A night when God means nothing will be the night
When stars no longer speak, anvil silent
From already trying to awe others
Into believing in some answer
That has no voice. They’ll mock passing hours
Short-wicked with vigil light when a dark cathedral
Does not hide its Big Empty too well, altar
Candles wing-burning into something far
Less than the room’s tiny universe,
Shadow-flamed & God-quiet. Something stirs
A longing one no longer had. Faith lightens
That stone of silence at the end of amen.
Outside, the last leaves preach their own gospel,
Bless-uss, Bless-uss, black oak canopy cradled
Beneath the forgiveness of soft-spoken starlight.
—Greg Sellers, from Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, v.4, no.2, Fall 2004 (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004)