFaints as a fire's embers glowing go to ash.How long? Return! Restore me, stir me, blow me brightWith love released! Come brand hope's blessing as a brilliant coalWhose mark remains forever, whose burning makes me whole.
Is death then my destination? Plummet, pell-mell expiration?The grave may be good for headstone silence, but I never knewIts plots to sing your praises, God! What glory does it bringThat my bed's an abyss, that my sheets like shrouds tossed in storm-tumultAre slick with sweat? Must I weep forever? Will you hear me yet?
And yet He hears echoes crying heaven's tearsLike rain running free down face of gaunt graniteWhich it softens into soil. Just so God's grace like an aromatic oilConfounds its fragrance with the sorrows that it soothes. Begone! You lieWho mock and scoff at God, for Heaven hears my cryAnd answers every echo that proceeds against the sky.