O: The Magnificat Antiphons, part VI

O:  The Magnificat Antiphons, part VI

6. O Rex Gentium

O King of the nations, and their desire,

the cornerstone making both one:

Come and save the human race,

which you fashioned from clay.

The angels of the nations are tired.

They yearn for rest.  They don’t want

 

to fight one another. They want

to make love. While they would

 

settle for rest, for quiet,

for occasional rapture—

 

it’s been so long—what they desire

most is oblivion, the joy

 

of dissolution. Come, Desire.

Come Cornerstone.  Scatter them

 

into the unimaginable energies

they were before the nations

 

molded them into shapes of clay

and iron and bronze and gold.

ON THE ABSENCE OF ANGELS

ON THE ABSENCE OF ANGELS

~after seeing Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” for perhaps the seventh time

Where did all the angels go

who used to descend,

used to declare.

They can’t comprehend,

bound to heaven.

 

There’s nothing left of them

but scattered feathers.

Nothing celestial cares.

Heaven’s tethers

long ago dissolved.

 

Accusing god is fine,

whose matters have evolved,

or who isn’t even there,

or resolved,

no matter what, to make us care.

November Writing Challenge #3

The dumbest so far:

 

November Writing Challenge #3

Scene: If I knew how to do sets, I’d have some kind of backdrop that makes the pinhead (spotlight) look like it starts out the size of a real pinhead. But I have no idea how this could happen.

 

Cast:

two scholars, in doctoral robes

Angels—dancers—enough to fill a spotlight that covers the whole stage

Lighting guy—barely visible above the stage until the end, when he/she is spotlit him/herself

 

The scholars stand stage right.

Scholar One:  How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Scholar Two: I have no idea. Has anyone ever asked them?

Scholar One:  I don’t think so. Hm. Shall we try? pulls a pin from hat and holds it up

Both Scholars (shouting): How many of you can dance on this?

The shout echoes and echoes while the lights go out and the Scholars exit.  A small silver-white spotlight appears on the stage. Dim lighting elsewhere. The angels enter, stage right, in a line. One moves into the spotlight and dances. The light is just a little bit too big—clearly two angels could dance in it. The next angel in line is invited into the spot and the dance goes on—in a tight formation. This continues until the spot extends to the edge of the stage. The angels waiting in line should be like anybody waiting in line:  checking fingernails, stretching, texting, talking on phones, whatever. When the stage is full—and the angels are all fairly annoyed:

Voice of a Scholar, loud and echoing from the wings:  So, how many of you can dance on the head of a pin?

An angel:  (shouting toward the ceiling) How big is the damned pinhead?

Lighting guy: How big do you want it?

Curtain.

ONE ANNUNCIATION

ONE ANNUNCIATION

 

Who can tell about angels?

They pass over sleeping cities scattering death,

make appalling announcements,

play ominous music on brass instruments.

Who can tell?

 

She beckoned with her tiny index finger,

looked around to see if anyone would hear.

I leaned down so she could whisper in my ear:

Angels. Angels came to visit me in the night.

She’s been here only four years,

what can she know?

“Were they friendly?” I asked.

NO! she shouted, alarmed,

looked around again, whispered again,

They were VERY BIG.

They said “Shhhhh.”  

They said

Listen.”

 

This was told to me many years ago by a priest friend–the “I” in the poem.