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I saw an angel in the Palisades today

Through the
gates of the GWB,
and its twin towers,
beneath its vaulted archway, I sailed.
Lifted by the strong south wind;
sails bent,
wing on wing I flew.

Harlem's waters flow
from Hells Gate here,
melt and mix with the Hudson's,

Then I saw the angel
standing on a ledge in the cliffs.
Not standing, dancing
dervish and twirling
an angel of sunlight and mist.

Was it only a ray of light bent by the wind?

Opposite, Yonkers
a row of ships at dock:
The Wisdom Line!

Where is wisdom to be found?

Another ship steams south
green tug with barge.
Those in the wheel house
flying flags
whirling radar
steering for worlds
I know not of.

Above, the helicopter's staccato
twirling and spinning
blades of steel.
And the trains,
those silver snakes,
deep rumbling diesels.
These are seen and heard
no doubt.

But the angel was dancing
on a ledge in the cliffs.
And these old stones I am told
were carved by ice in an age
not ours;
this cathedral formed
by a hand not our own.

Cliffs and spires
parapets and towers
leaves of November,
gleaming in the light
in the sun
in the haze,
incense, smoke and fire,
fire on the water,
tongues of fire,
silver fire,
a Pentecost of fall.

The Tapan Zee is wide
but narrow is the gate
that leads to the kingdom
of the light.


Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.
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