Would that you knew how greatly You are guided in this holy catastrophe

Where all is doomed and fire consumes

And you are certain beyond certain

That you are unutterably, unfailingly alone.

Would that you could see the gathering

Round the kiln that is cooking you

Hovering over the gnarly round temperature gauge.


The newer, white and flowing-robed angels

Turn away, cringe, whisper their prayers

"Turn the heat down, for pity's sake! Turn it down!"

While the older, firm-faced, well-braced guides

In their iridescent gowns that are roped

From shoulder to breast and shoulder to breast

And wrapped again and again

And again at the waist

Do chant "Turn it up! Turn it up! Turn it up!"


For these Wise Ones

Adorned in their own courage know

Even as I do, in the kiln

This is the only way for our glaze

To break and shine

The only way to make us

One of them.

ProseRobin Rice