Beats and Air and Life
This is a poem that I wrote during a guided writing exercise led by Seth Haines at this year’s Faith & Culture Writers Conference at Warner Pacific College.
I do not write many poems, but this one came to me as I gazed outside and watched the wind blow.
The Creator stood, and he blew.
And with the universe poised in rapt anticipation, his breath was movement. And it moved.
At first, it seemed like nothing was moving at all. Everything below was still and ordered and quite nice, actually. The only hint of what was to come was the gentle migration of cumulonimbus clouds, roving across the firmament like white, avuncular eyebrows raised in the delight of muted expectancy. They moved slowly, at first, and then more quickly, ominous storm clouds of nimble, portentous pathos.
Underneath, the wind was picking up.
The treetops were swaying a coordinated sway, moving to a rhythm that was not quite safe but no less alluring. The cliffs felt it, too, their jagged edges being invisibly shaven with icy blasts of staccato precision. The branches and leaves whipped their hair back and forth, both delighted and terrified by the prospect of being soulfully ejected from their moorings and into the unknown abyss.
At ground level, the breath was moving with fierce velocity.
Animals were lumbering, hopping, spinning, sashaying, dipping, diving, and Dougying to the rhythmic hyperactivity around them, being moved into kinetic worship by the invisible dunamis breath. The underbrush was a furious maelstrom of traffic as rocks, dirt, grass and twigs weaved in, out, up and down the varieties of flora and fauna that dotted the landscape.
The movement was so wild, and yet so orchestrated, so coordinated. So badass.
As the breath was breathed and the movement continued, there were those who had been far away and were brought near, and others who had their stagnant inertia ripped out from under them in rude epiphany.
Others were so thoroughly rooted and grounded that they found themselves invigorated by the involuntary limb spasms triggered by the holy rhythm, affirmed in their rootedness.
And yet there were still others who did not intend to dance, but who found themselves quickly unmoored and landed in a different space, activated into a dimension of urgent, previously unbeholden mission of service.
A precious few who were familiar with the creator’s musical stylings, as soon as they caught a whiff of the windy rhythm, were launched into flight, grateful to experience, in the flesh, what previously was only a plaintive wail to pierce the silence.
And finally, the rhythm wound its way indoors, and slammed a door.
It was LOUD.
And men and women snapped their heads up, in recognition that something real just happened. They woke up, and they looked out in wonder.
The Creator saw it, and heard it, and felt it.
And it was good.
Love it, Jelani! The sense of motion… force… rhythm…. very powerful.