“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5: 24, ESV)*

Philip Mantofa, “Enoch–Walking With God” (2016), Acrylic on Canvas, Artrue Gallery, Taipei City • Tainan City

“. . . our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of supreme lucidity–a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of a bold new life that we had been meant to lead all along.” (Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow, Viking Press, 2016, pp. 441-42)

Starting out, he told himself he ran with God,
slowing the pace, God being ancient, bearing
the weight of the universe on his shoulders,

his back, his arthritic knees, no longer able
to maintain a seven-minute mile, slowing to
just over a three-hour marathon,

his time never better than
three hours and twenty minutes,
God slowing for him at mile eighteen.

And now he had been granted the compensation
of race walking, mostly alone in the early dark
with his memories, a line or two repeated

until written down, a poet’s threshold to the Past,
a tranquil recollection invented,
racing his pencil across the page.

John August Swanson, “Peaceable Kingdom”

He considered Enoch, patriarch of piety,
the lost Garden, its vegetarian beasts,
lying down with tender creatures,

a child their caretaker: tawny lion
and tottering lamb; tiger burning bright
the night, orange passing through

the tall grass; color-wheel-splashed-
ostentatious bird; star-nosed mole,
constellation of the underworld;

saber cat and shepherd dog; giraffe
and mammoth; tortoise and sloth;
and the shadow creature

winging past the moon.
He found himself on this path he blazed
through primeval vegetation,

across volcanic rock beds, the crumbling ledge
of chasms, flash floods like parted
sea walls collapsing, his awe-filled yielding.

Akiane Kramarik, “Peace” …and a little child shall lead them…Isaiah 11:6-9

*For Tom Lockhart