in the dawn

(written for the Foothills Mennonite choir program Dec. 19, 2021)


in the darkness

    before the dawn

        when the temperature in the air


           by two degrees

  and the breeze

     begins to stir

     like a bird

         warm in the nest

  stretching its wings

  in anticipation

    of the thin

        crimson line

    that opens

    the first rays of daylight

  over the crest

     of the earth

  lifting the heavy 

     blanket of night. 

in the darkness

    in the bottomless  

        ocean of space

           and time

    a star


            like a crucifix 

        in the promise

            of a coming light

            that will fill

              the universe

              like a symphony

             and chorus angels



             in the glory

             of morning

  the rising son

    scattering light

        like flax seed

  into the deep folds

      and furrows

  of a fertile ground 


in the darkness

    the air


        like the breath

        of the holy spirit 


           in wakefulness

        like a mist 


              into the minds

        of those who have been sleeping


             like water 


                into parched soil

embracing the seeds

                      and the earth

       like music seeps

         through the cracks

   of the everyday 

   until it fills the lines and the open spaces

     dotted like night stars

     on pages of black sky

         in a celestial constellation

      of crook and staff

          and burbling spring water voices

          in a treble clef

    until it crescendos

    like prairie wind

    through the sanctuary  (of the earth)

          where the harmony of sound 

          spills from the order in the unseen

   to dance within the walls

   and along the benches

   and into the hearts 

      of those who will not resist

   the cacophony of silence

   in that which is unheard


   (and) unsung.

in the darkness … 

god’s light is already burning

the son has already risen

it is the earth that does the turning … 

and with it, 

our … acceptance of the invitation 

to the season’s warm song of hallelujah