Poetry

By Paul Armstrong


Qualitative Change

The depth of love
Increases more and more,
As wanting from gives way
To wanting for.

Resistance

I am the rock.
So stubborn,
So resistant
To change.
And He
Is the water.
Gently,
And subtly
Changing me
Day by day.

Early Morning Seminary

Midwinter.
We are spectral figures
in the black predawn.
Speaking only in muffled tones
we brave the thick frost of the parking-lot
and negotiate the darkened chapel
to meet in our classroom
as beings seeking company
in some small cave.
Lights on.
The furnace sporadically
coughs warm air
into our conversations,
and you raise slow hands
to answer my probing
of your sleep-starved senses.
I, in turn, interpret all your yawns
to my instructive needs
and perceive the glimmer
of the spirit in your eyes
that urges me to give my best
while yet wondering
whether it is at all worth it.
Then comes the Sabbath,
and you declare testimonies
to the Lord
before the ward
that wring tears from my doubt.
I, with the congregation,
observe your youthful grace
as you repeat convictions
I recognize from class.
O my young friends,
I know then, with God,
it is indeed worth
my small effort.