Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heaven, Earth, and Man

Heaven, Earth, and Man.

Three tablets side by side.
Or do they form a ladder each to each?
And is the top too high for me to reach?
How shall I on these tablets write my name?

With who and what I am?
With what I do for them?
With the loves that I will leave?
With the losses they will grieve,
Or with fellows I forsake?

With deeds that I have done?
With the battles I have won?
With the promises I keep?
With furrows long and deep,
Or with scratches left in dust?

With bread that has been broken?
With the prayers that I have spoken?
With the blood that has been shed?
With the rising from the dead,
Or with disappearing ink?

Three tablets side by side
Or laddered each to each.

How will I there inscribe?
How will I span the breach?


  1. I love this. There's so much in there - I'll have to come back & read it again.

    I'm reading a book about the Bible (The Good Book by Peter Gomes)& the author sort of addresses the conundrum of people & places & this written word. An eternal conundrum, isn't it?

  2. Me thinks it be the earth itself that bridges the divide and spans the distance between man and the heavens. we leave a mark upon her and depending on the truth of the mark we find the shorter or longer span to cross from the physical to the eternal.

  3. Beautifully done, and I love the tight rhyme and stanzaic form. Resonant, to me, of a Mystery Play and language aside, definitely something of the medieval mindset in it.

  4. Intriguing... and Titus is right, it sounds like a mystery play. (The image you chose helps with that too.) There's lots of symmetry that is sneaking along beneath the surface...

  5. you have greatly chosen an inspriring photo to accompany this clver poem.
    i hope for the 'ladder to each' version. :)

  6. Well, I'm joining the chorus: "Mystery Play" was my first thought - partly, i agree with Joseph, on account of the image, which intrigued me from the beginning. It's a fascinating post, no doubt about it, and very thought-provoking.

  7. What a beautiful poem, Karen. Like a word puzzle, a spoken word, a holy recitation, echoing the mystery of life.

  8. Beautiful and depthful response to this prompt. I love the question posed in the last line!

  9. -So many questions make a poem that seems like a serial story, as though you may need to come back to it, write the answers.

  10. I enjoyed the philosophical, questioning nature of this poem!

  11. A meditation that results in a heartfelt prayer. Love how you used the rhyme and the tightness of the structure to mimic that ladder and the rungs to be climbed.


  12. A beautiful poem, full of the many unanswered questions. Nicely done to prompt.


  13. so much going on here indeed.....all good...thanks for this

  14. K
    well, there better be a God tablet or I think
    it will all fail
    one is proven to fail
    one is beyond our control
    and the last beyond our reach
    eat drink and be merry
    for tomorrow we die
    lovely write again, you