sunset at horizon, image by "olesya41" on Pixabay
—A Song For Iran—
Brave Persian women facing down the sun
at dusk like hosts who see away a guest
until it turns the corner of the horizon.
But they remain to welcome the shadows
without fear of what evenings might bring,
greeting a new night with clenched hope.
They stand close to one another, warm
untrembling hands interlocked and trust
like saffron blooming in their veins
and intensifying like orange flame
that burns away suspicion and shame
in a nation infused with life by the fire.
Their calloused fingers will receive
the reward of their labor in honor
and security for the people they protect
like lions wielding dignity, curved, sharp,
true, and preparing for a peace deeper
than the howl of packs of prowling jackals
who try to keep them at bay, afraid,
running in circles around them as prey
profiting from death and the terror
of the prospect of change. But they
break like rusted strings on a battered lute
that will play new songs for a new spring day.
— He Knows What Lies In Darkness—
“He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:22)
He knows what lies in darkness:
Shadows slipping into closets
With staccato steps whispering Conspiracy;
Clumps of envying lizard beings
Scraping the cloth beneath the mattress;
And all the hideous monsters hiding
In the deep of Nebuchadnezzar’s nightmares—
Unspoken threats to power
And the power to unself kings.
He knows what lies in darkness.
The setting sun that curves past
The horizon of the knowable
Dwells with him as a light crown
Glinting off the mountain peak
Where no clouds obscure his reign,
Where rocks roll down to crumble
Corrupt regimes into dusty clay
And everything is revealed
And everything is his kingdom.
(Previously published in Wine Cellar Press)
Ryan Keating is a writer, pastor, and winemaker on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review, Ekstasis Magazine, Amethyst Review, Macrina Magazine, Fathom, Vocivia, Roi Fainéant, and Miras Dergi, where he is a regular contributor in English and Turkish.