Abraham, Abraham - gonnae no?
Gonnae no dae that?
Is that how you might hear the God
these days, the moment that you’re poised
to do whatever horrid thing seems suddenly
a pressing need - the familiar
cadence of a homely voice? No
thundering winds, no wildfire roar
but unmistakably addressing you
with some urgency - no chance of
You drop the knife right there, son,
and your boy lives.
How was it in the dark of night
when the Temple slept and the voice
whispered through the echoing space
where the lamps flickered
and the boy woke and heard
his name - Hey, Sam, Sam,
gonnae waken up?
And Elijah under his solitary bush?
Son, ye cannae sleep - Elijah
eat your tea and get your strength and
get tae where ye’re gaun.
Are we bereft because we listen
for the voice in perfect prose
preferably with a touch of
sixteen hundreds charm
and then we miss the total
urgency of what we need
to hear, to heed, to know?
And so the cosmic words go on
in Babel tones among the crowd:
Écoute-moi - escucha -
hören - ascoltare! The voice persists,
the voice of friend, of stranger
in a bar, a chance
meeting by the way. So, all of yous
gonnae listen the noo?