Perichoresis (Dance of the Trinity)
Within the pond, fish flow in fluid dance,
Scaled shapes shadow its depths with fire
Their liquid grace reflects the touch of water
Which changes stiff fins to silken wings.
The pond accepts the gesture of my open hands
But it troubles the subtle harmony of fish
Outstretched fingers seem like a net to fish
As I reach to join the intricate dance
I cannot capture their elusive fire
My life began swimming in a world of water
Cradled in a womb’s enfolding wings,
Then I drew breath in a healer’s hands.
The touch of water baptizes my hands
Splashing into its source in drops like fish
Rippling the surface in a ribbon dance
To an accompaniment of sparkling sunlit fire,
Or raindrops gently weeping over water,
Or snow feathers drifting down from stormy wings.
In clouds, water rides the air on wings
Staining fight with rainbow ribboned hands
Falling, rain sings a song for fish
To weave into the spiral of their dance.
Barren, until caressed by sunbeams’ fire,
Earth’s life first danced in her water.
Below mud clouds rise to darken clear water.
Death circles life as change grows wings
Past flows to future through my open hands
I live bound by limits like a netted fish.
Everyday beats time in the eternal dance
Turning under the starry zodiac’s pale fire
Earth comes to a time of trial by fire
Rebirth begins with burial in water-
Ends with the shape of a butterfly’s wings
Spirit reaches beyond the touch of hands
To eat the meat (in Greek letters “fish”)
New Patterns are created in the dance.
In the beginning, born from water,
shaped by time’s refining fire.
Transcendence offers bread and fish,
blessing them with wounded hands
And creation rises on dove’s wings
to join the circling cosmic dance.
Ruth Meredith, 1988
used by permission of the author