It is this great absence
that is like a presence, that compels
me to address it without hope
of a reply. It is a room I enter
from which someone has just
gone, the vestibule for the arrival
of one who has not yet come.
I modernise the anachronism
of my language, but he is no more here
than before. Genes and molecules
have no power to call
him up than the incense of the Hebrews
at their altars. My equations fail
as my words do. What presence have I
other than the emptiness without him of my whole
being, a vacuum he may not abhor?
R.S. Thomas (1913-2000), Frequencies, 1978.