The word speaks into darkness
before the start of time—though darkness
makes no sense when light's not yet created,
and couldn't be before when time's unmade.
The word is the god expressing. When it speaks
it says order, sacred equations that
Einstein and Bohr will one day climb
the Sinai of science to receive,
and with it energy, the birth of stuff,
a blowout in the factory of quarks
and Higgs’ and who knows who else’s bosons,
a mess of mass spun into suns and planets
and at last deoxyribonucleic acid,
the lovely lego bricks of life. It's all good,
in a too-hot-to-touch, tumultuous
kind of way, but what it really means
is love, which is what the god is mostly made of,
and nothing is loved at speed. By the 4.8
thousand billionth day of creation, give or take,
something has emerged that can look up
to the skies it came from and ask not only
how but why. This is lovable, the god knows,
but it is troubled and will always die.
Space-time's the working out of entropy,
a context for compassion, the first act
of the god's main enterprise of transformation,
and so it makes his entrance, having known
always that love would be embodied here.
The being born at Bethlehem is not
for human comprehension—two
natures that cannot be reconciled
and a double paradox, a free god
compelled by his inherent character
to do what the immortal cannot do
and die for his beloved. From Bethlehem
the way never went back to Eden:
this was no Plan B to renovate
a ruined playground of perfection
but the primary agenda of a love
unsatisfied until it's wholly spent.
Love went on by way of Golgolta,
its shroud shed like a chrysalis to birth
a kingdom where lost shining things
are brought into the light. It goes on still
Pentecost to Revelation's sight
of earth and heaven renewed, and in between
the god-child and the king of glory walks
his most unlikely incarnation—us,
his body now, in via dolorosa,
the word made flesh, redeemed by Love to love.
for the carol service
("Out of darkness") at
The phrase nothing is loved at speed is adapted from a prayer written by the cartoonist Michael Leunig. I have used it in another poem, and make no apology for using it again here as it is a great way of expressing this truth.
4.8 thousand billion is an approximation of the number of days from the Big Bang to the emergence of hominids on earth. If my arithmetic is faulty please let me know.
Deoxyribonucleic acid is DNA.
via dolorosa ("Way of Sorrows") is the road in Jerusalem along which Christ is said to have carried his cross to Golgolta ("skull" in Aramaic) where he was reportedly crucified. The more common name Calvary is derived from the Latin Calvariae Locus, "place of the skull".
Typical performance time: 2 minutes 30 seconds.
© Godfrey Rust, firstname.lastname@example.org. See here for permissions.