The Alarm

Deborah Beach Giordano
© August 3, 2012

Awakened at 1:21 a.m.
(so much for that “early to bed” business)
a late-returning neighbor
has set off his car alarm;
through the open window
the rattle of keys
muffled curses,
oh damn, oh hell, oh damn!

The electronic shrieks
are silenced,
quiet is restored;
peace
hovers over the dark street
like a dove:
a gentle presence
I can almost touch.

The moonglow
outshines
the streetlamp,
casting shadows
on the curtain,
sprinkling the carpet
with gold dust;
hinting of magic
and mystery.

All was magic once:
the radiant sun,
the candlesoft moon,
the birds, the bees,
the bugs,
the nightblooming jasmine,
the changing seasons …

Now everything
has been explained;
there is no magic,
no wonder,
no marvels:
magnetism
and molecules,
science is the answer.

Sleepless
in the shadows
I wonder …
about the cost
of cold
hard logic;
the price we pay
for knowing everything
and understanding nothing.

Why does the moonlight
stir our souls,
why does the nightingale
sing,
why do people move
into houses near churches
then complain when
matins bells ring?

Our lives are filled
with alarms
protecting us –
allegedly –
against robbers and thieves;
we’re scanned
at airports,
examined
by doctors,
inoculated
against
every known disease.

Yet science alone
brings no peace,
only newly-discovered terrors
requiring more alarms
we’ll set off
on ourselves
like my neighbor,
stumbling and cursing
in the dark.

Be still and listen,
quiet your fears;
look to the heavens,
at the glorious multitude
of stars,
rejoice
in the dark,
sacred,
silent night.

Once,
so they say,
a Child was born
on such a night as this;
sent to us
bearing the Promise
of unending
boundless love.

On this night,
so like that holy night,
may we all
be at peace
and rejoice
in His Name.

Amen

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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