“Atomic Psalm”

Last night the stars seemed not themselves,
for they sang such a lonely song
I heard all creation weep along.
And the moon seemed too molten hot–
it burned a hole right through the roof,
right through the sky, it burned
an empty place into the night.

And oh how the world rocked
like a cradle in the ether of the dark.
And how the children, lost in dreams,
awoke with a start, not out of fear
but from surprise. They blinked their eyes
in that starless night, that moonless night,
and cried, though no one heard.

God-Who-Is-Not, give us a lock
of your immortal hair, or give us stars
that we can reach and hang upon the bars
of our despair; give us back the rock
called moon, that still, white face
we write our lives upon. Give us back
our dark hope in its golden case.

~ Maurya Simon, from Days of Awe

One thought on ““Atomic Psalm”

  1. suekranzdorf says:

    Dear Jena,

    Thank you for sharing the words you find as you journey. I am moved over and over again and want to offer comfort. I send you love. Here are some words I turn to often:


    Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
    up to where you’re bravely working.

    Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
    here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

    Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
    If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
    you would be paralyzed.

    Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
    the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings.

    (as translated by Coleman Barks)



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