The Beautiful Name – a short poem in long lines

By those who barely utter it, but mutter it head-bowed, in cope and veil of incense cloud, lifting their biretta’s brim.

By those who thunder it with fire, a Yes, Oh Yes of Molly Bloom desire.

By those who chant it day and night, hooded and habited, hovering on the neum’s ancient melody like a bird on the constant air.

By those who sing it sublimely through the centuries, or who strum it fresh in late-night fire-lit fellowship.

By those who barely know their meaning, but say it seeking safety, a ladder and a life raft.

By those who curse it, oath it, spit it out in the green phlegm of anger, treading coarsely on its gentle bloom.

By those who’ve long known it, but sheathed in a heavy brocade the fearful shining of its scalpel blade, that cuts and slices through sinning to demand a new beginning.

By those who grieve and hurt, hunger and die at the wayside of a world that will not care; who call it croakingly, empty and dry with despair.

By all kinds and in all places, this holy name of Jesus will be said, sung, whispered, shouted, honoured, worshipped, cursed and prayed all ways, all days, while earth spins round as humans’ home and harbour.

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