Surely the houses of store of the Lord,
lacking for nothing but lack, have been laid
bones to the beams with His fullness, arrayed
generously, as abundance befits:
shield, armor, sword – thence the saints are outfit;
faith in great loaves, strength of men to the task;
grace inexhaustible, barrel and cask;
fitness of body and fatness of soul;
justice in seven gold, terrible bowls;
rain for the harvest and lightning for awe;
rule of His love, and the love of His law;
holiness whereby His name to confess;
treasure up-piling, all blessings to bless
heaped for our good, here, by provident Word.
Ravus Caelum


Cast and So Sent

Cast and So Sent

You, Son of Man, before one man was cast
in clay and Breath, cast Your majestic guise
among Your sons, elect; there sight-full eyes
might apprehend Your awful type and vast.

You are the Rock; the struck-stone, stumbling-stone
unfit for babbling mortals' overreach,
yet siege is raised from You against the breach.
Your bride, her sword in hand, names You her own.

You are the Fisherman; in salty shoals
You brothers in Your grace-spun nets possess,
and multiply in baskets of excess
when served, with broken bread, to famished souls.

You are the Right-hand placed, the honored-seat;
of many brothers first, best-loved, most due.
Though fire and judgment fall, Your blood is true -
In You we die, in You arise complete.

You are Beloved, Bishop of these souls
who, exiled, dream beyond her welcome gates -
Jerusalem! To run to you! Your great
Word thund'ring claims all spheres and kingdoms whole.

You are the Shepherd of ten thousand flocks;
lost lambs, wild rams You feed abundantly.
They know Your voice and, called, the Father see,
well watered in the wastes and desert walks.

You are the Sower, feet stained dark with earth
between the furrows ere foundation torn.
Fig-shaded Word, searched deeply, swallowed, worn,
offends deceit; spread-seed of rich rebirth.

You are the Faith; our doubt is mortified
by iron, thorn, and steel. Your chasmal gore
rewards all trust unseen with hope, and more,
in such souls blest to follow, crucified.

You are the Reaper, harvesting the grain,
forth drawing thence the levy due Your throne,
and from that tithe what sinner's-feast is thrown
finds all partakers struck of guilt and stain.

You are the Least, a servant humbly dwelt,
with calloused hands, in flesh and towel girt,
but God cuts stones of worth from lesser dirt,
exalts the low, and raises up the knelt.

You are the Lion. Triumph in Your roar
reveals to Your won tribe Your majesty
and melts their hearts who have no eyes to see,
nor ears to hear, scattered and driv'n before.

You are the Flame; that all-consuming zeal
affords no other Lord, nor law, nor love.
To will one thing, Your very self above
all else remains pure souls' delight and weal.

You are the Goat; beyond the city gates
You, curs├Ęd, carry scornful treachery
to suffer, die impaled upon the tree:
ere first Word's sterling utterance Your fate.

You are the Lamb, the One who takes our place
and bears our lot, while we Your witness bear.
In task direct our hands, our lips in prayer
through water, dust, and air with present grace.

You are the Word of God sent forth in strength,
yet hosted in a little jar of clay -
sent forth, until that doom-full Trumpet-Day,
to tribe and tongue through all Earth's breadth and length.

You, Son of God, to Your own precious frame
call every saint to be conformed, that men
might see Your face, Your Father's face, and then
cast down their crowns and bless Your holy Name.

Ravus Caelum / AMDG / 9/19/13

New poem! There will be a prize involved for the first person who can correctly identify the vehicle I used to convey the conceit (by which i mean explain the rationale behind the order and the content of the stanzas). As always, enjoy the poem, and feel free to leave comments.


Ad Profundis

Ad Profundis

Merciful is Your Name, Fundament under all
depths, beneath every profundity, chasm, and
grave where we harrowed have fled to give void to our
misery; fleeing You, finding You, pity-full.

Peace in hope hidden, and hope with dawn rises, yet
dusk only now dusts the scarlet with shadow. Long
hours of grim Solstice distend the horizon and
settle her chill on these quivering denizens.

Joy is our right by inheritance. Blessed the
mourner, though first he a mourner must be. In the
ashes of all loved and longed for we lay and pray
silently, dreading the promise of happy days.

Fools, sincere, bludgeon with hasty serenity.
Jesus, before you arose as the Victor, you
dwelt in the dust and in silence knew dolor. What
solace or balm better fathoms the desolate?

Sit with me here, clad in cinders and camel-hair.
Spirit of Christ you are all consolation; You
only, enough. E’en this pit cannot spare me the
depth of Your presence encircling me, Merciful.




   The Mountains of God 

Climb up, climb up priests anointed!
Zion soars before your gazes.
Called from Ur, called to this altar,
blow the ram's-horn, cry your praises.
Worship on the holy mountain
where your God has set foundations
for His witness and His triumph,
summoning all men and nations.

Climb up, climb up, smoke and thunder
break our pilgrim stride no longer.
Nay, the trumpet bids our progress;
guilt and fear to fear and wonder.
No more, death to tread in trespass -
rather, death below to waver.
Linger not in vale and shadow -
chase the prophet-spoken Savior.

Climb up, climb up men of battle,
heed the shofar call to violence.
Giants hold your promised dwellings -
charge their slopes in wrought defiance.
Mere grasshoppers, we shall own their
cities, vineyards, walls, and treasures.
God has raised them up to raze them,
pass to us their choicest pleasures.

Climb up, climb up faithful remnant;
deaf-mute imps defile high places.
Bend no knee to idle ash-whores,
spurn the lust of sin’s embraces.
Wisdom calls, her clarion echoes –
“Gold will fail, and cedars perish.”
Fire from heaven, proof of potence,
Must consume what follies cherish.

Climb up, climb up blessed and blessing:
Hear the living words betoken
vows of favor, faith to faithful,
oaths of hope to meek and broken.
From the heights blown-breath enjoins us
sacrifice what cannot merit -
seek and grasp grace-wrapped obedience;
humble, every world inherit.

Climb up, climb up dear disciples,
follow in your Master's power.
Tombs of priests and graves of prophets
counsel of the dwindling hour.
Know the signs and scorn the liars,
Share the cup, His bowl eluding.
Plead for souls in bondage stricken
ere our Master's trumps' concluding.

Climb up, climb up heirs of glory!
Zion soars before your gazes.
Joy and life and light and gold there
wait that soul the ram's-horn raises;
Hearts inflamed with celebration,
Spirits by cool liquors nourished,
Minds 'mid anvil-sparks illumined,
Flesh in flower, gilt and burnished.


Ravus, 1/8/13