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Boston Marathon

First forgive the silence
That answers prayer,
Then forgive the prayer
That stains the silence.

Excuse the absence
That feels like presence,
Then excuse the feeling
That insists on presence.

Pardon the delay
Of revelation,
Then ask pardon for revealing
Your impatience.

Forgive God
For being only a word,
Then ask God to forgive
The betrayal of language.

God of the Syllable
God of the Word
God Who Speaks to Us
God Who Is Dumb

The One God The Many
God the Unnameable
God of the Human Face
God of the Mask

God of the Gene Pool
Microbe Mineral
God of the Sparrow’s Fall
God of the Spark

God of the Act of God
Blameless Jealous
God of Surprises
And Startling Joy

God Who Is Absent
God Who Is Present
God Who Finds Us
In Our Hiding Places

God Whom We Thank
Whom We Forget to Thank
Father God Mother
Inhuman Infant

Cosmic Chthonic
God of the Nucleus
Dead God Living God
Alpha God Zed

God Whom We Name
God Whom We Cannot Name
When We Open Our Mouths
With the Name God Word God

The new day cancels dread
And dawn forgives all sins,
All the judgments of insomnia,
As if they were only dreams.

The ugly confrontation
After midnight, with the mirror,
Turns white around the edges
And burns away like frost.

Daylight undoes gravity
And lightness responds to the light.
The new day lifts all weight,
Like stepping off into space.

Where is that room you woke to,
By clock-light, at 3 a.m.?
Nightmare’s many mansions,
Falling, have taken it with them.

The new day, the day’s newness,
And the wretchedness that, you thought,
Would never, never depart,
Meet—and there is goodbye.

A bad night lies ahead
And a new day beyond that—
A simple sequence, but hard
To remember in the right order.

Lord of dimensions and the dimensionless,
Wave and particle, all and none,

Who lets us measure the wounded atom,
Who lets us doubt all measurement,

When in this world we betray you
Let us be faithful in another.


The final four of Mark Jarman’s “Five Pslams”. Pick up Jarman’s recently published collection Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems.

You all know what the photograph is from. But it’s even more unsettling if you consider what it is showing: exhausted runners charging toward an explosion.

All thoughts and feelings are for those maimed and murdered in Monday’s attack, especially the Richard family, whose son Martin, 8, was killed and whose daughter, 6, lost a leg.