Candlemas 2022

The smoke curled up, high up,
reaching for God, somewhere beyond:
Unseen, unfleshed, hidden _ expect
for those and such as those, behind the veil.

The smoke curled up.
To offer thanks,
to beg for mercy,
to ask for cleansing,
to reclaim, redeem, renew.

The smoke curled up.
Precious grains, as if glass, 
in hues of ochre and umber_ 
gave up their fragrant offerings
enriched by prayers.
Aromas layered with the 
pyres of finest of meat.
Its crackling and spitting
augmenting the cacophony of other noises, 
growing the sacrifice,
searching for the perfect cord _
the ultimate offering.
In each babies cry and exciting children’s chatter.
In the prayers of old men and young men’s dreams.
In the new bride’s hopes and widows remembrances.
In their offerings of smoke, and heart, and word
echoed sometimes faintly
sometimes steadier,
the prophets call.

Words of old, now spoken;
there in the midst of all those people,
hoping, searching praying.
There in the midst of all that devotion.
One man.
One woman.
They alone see through the smoke
to the glory others pass by,
and The Word is proclaimed ...
and touched.

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