A Song for Simplicity: Luci Shaw

Stained Glass windows by Marc Chagall at Fraumünster, Zurich.

A Song for Simplicity

There are some things that should be as they are:
plain, unadorned, common, and all-complete;
things not in a clutter, not in a clump,
unmuddled and unmeddled with,
the straight, the smooth, the salt, the sour, the sweet.
For all that’s timeless, untutored, untailored, and untooled,
for innocence unschooled,
for unplowed prairie, primal snow and sod,
water unmuddied, wind unruled,
for these, thank God.

With both hands unjewelled and with unbound hair
beauty herself stands unselfconscious where
she is enough to have, and worth the always holding.
The mind perceiving her, the heart enfolding
echoes the unchanged pattern from above
that praises God for loveliness, and love.

Glory again to God for word and phrase
whose magic, matching the mind’s computed leap,
lands on the lip of truth
(plain as a stone well’s mouth, and just as deep),
and for the drum, the bell, the flute, the harp, the bird,
for music, Praise! that speaks without a word.

As for the rightness to be found
in the unembellished square, and the plain round,
in geometric statement of a curve,
respond without reserve
but with astonishment that there’s for every women,
every man,
one point in time, one plainly drafted plan.
And in your unique place
give glory for God’s grace.

All this from Him whose three-in-one
so simply brought to birth
from the red earth
a son.
All our complexity, diversity, decor,
facet the gem, encrust the clarity.
So pierce we now the opalescent glaze
till all our praise
rises to Him in whom we find no flaw.

Luci Shaw


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