Archives for the month of: April, 2015

The war shot the patriot from my heart
as if the curse of blood
were not enough.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
I thank my God for evenings and mornings
that rest quietly in the graves of the fallen,
the absence of war
and, yet, the presence of war
in the still-wet killing fields.

I thank my God for the peace
that punches our hearts
and never gives up its search
for a welcome,
who homes even into the midst of slaughter,
who pursues and teases the returned,
who shrinks from the decision-makers,
who feels left out of the rallies
– even those in its name –
but haunts those who have passed beyond the depths.

We will remember them
and we will cry tears of blood
at the sight of our sins,
at the lies that led us to hate,
at the creation of the ‘other’
and the mother’s children dropping from our country’s eyes.

May God build a shrine in my soul
large enough for every unmarked trauma,
with a white flag
and the charred remains of borders.

May God shower us with sorrow
for all fever to exploit,
to colonise,
to name superior,
and to ever be loyal
except to God’s truth.

O God, purge the hatred from amongst us,
let us retaliate by blessing.

Beat the drum against all evil,
most especially in my heart.

Lest we forget
the pain of every wound,
the glory lost to conquerors,
the sweat of every peace-maker:
Lest we forget.

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One day the sun rose in the West.
Nobody blinked.
Well, one or two marvelled at the phenomenon.
A couple, just like you or I,
checked their memory-banks for where the sun should rise
and, having confirmed the East,
permitted themselves to be startled,
at least.
But the rest,
perhaps unable to pinpoint the strange sensation
of the rising sun in the West,
went about their daily business:
checking the camels,
baking the bread,
mending the nets,
tending the pets,
spinning the wool,
spinning tales of the sun
rising on every horizon,
but never in the West.
And we, too, go about our daily business:
checking the cheques,
buying the bread,
spending the bets,
fending off debts,
telling the tills,
telling the tales two thousand years later.
One day the Son rose in the West.
Well, West of here, but perhaps for you
North or South or East
at least
as one or two professed.
That Son who’d died
came up where least expected:
His light had resurrected.

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I don’t pretend to know your thoughts
as you rocked on the edge of the precipice,
arms flung out,
waiting to fall
and not knowing how to fly.
I heard that your words were lost
in acres of vast silence
and you cried,
but your tears
turned to salt just like the rest of us.
I suppose the guilt laid on you needed an outlet,
a fall to match our fall
and in the pain
of forgiveness
you promised to keep gathering our trash.
I wish I had the innocence to be shocked
that you not only fell but you flew
and we have life
and could fly
if we too could fling our arms out for love.

smHogan