Drums in the Deep
A Poem for William on His Twelfth Birthday, July 19, 2015
Given July 30, 2015
Far in the distance, hear the drums in the deep:
Harrowing your waking hours, haunting in your sleep;
Booming from the caverns where the dark spirits delve;
Threatening and throbbing on the day that you turn twelve.
Drawing ever closer as they drum out their hate,
Pound the reckless rhythm as they ponder your fate;
Surety of victory—in confidence he comes:
Madness in his burning eyes—the beater of the drums.
Feel the drums thundering, and thudding in your chest,
Heralding the breaking and the burning of the West;
Warning of the onset of the enemies of Faith;
Crying out the coming of the terror-kindled Wraith.
Hear the loud thunder of the Three and the One:
Drowning out the drumming ere the battle is begun;
Filling all the battlefield with Fury and with Fear;
Now He’s calling out—He’s calling you—to fight and persevere.
Far in the distance hear the drums in retreat:
Beating out the broken signal of their blistering defeat;
Moaning in their misery, the fury of His eyes
Burning down upon the devils as they fly in sick surprise.
Hear your heart beating as you hold to your ground:
Now you’re tearing out the terror, lest it trap you and confound;
Resolving that the fear will find no home there evermore,
For this is but the End of the Beginning of the War.
Hear your proud father, as he pounds with his pen
A birthday poem for his son—the time has come again;
Proud, but much more thankful, that this son bears still a Sword:
Carrying the Covenant, the Banner of the Lord.