Why Must We Land?

While the Rock Dove survives

Under train bridges by pecking

Scraps of junk food off sidewalks

Trodden by those too busy to live,

The Wandering Albatross laughs as she circumnavigates

The Southern Hemisphere on glider wings,

Seeming to only land on occasions dictated by

The Sacred Call.

While the pigeon’s life is sidewalks and

Car horns, belching busses, and roaring trains,

Her life is air currents, waves, salt spray,

Sunshine and snow; fish leaping, dolphins gliding,

And all of creation celebrating the waltz.

He rises day after day and trudges the

Streets of commerce, an endless routine of

Dullness in service to Plutus, illegitimate son of

Hades, demon of wealth, guardian of the

Fourth Circle of Hell, friend of dictators.

He is only a cog in a massive machine he

Neither understands nor sees, a machine

As large as a city filled with wheels and stamps,

Drills and noise; manufacturing

A culture of death.

Could it be, is it possible that creatures were

Never meant to land dogmatically under bridges,

Sink into silos of certainty, wall themselves off

From contradictory unknowing, and

Content themselves with intransigence?

This day, for no particular reason,

He stops on his way to the factory to

Watch the pigeons as they go about their

Polluted lives oblivious to mountainous

Cascades, valleys busting with pristine streams,

Towering pines, breaching Humpbacks, and

Painted corals filled with bright fish.

How long can a person exist, not as a person, but

As circuit connection in the devil’s factory?

Could an albatross enjoy the life of a pigeon?

“But,” cries the pigeon to the albatross,

“You have nowhere to call home, no metal

Beam to perch on, no old French fries to eat;

Alone on an open sea!”

“Ah!” replied the Albatross, “I drink rain from the sky,

And eat fish fresh from the sea;

The Anemoi are my friends; I commune with creatures

You cannot imagine and see sites you cannot comprehend;

I feel sensations you will never know, for I live

As Abba intended.”

Leaving his lunch pail lying open on the wall,

An offering of thanks to Rock Doves everywhere,

He walks until he cannot walk anymore,

Then rides until he cannot ride any longer,

Past factories and warehouses, past suburbs and

Dying malls, until

The noise begins to fade.  

At the helm of a gaff-rigged schooner

Compass holding at 198°, wind and spray

In his face, grizzly beard tasting salty,

Squinting into the ragged sky as a blazing

Sunset paints a pallet of colors;

Through the night under Milky Way

And shimmering green aurora australis

Until Apollo lifts his chariot with a blaze of glory.

It was then that she appeared,

Snowy-white Wandering Albatross,

Soaring on eight-foot wings, swooping and

Rising, in freedom, purpose, and joy.

He smiled and gazed in simple admiration,

Happily surprised when she swooped near him

Once, twice, thrice.

Did the albatross suddenly grow, or

Did he suddenly shrink?

They are the same size now.

He stretches to discover wings for arms

And feathers for skin as a gentle breeze

Lifts him off the deck high into the sky

Where he, now free, soars into

A cloud of mysterious unknowing,

The Secret Place of the Most High.

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on December 4, 2021, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: