1982
Khirbet Qumran: (Place of the Dead Sea Scolls)
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“Khirbet Qumran: (Place of the Dead Sea Scolls)” Ensign, Mar. 1982, 68

Khirbet Qumran:

(Place of the Dead Sea Scolls)

1982 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner

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

Unknown, unheard,

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.