Stars sing, light-years deep in silent space. In a bottle’s neck God’s Ghost sings as the wine is poured. Out on the edge of eternity, the Father sees the Lamb slain ere the world is formed. A soft cough splits the silence of this room light-years below the wheeling stars. A hollow prayer; give it breath, O Ghost, let roar a wind like that which shook the bones in Vision Vale. For vision, God spills bread crumbs on the board. His stars sing, light-years deep in silent space. Here, emblems speak a mystery of brokenness: the shattering of him by whom all things consist.
This poem was originally published in the anthology A Widening Light: Poems on the Incarnation, edited by Luci Shaw, and is used here by permission of the poet.
Keith Patman is an occasional poet whose primary vocation is Bible translation. Since 1982 he has worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators, assisting with the translation of scripture into the languages of West and Central Africa. He lived in Cameroon from 1987 to 1995, working on a Nugunu New Testament, and now serves from the US as part of an international team providing tools and training to African translators. He currently lives in Waynesboro, Virginia, with his wife, Jaci, who is a Presbyterian minister. They have two grown children and six grandchildren.