The weight of grace sits sternly over all.
Fallen man can fall, and break on broken
Ground the boundless imperfections of my being:
My failure seeing. My seeing without sight.
It makes the shards of life sunglitter, light
As a halved burden, cleanly cleaved in two.
And who am I that God should come to me?
The world is dirt made rich, Earth terraformed
Before we knew the term. For God so loved
And loved and loves the worm and all
Man makes is man-made bread, made stale,
And prayer, kneeling at his temple, reeling, frail.
II. God’s Eye
The gaze melts: Fire-steady
Streams that unseen, beam,
Or shock a shaking pelt out,
Soak the dirty rug, mud spoiled
In the loving flood of God’s adoring eye—
The anvil and the hammer, and the fire.
The untiring Word, monstrance still,
Unspoken. The broken shards of man small
And smashed together on the steel.
III. The Size and Shape
The glow of gold in fire-flicker light
Transforms the white altar into God’s seat,
Where I am compelled to meet him, round of bread
Dull dun, the sun of light around swells thick
As flickering flames, and God as bread sits
Andrew Calis’s poetry has appeared in Dappled Things, Presence, Silver Streams, and elsewhere. He teaches and studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.