The Orb, in Raiment Splendor, Turns

spinningGlobe14 May 2016

The orb, in raiment splendor, turns
east to west and back again,
the raiment sun clothing it in light,
diamonding each nation in turn.

It is this sun that clothes the rowers
oaring the rivers of the world,
oaring the hammered silver
rivers necklacing the orb.

O gaudy embarrassment of beauty,
brought bright without apology,
you blind, but blind, delightfully,
closing my eyes to all that is ugly.

Ah!, but then does not
your raiment beautify
even the toad, wart-abundant,
and the dung beetle whose burden is

to work upon a less than desirable heap?
My garden lies richly gauzed
with your gaudiness, through which
a breeze laughs with playfulness,

playfulness like the splashing
of oars of rowers out
for a morning of exercise.
Knotted muscles must be loosened.

They row the turning orb,
their oars like the fingers
of the students of the world
that turn globes standing on shelves.

There, in miniature, one can see
the raiment diamonding
each nation in turn,
raiment shining its luxury

of light equally, free of judgement,
a luxury given, unconditionally,
for us to use, or throw away,
this orb ours to cultivate, or pillage?

Raiment splendor I wrap round me
to keep off my body the shroud of night,
too clinging the shroud,
too close for comfort.

Raiment splendor allows me space
to move beyond the touch of night,
toward first light where turns the orb,
rowed by the oars of the gods.

Philip Kuepper
(2 April 2016)

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