I do not curse the name of God
Or make it by my usage slight,
But neither will I fail to seize
some necessary blasphemies
To see if, in another light,
they explain the odd shadow.
I will not violate sacred space,
Or any holy place disturb —
Desecrate no altar,
sacred or profane.
But one that is not holy,
is considered structure only,
I cannot enter, cannot love,
And will not stain.
Conscience I cannot criticize,
Harmless culture not despise,
But foist a thought I cannot own
And, true or false, I stand as stone
And feel no need to fend or fight
Or champion but myself as right
— myself alone and not my thought.
I only fear the loss of fear,
of hopelessness I hold so dear,
of doubt that shelters far-flung faith,
of sadness that is mine by grace,
of mystery that swallows truth,
of wildness and of shameless youth
Small fuzz-moth puttering
across the fountain pond,
who, rescued on my finger,
does wash, vibrate, flutter and, triumphant, fly away . . .
Sweeper of the cobbles with a scoop,
bowed collector of my dust and ash,
who, with toothless smile and humble stoop,
does shine angelic when greeted with the day . . .
Do you all, however mottled, strange, familiar,
reveal in innocence one died who lives elsewhere?
What concealed beneath this mask and hideous in its love,
is through these, as through bread and wine,
simple majesty, quiet grandeur, very God?