Reena Esmail

I. We Look for You (Evensong – Raag Hamsadhwani)

Eventide, our single star,
One looking star, this night.
Next to me, the sparrow hen,
Two pilgrims small and bold.
Dusking hour, that lonely hour
The sky dims blue to grey.
Our forest road will fade,
We look for You.
Pines glisten wet with sleet,
She looks with me,
We look for You.
Fog falls in
So close, my breath,
She looks with me,
We look for You:
Great Silent One Unseen,
We look for You.
Eventide, our single star,
One looking star, this night.
We look for You,
Forgiving light, our guide.

II. The Year’s Midnight (Matins – Raag Malkauns)

The longest night is come,
A matins for beasts, they low, they kneel,
O, their sleep, their psalm sung.
A matins for trees, they slow, they stem,
O, their reach, their psalm won.
Hush, hush,
Can I hear them?
Can I hear what is not said?
Hush, hush,
Can I hear You?
Ev'ry need met.
To light, the path is dark,
Our star has gone.
Beneath my feet a year of leaves fallen, frozen, done.
I walk these woods,
The longest night is come,
Above me, the sparrow,
She brings our new seed home.
Brown true sparrow,
Take tomorrow home.

III. The Unexpected Early Hour (Lauds – Raag Ahir Bhairav)

Praise be! praise be!
The dim, the dun, the dark withdraws
Our recluse morning's found.
The river's alive
The clearing provides
Lie down, night sky,  lie down.
I feel the cold wind leaving, gone,
I feel the frost's relief.
My tracks in the snow can still be erased
In us, the sun believes.
Winter is, Winter ends,

So the true bird calls.
The rocks cry out
My bones cry out
All the trees applaud.
Ev'ry hard thing lauds.
Lie down, night sky, lie down.
I know the seeding season comes,
I know the ground will spring.
My fate is not night
I don't need to try
Behold! The dawn, within.
Horizon lights across my thoughts,
Horizon lines redraw.
Inside of my throat a rise of the gold
Inside my chest I thaw.
Winter is, Winter ends,
Nothing stays the same.
The moon strikes high,
The sun strikes high and
Now I hear your name:
Earth's Untired Change.
Praise be! praise be!
The unexpected early hour
grows the good light long.
Our darkness ends,
O mercy sun,
Trust can warm us all.
Begin again, again, again,
O may our day begin!

Poems by Rebecca Gayle Howell

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