The Kapellmeister (in memoriam John Scott)

We thought we held you in our hands,
Content to bask in radiant glory.
But you slipped through like golden sand,
Cascading to the bottom of the glass,
And now your gift is music’s story.

We thought we fixed you with our eyes,
Regarding shape of phrase and gesture.
But you evaporated right
Suddenly. From the universe you passed.
Too soon you turned our Lauds to Vespers.

We thought we caught you in our ears,
Absorbent, living halls of sound!
But now this news confirms our fears:
Your temple is shattered. Its walls won’t last.
God’s music escapes, returns to ground.

We thought we knew you with our minds,
Willing pilgrims, joined to thinking.
But your oasis crept behind
Us. Our imagined future now is past.
The sand we thought was firm is sinking.

They thought they’d loved Him to the end,
Heart broken friends, on Calvary.
But his eternal view would knock them
Sideways. From wrenching death to life he passed,
And clothed the sands of time with glory.

We know we’ll join the choir, once more
New. Hopeful pilgrims, born again
In greater light, on different shore.
And this our anthem, joyous, unsurpassed:

August 2015

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