Roll back, roll back, let nimble hands
Mind the gears and spindles-
Roll back, roll back, the time of man
Before the hours dwindle.
Return me to my mother’s home,
Let her kitchen pot, just simmering,
Waft the world that I’ve outgrown
Back into a vivid memory.
Let me see my sister playing
All alone beside the stair,
Braiding and unbraiding
Her dolly’s long blond hair.
Let me again feel the crisp of summer heat
Through my fresh, unspoiled skin or
Crimson fingertips, stained berry sweet
With disregard for dinner.
To see mysterious, repetitious behavior
That used to thrill and frighten
Before I understood human nature,
Before the weight of what enlightens
When insects were still interesting
And maps were of hidden forts-
Let me remember petitioning
In undiluted desire or remorse.
Roll back, roll back just once
To sleep on my childhood bed
Before this clock has chimed
And all these times are dead.
What is man?
A tapestry of tumbling collisions-
Blind intersections, forked decisions,
Miserable masses following a foreign flow-
Can we ever assert beyond yes or no
A reflection of unique identity?
Are we caught in a waterfall into infinity,
Into relational eternity, into isolation or annihilation-
Does the singular stand in violation
Against the plural body?
Safety In Numbers, requisite or commodity,
Undergirds the homogeneity of corporate expression
The Individual either bows in repression,
Or exists in illusion.
These things cause me great confusion
As I divide to find the mean:
Must you be seen to truly exist,
And if you truly exist, mustn’t you be truly seen?
You are no respecter of persons.
You do not gaze uncouth
At heaps of hoarded wealth,
Nor crave to devour tender youth.
In You there is no shadow of turning.
You do not rise to set
As we frantically orbit your constancy
Spinning our dizzy, dancing minuet
And some of us fall broken,
Restless though we’re lame,
But You raise up the conquered,
And lend the indigent your name.
You exalt the humbled,
And Your heart stands for the poor
So they will stand inside Your grace,
Singing Your song forevermore.