Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meditations in Fast Times: 17. There is no end to the soundless wailing

Note to Readers:  “Meditations in Fast Times” is a devotional writing experiment for the Season of Lent. Each day during the season, I am writing a poem as a meditation on, taking as my inspiration and intertextual basis, T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, as well as incorporating the daily office, current events, and other readings—some the same as those Eliot used while composing his seminal work and others. 


          There is no end to the soundless wailing,

The silent withering of hope, hearts and flowers,
Shock sets in, a paralysis where we are silent, motionless;

All that remains is to find what drifting wreckage
Might remain, to recover anything recoverable,

To pray for the living who receive the sad communication.

       There will follow more news, a further trailing

Of speculation, into the coming days and hours,

While shock devolves toward reluctant, emotionless

Silence, the only proper response to such carnage
As resulted from this unrealized flight plan, reliable
Had it been followed, now only fit for denunciation.

       There will be no end to our flying or sailing,
Into wind or over waves, despite public glowers—
No inquiry can ever reinstitute a confidence erosionless,

No legal proceeding can undo the incalculable damage;
Somehow, we are all responsible, though none will be held liable,

And this will melt into an infamous past, beyond all explanation.

O, Thou, Ruler of the raging oceans,
we acknowledge and bewail
all our shortcomings and pitiable motions;
You cannot redress this travail,

But please accept the tragic remains
of those that were misled and all who perished;
Guard them in the depths of your domains,
knowing that they were, and are, loved and cherished.


© 2014 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

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