Friday, March 28, 2014

Meditations in Fast Times: 20. No one could ever believe

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.


No one could ever believe

The report that said “leave.”

Houses, muddied and upended
Mark the place where lives ended.

Once cozy and comfortable rooms

Have been crushed into tombs;
All hope of rescue and repair,

         Has been replaced by despair.

Years of flood, following drought,
Stirred the soft hills about,

Until dead water over soggy land

Gave way. Nothing could stand
up to this path of liquid soil,
And so we stoop now to grim toil;

Those who here claimed rights by birth.

         Now lie in the arms of earth.

O God, we return those to you
Whose losses we mourn anew
After each passing report.

You did not lose what you gave;
Returning, we lose not, though we crave
assurance of a comforting sort.

Life is one horizon, as also is death—
Only You understand the fullness of breath
—Relieve us from sorrow, grant us resort.

Thanks to You, ever renewed and unending,
Unquenchable Life love serves by the tending
Of each generation, in every place and port.


© 2014 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen