Great to be back!

Isaac, thanks for busting up the evil Russian hackers and giving us our blog back.

Here’s the link to the big size-scale of all things in the universe (real and theoretical) that I shared with many in person and promised to post here.

Also, here is Hopkin’s “The Starlight Night” and the response that I recently wrote. (There are many resources online for this poem, some of them very official. This is an informal little blog by a Catholic mother that I enjoyed.)

At a Fireside with “The Starlight Night”

I bring a pan, that’s all. You pour the words in,
rattling and bouncing against my skull.
I leave them heating, drop in a slab of butter, and they burst:
fleshy white meat spilling from splintered yellow kernels,
splayed into sharp points, filling my mind to overflow,
feeding on your bursting words as they knock together,
spinning and popping, hissing through oil.

Fire-folk: their chariots and ladders ascending, descending,
coals glowing on a moving alter, then pausing to rest with three men in a furnace,
arrayed in ranks on the city walls, around city walls, protecting and assailing fortresses.
Or is it a festival with songs swelling and branches beating the air—
throngs moving in slow circles up the climbing streets?
Is a king born? Do they hail him upon hilltops and high citadels?
What cities are these that burn, buried deep in the sky, built out of reach
or are they under our feet? What glints amid those dark trees—
there, on the edge of my sight? Deep wells, old pools, reflecting white light,
calling lithe dancers to spin on their brinks. And do they wander sadly westward
or linger, peering into caverns, seeing them shine with gems?
Oh that I could see like them, with starlight eyes. Diamonds beneath me, before me!
I will get up and dance with them! I will burst myself like a fat yellow kernel.
But they flutter and scare at my clumsy running.
Cold snow kicked up in flurries of wind and carried off.
I will sit quietly. They will return, drifting back in heaps while I pray.
There is nothing to do, only to wait for their coming.
They do not know how to refuse silent longings.

Ah, yes! Here is the wild procession again, coming over the hill—
a sunrise amid apple blossoms!
A field of ripe corn, tasseled and opening, bent by wind.
Catkins, heavy with pollen, trailing in water, draped over the road.
Or is this the canal where those exiles hung harps, cursing
with longing for hearth and home?
But I am out of the cold; I’ve done wandering; I’m up in the loft, now,
throwing down provisions for a long winter’s warmth.
Am I come into my inheritance?
Do they knead white flour into cakes for me? Am I celebrated as a king?
Or is this waybread and manna? Am I only well-provisioned for a further journey?
Your warm words have brought me to a fence I know well, to an old encampment.
Behind this border is Galadriel and tall mallorns waving golden branches,
trees bearing castles. She inside was a bride once, crowned with twelve stars
and pursued into a wilderness by fiery devils, but now she shines with love,
gazing on a Son returned to His well-stocked home,
to halls of light and peals of hot, loud laughter,
to a feast that I have never seen or heard.

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