I went to a conference last week where I met a bunch of poets. I got to read a previous version of this poem for a group and got some feedback. Usually not the result of an editing session, but this poem has been expanded.
for Francis Quarles
A fourth dimension that’s much more than math,
And more than hypothetically true,
New Creation makes a walkable path
Through actual me and actual you,
Unveiled right here and now by Him who knew
How old things go, and look! — everything’s becoming new.
A feeling on the edge of what is known,
Approach and it’s receding from your speech;
The notes beyond the sung bowl’s silenced tone,
Which gather greatness just beyond your reach;
And yet we keep on singing, speaking true,
A chant that even out of tune sings, “Look at all that’s new!”
The colors stronger than our eyesight’s might,
Displayed across the Dearest’s human bones;
Fell sharply in that Cosmic Autumn’s light.
Now glimmered in our darkness more than shone,
From spectrum’s waves that Jesus takes us through–
The unnamed purple-black of death it took to make us new.
A rumbling in your chest you might deny,
A tingle in your spine you could dismiss,
Sensations swelling but unjustified,
Forget them all and give betrayal’s kiss,
Exclude yourself from what He meant to do,
When oh! that Living Body shook the tomb to birth the new.
Take heart, my friends, your longing is most real;
This Life Alive shows, paints, sings, points and tells
Much more than we alone can claim revealed;
Yet New Creation goes on just as well.
Your true attempts attest your aim is true,
Old things have gone. Look! — you’re naming all things new.
You can listen to me read it here