! Who Can Weigh Love? - Poem by Michael Shepherd
Light. Lightness. Light-heartedness.
Who can measure their measureless weight?
On the kitchen scales, we balance
weight against weight; but how different
the substances - on the one scale,
iron weights with their iron discipline
maintain like monks and nuns their constancy;
on the other scale, perhaps fine flour,
poured as bakers recommend, from a height
to catch the air between the grains; a foretaste
of that greater levity that yeast will bring;
Lorenzo de’ Medici, praising publicly his tutor,
Marsilio Ficino, said of him, that one thing in him which he loved
was that in his speech, gravity was mixed with levity,
and levity, with gravity;
what then, of our substance? In the lightness
of our being, then how bright the light! And in
the dark and heavy days, what lightness of the light may lurk
in melancholia – a yeast of wisdom yet to act?
And then – there’s love…its golden weightiness
so full of light; and hammered out and spread,
the brighter then…oh, who can measure out
the lightness, brightness, of our joy? What golden scales
of justice, mercy, grace,
may weigh the shining of a shining face?
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