The Magnitude

The magnitude is impossible to deduce
from this side of the sky

From the other side of the sky
everything’s possible

A man with a deer’s head teaching mathematics to
a classroom of students who ring like bells

A plateau of goats on their hindlegs doing somersaults
as their shepherdess reads to them from tablets of silk

Astronomers who simply point to somewhere in the sky
and stars and planets call out their names

in audible voices as clear as trumpets

A land of waterfalls so plentifully lustrous
everyone’s flotation devices are biologically supplied

A central globed arena rotating in ten different speeds of peacefulness
without seeming to move at all or ever come to anything like a stop

Migrating birds seen in one direction in profile
making the shape of our ecstatic faces sailing through blue sky

The staggeringly bright radiance that
floods God’s universe

in dark shadow compared to the
workshop He works from

which is everywhere at once
and every time and every place

simultaneously present in the spark
suspended in air

which is this world we perceive and
grieve over so seriously

barely a blink of light
as it falls into our hands

leaving a star-shaped scar
that heals before it wounds

because the magnitude of all this is nearly
impossible to deduce

from anything anyone does or says
except the light in our eyes

and what our hearts recite
so precisely and gloriously

in the immeasurable magnitude
of a single heartbeat

1/2/2010 (from The Throne Perpendicular to All that is Horizontal)

Categories: Poems