The Book of Kells

Here, there’s no circle, only the spiral, endlessly
turning back on itself. No straight lines, only curves,
coiling, looping. There’s no direct path to the Kingdom
of Heaven; it’s circuitous, echoing the barrow graves
of Newgrange, indecipherable swirls, zigzags, lozenges.
Knots without end, alpha and omega, merged. Lines
that refuse to conform to a pattern, dance to their own rhythm,
lost in a maze. Here, the power’s derived from the wander,
and each turn changes the rules. Turn-in-the-Path. Head-Under-Wing.
Is it possible to capture God in a furrow, snare Him within curvilinear lines?
Metalwork without pattern, interlace gone wild. Yet, no matter
how many twistings and turnings, it returns to the center, the still heart’s core.

Barbara Crooker lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. This poem is from a book-length project of meditations on The Book of Kells.

Image: Detail from the Book of Kells; public domain via Wikimedia Commons