Like jasper, clear as crystal

At His solstice, among the wood and stone,
with silent windows whose holy art
could not sing from mere candle-points of light
both billions of miles and billions of years away,
it was neither love nor fear but Majesty
that swept me up, only to have me kneel.
That unclouded and knowing night I recall
like jasper, clear as crystal.

At His table, among the marble and linen,
with gleaming ware He would not have used,
the sanctuary was a kaleidoscope:
infinite shards blessing the very air,
anointing and alighting each communicant.
Divided from myself I stood with cup and plate
and observed me chanting that afternoon
like jasper, clear as crystal.

But oh, in that most gloomy closet
where neither face nor form are sanctified,
where neither face nor form are profaned
by taper, sun, or star; where neither name nor clan
are respected and conversion is unknown;
where neither prayers nor hymns have been uttered,
we were still held to be His: precious
like jasper, clear as crystal.

Marti Martinson

ISSUE Magazine April 2015

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