Scott Cairns
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A Portrait of Scott Cairns

We face a man who’s been out to the edge.
All of us harrow Hell, but none can come
Through Paradise unscathed. From the high ledge
Of the holy mountain few come home
To bring us news, and help us share the burden:
Christ’s beauty and His sorrow, meeting us
In every place and person, lest we harden
Our hearts to Him, lest we avert our gaze
From God’s iconostasis, flickering
In the strong faces of his ordinary saints
Lit by their little fires and beckoning
Us on with them to Heaven. Cross-light slants
Onto this picture of Christ’s scathing grace:
A poet’s burdened and unburdened face.