Monday, 6 June 2016
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
The blue sky opens out further and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside 'love' there is more joy than we know of,
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word 'reason' you already feel miles away.
How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Some pearls are ‘cultured’ -
seeded, a bead at the centre
a seed of faith -
able to stretch and hold
both joy and pain,
a seed of love -
there as a first beginning.
lit by all we have shared -
homes, people, children
challenge and call,
despair and delight,
layers coloured more deeply
as light falls through each one.
but grown from grace.
A wonder and a source of praise -
another on the never ending string
formed in human hearts and lives,
all held in the ocean’s deepest depths of love.
Saturday, 16 May 2015
Saturday, 28 February 2015
Family doctor - off duty,
village policeman - gone with the scrumping boys
but still Our Vicar has a common meaning,
albeit only vaguely understood.
or the other worldly veil of ‘priest’.
It’s an English word, easy to say with
tired and misplaced respect
easier still to spit with scorn
over a Vicarage hedge.
Anachronistic, clinging to a past privilege
impersonal, speaking only of the role
or of the gleefully discovered flaws
revealed by sly tabloids and their wicked rhymes.
Someone who stands in - vicarious
stands in a line of names painted on a board
connecting back this baby squawking in his tiny three piece suit
to one brought here in time of plague, or war
and to the one who takes him by the ancient font
hands tipping the same water onto newborn heads.
Standing before couples from a world and time away
making the same leap into the same unknown.
Standing - each one - at every coffin’s foot
speaking the words, signing with the cross
before the spadefuls of the same earth fall.
What we the church would like to be…?
What this place of living might become
in our best hopes and hearts…?
delighting when we bring one down to earth.
But, maybe, in that place where downward V
and upward reach just touch, and hold
someone who wears an old and unloved label
(uncomfortably tight around the neck)
can dare to stand - to stand for us
and say ‘this is our place’
laughable as it is, with all our fears and flaws
our robes of ridicule and bluster,
still, underneath it all, this poor bare soul
dares to stand here
with one hand reaching up to heaven
and one hand reaching down to earth,
pulled half in two, but holding
saying, ‘I am the vicar - your vicar
standing in for you
- this is your place.’
Friday, 28 November 2014
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Maybe, as I begin to see
|Colloquy by Rory Geoghegan SJ|
Mind This ‘talking with the Lord’ is fine, I’m sure
as long as you don’t think he’s really there.
House by the Sea : Carol Bialock
Not on sand, mind you.
Not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock,
A strong house.
By a strong sea.
And we got well-acquainted, the sea and I.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier;
always the sand between.
And then one day
(I still don't know how it happened),
but the sea came.
Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but sifting across the sand like wine.
Less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher,
till it reached my door.
I knew, then, there was neither flight nor death nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being good neighbors,
Well-acquainted, friendly-from-a-distance neighbors.
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe under water.
I go to bathe in the sea in the redd'ning dawn,
along the tree-bordered path.'
'Traveller, where is that sea?'
'There where this river ends its course,
where the dawn opens into morning,
where the day droops to the dusk.'
'Traveller, how many are they who come with you?'
I know not how to count them.
They are travelling all night with their lamps lit,
they are singing all day through land and water.'
'Traveller, how far is the sea?'
'How far is it we all ask?
The rolling roar of its water swells to the sky when we hush our talk.
It ever seems near yet far.'
'Traveller, the sun is waxing strong.'
'Yes, our journey is long and grievous.
Sing who are weary in spirit, sing who are timid of heart.'
'Traveller, what if the night overtakes you?'
'We shall lie down to sleep
till the new morning dawns with its songs,
and the call of the sea floats in the air.'
We put in a toe
have a paddle
then maybe take the plunge – or fall
into this other way of being.
floating in stillness…
or masked and snorkelled
to look down in wonder at this other world.
Until one day we’re taken by the hand
and gently pulled right under –
discovering that there is no need
for flailing panic or for gasping breath.
This is our element now, and we are in it
fully, fearless and free
gliding with him through the golden light.
Sunday, 29 September 2013
Sunday, 24 March 2013
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.
from Sounding the Seasons by Malcolm Guite - see malcolmguite.wordpress.com
Friday, 15 March 2013
A long way from bread