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  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker


Here in a bright alchemy, history

collides and combines with eternal things.

The mundane is infused with mystery,

and the dust and mud and blood have wings.

Here every moment of time is pregnant

with meaning, every tick of the clock fecund

with potential, and every tock significant—

eternity bulging in every second.

And so in this one afternoon in Spring

as the light infuses the golden stone,

the girl startled looks up from her weaving,

and gasps in fear. She thought she was alone.

But another being, as high and clear

as the cosmos hovers there. All awhirl,

the spirit spirals down from another sphere

to magnify with light the little girl.

Here the seen and unseen began to dance.

The timeless took the time to enter time.

Here all things gained a new significance,

and the divine and human began to rhyme.

Here flight was grounded— here the spiritual

and the physical began to enmesh.

And here omnipotence began to wrestle

with the bloody reality of human flesh.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A graduate of Oxford University, he is the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Greenville, SC, and author of twenty books, including Immortal Combat, The Romance of Religion, The Quest for the Creed, and Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He contributes to many magazines, papers, and journals, including National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, and The Stream. His latest book, Beheading Hydra- A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age, is published by Sophia Institute Press. Visit his blog, listen to his podcasts, join his online courses, browse his books, and be in touch at


Dec 06, 2021

A marvelous poem, Father. It captures in palpable, concrete way the union of the eternal and the temporal, the moment when eternity entered into time. Meditating on the Incarnation, it is easy to overlook the intimate, even mundane setting of that universe-altering event, and this poem does a wonderful job of reminding the reader, particularly the religious reader, of that very human, flesh-and-blood aspect. Thank you!


Dec 01, 2021

I agree with Cindy. This is a fine poem. The fifth stanza is marvellous. And the sixth doesn't disappoint. Fine last line in the context of the whole poem: 'the bloody reality of flesh'. Could easily imagine John Donne writing this. And I love John Donne!


Cindy Erlandson
Cindy Erlandson
Dec 01, 2021

This is glorious! The theme of heaven's and earth's spheres coming together is nowhere better seen than in the incarnation (though I also think of the story of Jacob's ladder, and of Holy Communion). "eternity bulging in every second"; "the divine and human began to rhyme"; and your final two exquisite lines, are priceless. At first I was having some trouble with the meter; but on more careful reading, the occasional irregularity began to make sense, especially as illustrative of the irregularity of the fusion of the human and the divine.

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