Burns Night

Saturday evening Formerly Single Gal (remember her?) and her husband paid obeisance to their Scottish heritage and hosted a Burns Night. Bowdlerized (no red-blooded American would eat sheep tuck) haggis, a single-malt scotch tasting, toasts to lassies and poetry reading were involved. Also our host wore an outrageous pair of plaid pants, but we shall say no more of that.

Among the guests was Gerard Lessard, OP, who brought a poem of his own. If someone says he's going to read us an original poem, something inside me seizes up because it's generally going to be awful, but this one is really fine and with his permission I'm sharing it. It originally appeared in a free ebook of poems contending for the OPrize for Poetry (a contest among Dominicans).

Fr. wrote this in 2009 while vacationing on a lake in New Hampshire and staring into the night sky. He found that even apparently dark patches, if you gazed long enough, revealed more stars. And he'd just finished Cardinal Schonborn's book on Cosmology, which points out among other things that gold is in every human body, and yet it cannot be created through any process but that of a star's implosion....

From Stardust
Gerard A Lessard, OP Summer 2009

How wide I wonder is creation’s bond!
Therein the blackest breach between the stars,
Behold some countless worlds in realms beyond!
Now royal Venus comes dismissing Mars,
Her twinkling train anoints the teaming lake.
Did God make all of this for human sake?

So scant in such a firmament are we,
Yet not without significance we pray,
For what a precious power ponders free,
By wit to soar above the vast array.
Exploding suns bequeathed new elements,
But God confers his zest with testaments.

On distant planets, naught is found alive,
For life’s a single gift within our midst.
Not always but the fittest do survive.
Not always too do missing links exist.
Our common origin did not preclude
That earth with senior species God renewed.

We see how things evolve from age to age,
And marvel at the progress of our race,
Yet facts do not refute the Sacred Page,
While weeds and wheat together grow in place.
Beginning with a bang, soon time will end,
When angels plying sickles rightly rend.

Yet providence upholds us even now,
Preserving well the persons of His kind.
Although we may not tell what, why and how,
God implements the plan He has in Mind.
So even bad events will turn out well,
Yet only if we’re sorry that we fell.

As central microcosms though we seem,
Amid emotive souls and rigid bone,
The universal Axis can redeem,
The God-Man recreating hearts of stone.
It’s neither myth nor magic to believe
Our banishment from Eden He’ll relieve.

Our Lady like the moon reflects Her Son,
While in white constellations swathed like lace,
A blazing orb embodies everyone,
Though some have died in frigid outer space.
From stardust newborn babes obtain design
To be creators who in heaven shine.