Charles Harper Poems Graphic
This is a collection of 150 contemplative poems.

“Readers will find these Psalms for the new Millennium to be infused with science and a deep awareness of our place in the Universe. They offer a cosmic perspective sorely needed in today’s turbulent world.”           Steve J. Dick, former NASA Chief Historian  

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Psalm 152
High Mystery,
did you arrange the Universe thus
with all of its intricate workings?
Or did it arrange itself?
Is there a difference?
Is this all from you?
Or are you All?

Like a small child
my questions are endless –
but I do not expect an answer
nor do I want one

Were you to address me
in the language I know
you would be less than I imagine,
far less than I desire

Your silence
your darkness
your absence
hold me in their thrall
Psalm 154
You seem
unapproachable light
impenetrable darkness
intriguing mystery
profound silence
palpable presence

I have only human language
to speak of you –
to speak of that which is beyond
mortal word and mind

Yet, I pray
with words –
perhaps foolishly

Most often
silence seems best –
the truest form of prayer
Psalm 189
Tether me, Great Spirit,
to the beauty of finite limits

I know the ecstasy, fascination,
terror and awe of  looking far
into star-spangled heavens, diving
fathoms into dark ocean valleys
and probing deep into the brain

Farther, deeper, higher
than any previous generation

Yet I am but a wee child
in a vast unknowing
wherein unfolds the telos
of my brief years
Psalm 229
Life –
my life,
your life,
Life bouncing
all around us
in billions upon billions of forms,
a vast menagerie of wonder

Each here briefly

Even the towering Himalayas,
their spires piercing the clouds,
crumble and vanish

My little life, a faint glimmer
on the surface of impenetrable darkness,
an improbable blip in the seething
caldron of an evolving Universe,
an infinitesimal moment
in which to cry out
my terror and lament –

in which to hymn
my joy, my hope and thanksgiving
Psalm 243
You ask
if I have been born again?
Absolutely.  Many times
and more to come

You ask
if I believe in God?
It depends
on what you mean by “god”

You ask
if I am a Christian?
Yes, and also a Jew, Muslim
Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic . . .

You ask
to which church I belong?
All of them
and none

You ask
if I pray?  
Always, night and day.
My life is a prayer
Psalm 275
I listen to the wind
this morning

It rustles leaves
outside my window,
moves clouds
across the sky,
carries song
from bird to bird
and speaks to me
in ways no human
language can
in this hour of loss
and sorrow

It speaks an ancient tongue
far older than human words

It whispers,
Be still.
Listen for solace
in your breathing.
Your breath is of me
and I am in your breath
Psalm 299
people of Earth

Sing lustily

Lift your hearts and voices
into far reaches of our Universe

Let billions upon billions of stars,
and planets with their circling
moons, hear our songs

Boom your music into the fury
of exploding supernova

Fling your harmonies into vast
unknowns beyond farsighted telescopes

Shout triple fortissimo into deep
darkness that surrounds our fragile lights

Chant as though our small species
alone, in all the Universe,
is able to give voice to awe,
terror, amazement and praise

Let your songs, within a nanosecond, fly
Home into the heart of fathomless Mystery

Let our children hear this music
and take their songs beyond ours
Poetry by Charles H. Harper
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