“Khirbet Qumran: (Place of the Dead Sea Scolls)” Ensign, Mar. 1982, 68
1. Warm sandal clouds scuff
The border around Qumran.
Here, where old scrolls, holding lost summers,
Have climbed from jars
Like painted trilliums on a trellas,
I sit among the cliffs and watch
The crumbled walls form castle stones,
Echoing a forgotten generation, a place
Where modern men have invaded
The muffled stillness. Each rock reveals
Skilled hands and the diagnostic eye
Of its creator.
My eyes hunger to see the beginning,
The quick heart-thrust of each saint
Before time shut their sky.
Here, wrapped in leather, lies the reflection
Of many hearts, sparkling in the imagination
Like old coins in a fountain.
2. Out there where moonbeams creep,
Men searched for doors that could be pried open
Into lost desert sands where prophets trudged
As by some holy design
Wearing words within their soul
That would become soft, haunting trumpets
Echoing in the stillness
Until a boy unearthed their ancient sound.
3. I touch the book that has become
Wild mint in my mind,
Holding the records of Qumran.
Did they love the gospel too?
As the ample journey of these souls progressed,
Did they know the sweetness of service?
Did they know the Lord?
They wear no clarifying signatures,
And yet they spread a taste of sweetness
That will always dissolve familiar
On our lips
A honeycomb of bright joy.