Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tierra del Fuego










How they lived in the land of fire

A naked race elbowed out of existence

Naked not just to the shallow, oily flesh

But to the raw, jutting, white bones beneath


Our common humanity- their lives too unimaginable

To us- invisible points on a bare compass- no needle

Can guide us- to that unmapped archipelago-

Made before -The world and The Flesh, and Man


Become one destiny, before the Lord’s people

Walked like Christ’s miracle from that frenzied sea

Arriving, one cruel, savage, inhospitable day - in that year

1520- with salvation and bible joining unconquered hands,


What did they see- a motherly Indian wrapped in seal cloths

Her Children’s oval sockets slanting from wicker holes

Emerging winged, wild, wonder struck, unaccustomed eyes

For everything had changed- horizons were no longer- distant.


Overnight the sky God had fallen, like a starry legend suckling

The Fires, feeding against her naked breasts, generations

Had poured, but no more would they chant to that mystery

As inscrutable as the frozen Earth with her blank skies


A God had landed- He was not like they imagined

For soon, their crowded heavens would be thoroughly cleansed

By his singular Spirit- they would be shown,without exception

The errors of their crude ways, Mother, Father, and child


How they would learn, How He was the God of fire

Of sharpened, eager sword, How They would learn

How it was written, in the half-light of their pale God,

"That He was Love"-  and they would learn this God's

Hard lessons, en la tierra del fuego, when their voices sung no more