Monday, June 23, 2014

Poem: "A Voice Cries in the Wilderness" by Penelope Randolph

A voice cries in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
A voice cries: “In the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord.”
Where is that voice?  In the wilderness.
And where do we prepare?  
In the wilderness.
But oh! Such wilderness I fear
For aching empty loneliness lies throbbing there.

Where is my wilderness, dear Lord?
It waits within. 
I cannot stop to look too long: 
I’m weak, not strong,
And my voice cries world’s pain too loud for me to hear your song.

I dare not stop to step inside. In pride
I try to silence echoed cries
with blatant busy-ness’ disguise.
I badinage the gaping wound you’d long since found.
Oh, Lord! How clumsily, compulsively, I’ve tried...
And still your holy wilderness will not be civilized.
The voice that cries (my own, the Baptist’s, yours,)
Cannot be stilled. It cannot be denied.

Throughout this wilderness, my God,
You walk with me each step of hope and fear.
Your promise comes to us each day of every year,
And pregnant with these cries, we have a choice:
We can deny the Child
Or carry wild-erness to birth and sing that voice.
That voice cries out: ”Prepare.”

By love laid bare,
We rest
And find you waiting there.