The Alcove

A rare foray into poetry…

Inches separate life and death
Even borders imagined
May separate sacred and profane

Among rivers of asphalt
Even flowers bloom if there be light and water
The dull roar from engines, encased in
Angled glass and steel, oft
Colliding into twisted metal and spilled poisons
The rush to possess, to win a race
For which there was no starting gun
Power begets the need for more power

The Alcove, also distant from the pipes
Like roots carrying information at an Angel’s pace
If much study be a weariness
What be the result of information without study
Entertainment without purpose

We rightly lose faith in human power
Not submitted to highest purpose
Clothes large enough to fit our pride
Desiring to be distracted from our distractions

The Alcove, where cold programming cannot govern
No chimes or signals demand an answer
Not the scent of exhaust fumes
Nor the infertile white lights of liquid crystal
But of frankincense and myrrh
And of gentle light tinted by stained glass

Those who pass on the other side
Rather than wonder, they
Seek music that bolsters pride
Replacing flesh with stone
The Alcove has mysteries in polyphony
Voices as of angels directed on high
Saints fall upon the rejected cornerstone
And are broken, but not crushed

The passers seek deceptive eloquence,
Plain truth does not tickle ears
Though it be sharp
Hardened hearts seek dull words
If you submit not to piercing
The millstone grants no quarter

Her heart was pierced
Yet softly she cries out to enlighten,
From the Alcove to the streets
And into the markets her voice is raised
Yet thick roots teeming with electricity
Dull the ears and darken the eyes
They turn and ignore her reproof
Made simple by a lack of knowledge
Reverence of the Eternal Lord begins wisdom
All other entryways slam shut

Murky waters receive machinery’s offscouring
And grow still more murky
No more a brilliant, clear blue
When men refuse to lead in righteousness
They are dominated by vulgarity

Dirty syringes hide underneath
Champagne vending machines
The West has chosen the lesser thing
That even Martha would eschew
Diligence enlightens, yet
Desire for endless consumption darkens
And prefers slavery to truth

Solutions are not what we expect
A new evolution will degrade us more
It was not always an Alcove, but a Palace

Revolutions and counter-revolutions pushed it into recesses
Into a mere carving out of stone
Into new catacombs She went
Where there is not darkness, but fraudulent light
Pity not those born deaf or blind
Rather, those ruled by the towers of the Kings of Babylon
Like trees, towering above
Or by its roots, rushing with noise
With signals from their masters and for their slaves
The still, small voice is not obscured by silence or dim light
But by the exaltation of pride

The Alcove retains its dignity and power
At once it will emerge
It takes time for seeds to flower
Or for blade to give fruitful ear
It has yet a part to play, after its final dirge
All dirges end; all storms exhaust their lightning

Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood
and prepareth a city by iniquity
They shall labour wearily in vain
And the earth will keep silence before Him
For the Alcove shall fill the Earth
And in the ruins of their steel idols
And amidst toppled Babylonian trees
Every maker of speechless idols
Every defiler of the image of God
Every arrogant and greedy man
To Him their knees will bow and tongues will confess.

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