Holy Ground

By Philip C. Kolin - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - 8 June 2014


Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15


Let the beach be holy ground

in the burning-bush July sun

a sky the texture of eternity

angels hymning in the waves

exaltation, exaltation, exaltation.


Be pure in all manner of walking, loosen

your sandals, gird up your currents,

convene your coasts

before the Torah-breathing God

all feet must be bare



Gospelers with foreheads like wax

burn votive thoughts

search for phylacteries in fish

find epiphanies without scales.


An old man with a Moses beard,

a child with Isaac eyes,

bone and inheritance,

red seas and beryl shores,

put in their forever names.


The ark is carried over

the Jordan heaped, and held until

discalced priests with twelve-stone shoulders

bring news of rest, deliverance and benediction,

a return of the water.