7-4 Mysterium

Mysterium Tremendum

            —Rudolf Otto, central concepts in his The Idea of the Holy


When at the ocean’s vast expanse,

I could barely discern with glance,

The mammoth storm front drowned the sun;

Light sank into oblivion.

Two miles up the dark clouds came

As lightning pierced with white-hot flame.

I pondered well mortality,

Beneath the storm’s ferocity.


But here is calm. I lay, looked deep

At stars so wide, so far, so steep

Their hidden planets spin, revolve.

I felt my bookish mind dissolve.

Our solar home? A little dot

In this galaxy’s backyard plot.

Between the stars, the coldest space

Fills me with dread and chills my face.


I lay awestruck in awesome stare,

Felt eternity’s awful glare.

Submerged beneath colossal night,

I am a ghost clothed in moonlight.

The universe moves in ballet.

My veiny hands, uplifted, pray

Not to infinite space and death,

But to Yahweh’s life-giving breath.