I have built, stone by stone,
word by rough-hewn word, my tower
to reach God. He hides behind
the sun. He writes upon the clouds
in runes a thousand tongues have
murmured without understanding.
Another inch, another word —
I seek him in this labor yet.
Come dwell a while in Babel; dwell
with me and we shall name the streets
anew each day. See them, laid
in line and page below us, confusion
singing among the empty houses.
Everyone has come to climb
the stair, look toward whatever heaven
they hope to hide within their hearts.
I extend my hand to him
once more and find myself, as ever,
lacking, my way grown longer but
no closer. Gaze upward, measure again.
My scaffolds must remain about me,
testimony to this toil,
blasphemy and poetry
working ever hand in hand,
until my hand might grasp the sky
and shake tomorrow loose. Give me
only a place to stand, a higher
place, a tower to reach God.
Stephen Brooke ©2014
Although labored over for a few days, I still consider this somewhat early-drafty. Haven't posted much in a while, letting myself 'lay fallow,' so to speak, after finishing off the Donzalo novels. I'll be getting back into stuff soon.