crossing hackensack


Crossing the Hackensack


The Harper Returns


The Harper Returns
To pattern a life—
A deed worth dying for.
In the mother tongue of a father's heart,
A word forever spoken,
A blessing more noble
Than the only son at dawn,
Dangling on a cross.

With wood and wire and glue—
This is how it is done:
Piece by piece,
A temple on a strand of porous sand,
A church in the midnight sun.
Strike your hammer on every golden nail,
Singing hymn after hymn.

And it is never complete:
Reeds bend in a wind,
Dancers dispense with the dance,
A steady strain drops beyond the vale,
One lone voice echoes…an emerald glen.
Still, the architect stretches silver strings
Across the shores where once Cuchulain walked.

for Dennis Doyle