Volume > Issue > The Gravity of Our Situation

The Gravity of Our Situation


By Laurie Hibbet | September 1983

Now we shall conquer space they say,

Why not? We came from far away,

Seeing we fell to earth (from where?)

So homing instinct cries: “To air!”

Or if it’s true we rose from slime

And did not fall, a rise in time

Is yet a rise: with skyward will

We seek to go on rising still.


Where will it end? God knows. I think

It often ends when on the brink

Of seeing Him (as once at Eden’s tree)

We shrink from such proximity,

Which, like the sun, both draws and burns,

Leading us on, then on us turns

A penetrating ray so bright

That thus exposed our hearts take fright,

Too frail to bear the perfect power

That once in Eden was our dower.


So down we come, again to lie

In old familiar mud, then die

And live again, but yearning still

To rise and go and have our fill

Of purity, despite the pain,

We start the whole thing once again.


Father Above, must this go on forever?

Is time a pathless pond, or sky-drawn river?

Are all our flights to heaven that attract us

Doomed by the earthly magnets that dis­tract us?


A thunder sounding breaks the leaden spell:

“My buoyant sons will not remain in hell.”

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