Covetous crystals cover my pane,
needling out like evergreen branches,
longing to be what their brothers cover.
Melting heat of inward flame:
anything but this,
anywhere but here.
to lose longing,
they would not be happy
(they will never be happy),
but they would be.
Yet, this they are.
Otherwise is no option.
Anything is everything.
Anywhere is everywhere.
With heat comes light:
essence of flame in crystal.
I must confess that I have been hitherto unfamiliar with the poetry of William Wordsworth, but my mind was blown this morning as I came across this passage of his, quoted by Karen Armstrong in The Case for God. It quite simply set my heart on fire. I would point to poetry like this if someone asked me to give my definition of the term “God”:
…I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things.
I don’t have a reason for posting this picture. I just found online somewhere in recent months and I like it. It speaks to me of the presence of the divine (Matthew Fox might say “Cosmic Christ”) in all corners of the universe, even in the deepest parts of the Earth. I see it as a blessing. May it be so.
As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once said, “Christ plays in ten thousand places”.
Aw, what the heck, I’ll just go ahead and post the whole poem:
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.