View from the Porch [a Christmas Story]

Thursday, December 28, 2017 3:37 PM By crosswaysnet , In ,


At midnight, Anna stood at the ramparts in fervent prayer, still looking expectantly to the East. She was certain the signs would continue, as they had for weeks. Last night was so close…

All morning, a heavy cloud had sorrowed on the Temple Mount, shrouding Solomon’s Porch in mist. Anna had waited all day for the weather to break before stepping across the Women’s Court to the covered path high above the Kidron Valley. 500 of them. Stunted, slow steps, nearly the entire furlong across Herod’s Court. She had served 70 years as the Asher Priestess, half of them in this very place. Even as her eyes began to fail, she had witnessed the daily progress as Herod’s artisans raised the New Temple. Stone by stone, planted over Zerubbabel’s rubble. The last distinct thing she remembered seeing with her earthly eyes was the flash of gilding being soldered in place atop the columns of Herod’s vanity. Doubly gold in the last light of a Fall day. Anna’s eyes had been dark for almost 20 years now, even as her ears followed the constant and furious progress on the Temple and the great pavements beyond. She heard the scraping of metal on stone as the altar was moved into the Courts.  She heard the hiss of heavy velvet as the veil was hoisted to seal the Holy of Holies. Her mind painted the blue, purple and scarlet yarns on the back of her eyelids. She swayed her hand, dreaming of sewing in the golden thread that embossed the cherubim to the color-shifting fabric. She knew this Temple to be a sham, at least compared to the Temple of Solomon. Yet the design was grand. She had heard rumors that Herod’s men had even been compelled to manufacture an imposter ark to complete the fiction.

Retrace

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 10:03 AM By crosswaysnet , In , ,





The straightest of Mississippi roads meander
Traced out by one with more time than direction
Lined with turkey and dogwood
They were the rivers of my youth

From high springs in Tennessee I followed the flow
Down to the flats and hollers below
And collected myself at the bottom
Through fog to a deep pool of grace