Reconsider Singing

To those who think that sitting on a cloud
in heaven, playing harps or singing praise
is dull: be sure that there are other ways
of glorifying God. The land just plowed,
the plowman’s pleasure in the land, the loud
eureka of a scientist, the phrase
unearthed, the poet’s well wrought urn; these days
and works of hands God loves, and has allowed.
But listen too, to polyphonic chant,
medieval choral oceanic songs,
cathedral deeps resounding unto deep
with solemn joy – for morning falling slant,
through windows gathering colour, belongs
to God! No new earth thing will seem too cheap.

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Exchange and Curiosity

A gull stood on the clock on Clearihue.
It cocked its head as if it heard a sound
inaudible to creatures of the ground
and underneath its feet the tower grew
into a riddle, with a nonsense clue
a secret with a turning cipher bound,
as if a combination could be found
by listening for clicks. I listened, too.
I heard the tread of strangers walking by
below in flocks, some squawking, through the door
to vaults of molten blue. I left the sky
outside and gladly gave my wings for lore,
for keys, for coins, for mysteries unseen.
But when birds speak, I don’t know what they mean.

The Incomplete Encyclopedia: Diet

Diet is a manner of law and custom for healthfulness. Nicholas the Giver says it is the mirror of recipe. Varangian says it is the government of Desire. Llyr says if a man keeps his diet faithfully, that man becomes his diet, because a diet is a rule about eating, and thing that is eaten, and a way to be. And there are Knights Material and Knights Ideal, the which are ever in strife for greatness of their quarrel, for the Knights Material say that a person is what that person consumes, and the Knights Ideal say that a person consumes what that person is, because the rule comes before the act. And it is marvelous wonder when they are reconciled to each other, except they have a custom of seeking aventure in the forest, and there it happens sometimes that they mistake friends for enemies, or enemies for friends, because they use shields without devices or colours of their houses. And many say good diet is small breads and right so after sunrise proper work until Nuncheons, and at evening much meat and a little wine. But in Skraeling they have much meat and much wine, also ale, whensoever they desire it, and they have of bread but little. A person without diet is a person without form, because people and creatures are not wholly themselves without controlling their desires. A man who does not control his lust for food or power or women becomes less of a man until it is hard to be certain what he is: only the Maker can call him back with a proper name. And you should know that no one can keep a perfect diet, so the Maker calls each person. After death his people will be formed all new and whole, and each person will keep his diet gladly. And diet will be very good and lightly carried; it will not make anyone grow weary; each person for joy of keeping it will be at peace with his neighbor and the Maker, and this in so much that they will live forever.