“A New Earth” by Cliff McReynolds
“…And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”
(A Poem of Apocalyptic Emancipation)
Bryan M. Christman Feb 23, 1998
As apocalypse advances
with Heaven’s quaking,
the Earth reels
In death throes: birth pangs.
A silent rider approaches
with rust’s decay,
penetrating and permeating,
Angel of alchemy?
Dissolution of resolution,
Love waxes cold
in life’s unraveling.
Rejoice in loss,
for loss is gain.
The alchemist’s formula
offers this refrain.
War in Heaven as
conscience seeks release.
serpentine coil, unwound.
Celestial humidity descends,
renewing seed with fertile dew.
Dry bones sweat with fever,
the smoking flax sparks, ignites.
Gentle rain nourishes,
living buds break forth,
barren branches bound together,
now grafted and fruited vine.
Life seeks life as death seeks death,
deep calls unto deep.
Undimmed eyes now crystallize,
o’erflow with living tears.
Rust’s rotting plague, alchemist’s ruse revealed,
Incarnate Branch of life, death’s thorned scourge,
victorious in resurrection.
“…And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.” (A Poem of Apocalyptic Emancipation)
Copyright by Bryan M. Christman, Feb. 23, 1998
The following quotation from C. S. Lewis provides a hint for the meaning of the poem:
“It is dangerous to press upon a man the duty of getting beyond earthly love when his real difficulty lies in getting so far. And it is no doubt easy enough to love the fellow creature less and to imagine that this is happening because we are learning to love God more, when the real reason may be quite different. We may be only ‘mistaking the decays of nature for the increase of grace’. Many people do not find it really difficult to hate their wives or mothers. Mr. Mauriac, in a fine scene, pictures the other disciples stunned and bewildered by this strange command, but not Judas. He laps it up easily.” (C. S. Lewis, “The Four Loves” p. 118)
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