Monday, August 21, 2017

What Purpose Served?


What does it mean to me, Lord?
   I can step out under the broad sky
          exposed to elemental forces
          and not be incinerated,
          asphyxiated or frozen.
In the sweep of Orion’s arm of the Milky Way,
   only on this earth,
          my earth and no other,
          I am not a cinder nor
          a freeze-dried human prune.
Intelligent design?

At night I wink into the celestial,
   impulses dash from retina to brain
          at the speed of light,
          countless stars wink back prismatic hues,
iridescent gas and dust.
In the day a shadow covers my part of the globe,
   sun and moon are one in my sky.
          Eighty moons and more orbit
          the gods of flint and fume
          save Mercury and Venus.
Why does one, only mine, fit the sun?

In orbital eccentricities earth and moon dance, sometimes further,
sometimes closer to each other, to the sun -
   a moon just smaller reveals
          a ring of fire-red H-alpha,
          its chromospheric solar flares
          cause aurora to shimmer in lower latitudes -
   a moon just larger blots out the brilliance
          to display a luminous corona,
          more than a million degrees hotter
          than the sun’s photosphere three thousand miles below -
Neither ascertainable except from the shadow of my moon.

I fit my finite world (or it fits me), breath and life,
   neurons and spirit unite in reverence,
          a uniquely sapient,
          flesh-mantled, hot-blooded,
          intelligent design.
 But an exclusive eclipse... what purpose served?
   Do skies proclaim the work of hands
          or heavens the work of fingers?
          "Let them be for signs and seasons…",
          a hand over my eyes, a holy thumbprint,
the sidereal signet of my intelligent Designer.


by Ken Paxton