Spiritus: A poem for Pentecost

Spiritus   De sensibili autem demonstratione spiritus sancti sive per columbae speciem sive per linguas igneas… (Augustine, De Trin. IV.xxi)   As dove to him you came; To us you come as fire. Soft, his soul, and smooth Conformed from conception To be your habitation.   We, though, are misshapen, Angular, deformed, refractory. Like agate eggs our hearts Are stone Lined with scattered, shattered spikes, That surround a light-starved void.   We must be Transformed Burnt clean Melted And then remade.   You sear and cauterize us, Holy Dove. You burn long-calcified layers of self; Blazing, you fill the space within, until Our molten souls are ready to be Reformed By some almighty potter Possessed of flame-proof hands.   But when our liquid selves leak out We gape at what humanity can be And say that you have given to us gifts....

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