Hospitality for Ray

Sandstone lambent at the near
and far edges of many a span of daylight;
softly sun-washed bracken brackets the days;
a firelight that has travelled so many millions of miles
to warm and brighten us so momentarily.

Weary traveller, come in, come in
here at day’s end or day’s begin,
shake the stardust from your clothes,
have a morsel, a sup, a rest,
and when you have recovered, regale us
with your traveller’s tales, the gossip you gathered
on your immense journey here, the sights you’ve seen,
perils you’ve surmounted, wonders you’ve witnessed;
we hate to rush you when you’ve only just caught your breath,
but oh, do hurry! We can see you are fading fast
and we crave a last word from you,
some crust of news before your parting.

But no, no, pay us no mind. We are greedy.
You have brought your very self all this weary way
and we are content to bask in your presence
and thank you profusely for your effuse translucence
on these walls of stone so warmed and flushed,
for making lush with light the scrubby brush,
for brightening our brows,
for lighting up our eyes so richly.

Yes, a hearty handshake and slap on the back
before you go away again so quickly, never to return,
having played your part – we will await your counterpart,
the next traveller who alights here on our day’s doorstep
after so long a journey, and we will welcome him or her
in your memory, time and time again.

For the sun-licked slab that blushed in day’s margin
we bless you, fellow-creature,
for the blessing you, apostolos of phos,
so faithfully delivered from so far… thank you for
the burning thickening of colour on our drab world,
that generous drop of fire from your fireworld so vast
and distant, yet so near now that you’re here. Truly,
he makes his ministers a flame of fire.


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