After posting about my reflections on Maggi Dawn reflecting on the Annunciation, I tracked this other beautiful poem Maggi referenced. It's by Noel Rowe, and he explains his thoughts on his composition process whereby:
'I began to think of the angel as someone who entered deeply into an ordinary moment, someone who might almost go unnoticed, messenger of a God as tactful as he was graceful. “The angel did not draw attention to himself.” Claritas, like caritas, loses its integrity if it looks to itself.
Truly beautiful angels do not think of themselves as beautiful. Perhaps I was hoping the angel would remind me that those who want to be fully alive and glorify God need to practise self-forgetfulness, otherwise they are likely to mistake the angel for a guarantee of their own holiness, to grab hold of him and prevent him passing, like beauty, through their veins'
The angel did not draw attention to himself.
He came in. So quietly I could hear
my blood beating on the shore of absolute
beauty. There was fear, yes, but also
faith among familiar things:
light, just letting go the wooden chair,
the breeze, at the doorway, waiting to come in
where, at the table, I prepared a meal,
my knife cutting through the hard skin
of vegetable, hitting wood, and the noise
outside of children playing with their dog,
throwing him a bone. Then all these sounds
dropped out of hearing. The breeze
drew back, let silence come in first,
and my heart, my heart, was wanting him,
reaching out, and taking hold of smooth-muscled fire.
And it was done. I heard the children laugh
and saw the dog catch the scarred bone.