Quiet, sylvan, constant (Confessions part III)

A certain, tender treasure beyond all else:
golden sunlight on golden leaves murmur
sweetly of Time’s perpetual circling,
burning, burning, burning, just as we ought;
made gentler, more gossamer, more delicate
in infinite death, decay, and life anew.
Do they think? Do they know? Does Creation
hum, speckled—pied—conscious of His presence?
Recoiling from the incarnate flame, I
turn towards the vast, hollow expanse of
barrenness, where I do not have to think, 
and hunch there, not before my gentle Lord, 
            but before nothingness, and refuge from the flame,
            yearning for the divine, yet slipping away.

II

Sylvan light hides me away, or so I wish;
clothe me in flowers, my Florizel—dance
with me in the paradise away from
lost Time. Can I not hide in the forested
depths for a while? Just a moment, before
Evil time—the sort that steals away prayer
and traps me in that barren expanse once more—
encroaches again. I wish I had time
for the good sort of Time: the ever-cycling 
sort, slow and meditative. Each morning dawns
mercifully, and each day slips away
so, so subtly that I almost miss it.
	One day, I pray that He teaches me to live 
        in His sort of Time… quiet, sylvan, constant.

III

Please refine me, O my Jesus. Make me
willing to endure Your golden flame so
I—speckled I—may shine forth with Your light.
Teach me, Time, to live meditatively
Like my Lord. There will, after all, be a day,
A burning, sylvan, quiet day, in which
I step out of this dark wood and into 
the light, to see the stars, and the great moon.
The golden leaves, shining with His presence,
yes, like these stars! will fall, and decay, and
live again, and I will on this day, stand 
in the sylvan light and simply watch them, 
             for hours and hours, and sigh, and realize that 
             it is suddenly evening, and I have no place to be.

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