The first sign.
The spirit, hovering over the waters.
There, in jars, for purification – but only of hands
– in these days, who would dare swallow?
That which pulls the corks from our hearts,
warms them and opens them to others,
has run out. Disaster.
The cold realities of shame and shyness
lurk at the door, waiting to creep back in,
to steal away our brief conviviality.

The third day.
Suddenly, plenty.
Not even twelve new skins will hold the leftovers.
This is for celebration, not hoarding. Like manna,
it cannot, will not be kept
beyond this day’s festivities.
Here, as in waters above the firmament,
there is no fear of scarcity, no dread of excess.
Fruit of the vine and work of human hands
– but whose work? and what vine?

One small step.
Into the waters of baptism, into death and rebirth.
Or are they a richer bath, of wine, His blood,
proclaiming His death until He comes?
In it a world is drowned;
a life, like leaven, now only sediment.
Neither feared nor regretted, it has played its part –
a marvellous alchemy whereby sin gave
this grace-bath its potency,
its power to preserve.

A new world.
Corruptible swallowed up
by incorruptible.
The tingling liquor in our veins, now, too.
The raw materials of a feast, a party, at our fingertips.
Sign and sacrament for a cold-turkey world.
What might we touch, name, give, make alive,
to glow, give joy, bind together?
Let the games begin.


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