God’s True Cloak
We must not portray you in king’s robes,
you drifting mist that brought forth the morning.
Once again from the old paintboxes
we take the same gold for scepter and crown
that has disguised you through the ages.
Piously we produce our images of you
till they stand around you like a thousand walls.
And when our hearts would simply open,
our fervent hands hide you.
Book of Hours, I 4
Translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, reprinted here with permission.
This poem was originally read in the On Being episode “A Wild Love for the World.”