The First Funeral It is with wonder when I think Of Adam, Eve, no childhood grown, Standing before the living God, Alive with language, all words known. It is with wonder, then, to think They could – not taught by human tongue – Speak out and all the world command; And world want more of what they sung. It is with wonder, so I think That that perfection came undone: Was worse to disobey – more worse Still consequences killed their son? It is with wonder now I think How Adam strove manfully to hold His Eve – mother! – breaking down As touching Abel all his cold. It is with wonder shall I think Of earth and that first funeral? One day ahead, no longer myth, And God raises One, quite literal. Seeing His Glory “Who could ever tire of seeing his glory?” Sirach, 42.25 Seeing His Glory, who could tire? Not me! I nearly died (and some) But now I live. He touched me then – To unsay that I’d be a liar. His Glory? At distance – like a fire, But not some match: instead a star, Consuming, moving, eternal, fixed, Whose light’s remote and full, entire. And seeing such provokes desire: As far as polar stars may be, Yet their distance entrances, draws, Exciting more the more retires. Something paradoxical, dire Even, the strangeness of His ways I cannot understand, but see – His Glory, I must see, requires. Not So Far Away “Not from that place where highest thunder roars down to the very bottom of the sea, is any mortal’s sight so far away as my eyes were from Beatrice there …” Paradiso XXXI. 73-76 Not so far away, so very far away From that place, for which I’ve scanned ceaselessly, And hoped always today would be the day, That I would change, be changed, and not be me. So far away, so very far, it is Which is not, because yet hasn’t come to be; Only, it seems so, since I still miss That state of blessing that’s my full destiny. Far away, very far, who sees what end? No thing tells me love’s the word, and so she’s The vision to which my sight and longings tend; If she – sweet she – turned, reached, touched – I might see. Away, far, beyond all I could deserve; Stuck here, bound in flesh and fate and not free; Subject to each whim, nothing in reserve, But through that distance, she to hear my plea. James Sale is a leading expert on motivation, and the creator and licensor of Motivational Maps worldwide. James has been writing poetry for over 50 years and has eight collections of poems published, including most recently, The Lyre Speaks True, his metaphor for the paradoxes of being a poet. He can be found at www.jamessale.co.uk and contacted at james@motivational maps.com. He is the winner of First Prize in the Society’s 2017 Competition and regularly writes reviews for the Society.