St. Paul Testing Everything (Rom 8; 1 Thes 5:16–21)

—Judy Little

                        Nor height nor depth nor God

himself at ragged islands, close horizons

                        cloud-packed and crawling

with storms, and all sails at thunder gone sky

to sky, tall wavecrest over stormboat over

                        star by star tumbling

 

                        to light-shatter, the whole

sky down and rolling shoreward in full timewreck,

                        ever can separate

                        God from love or danger

of trial by wilderness, nor mountain called

or mountain stumbling off the deep fire-rock

                        at root and sliding

 

                        into the sea, nor hazard

from creation itself at prayer, all traveling

                        volcanoes in voice, tidal

caverns looming and song-fired, even angels

                        who slip an edge in word-wise—

Always test the spirits at large or daily

                        song-sudden, sing timewords

 

                        in tongues and full songplay

when heart-choired happensong seedfire to glory

                        is God’s desiring

                        and songcrest can roll shoreward

love at voice, and audible edge and breaking

our timedust, rejoicing at still or startle,

                        heartword close as God.

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