Archives for category: 2009 poems

Today is Holy Thursday. A reflection of mine from 2009:

The Thursday Moss

These rocks that I nurture
ramble indolently
from the bent-over One
to the bent-under three
and if messages could
pass along my dull green,
oh! It would change
this weak human scene.
On my eastmost rock
see, I bear elbows
that are shaking, trembling
like minor death-throes.
My leaves are absorbing
muttered words of prayer.
They cry soundlessly
to show that I care.
My stalks are channelling
these heavy tears,
absorbing the shivering
release of his fears.
And all of this drama
is making me frown,
for what a contrast
from my west, further down,
for here I’m a pillow
for sleepyheads, three,
who haven’t discerned
the One’s urgency.
He told them to wait
and I’m waiting too,
but doing much better;
they nodded on cue
and now they’re dead to it
and I’m left awake,
a witness, He’ll die
for theirs, and my, sake.
Also, for some more good Easter poetry, see http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=46121#.VvMUkRyli1E.

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Next week is Anti-Poverty Week and today I was amazed to hear that Australia has come out at the very top of Credit Suisse’s world rich list on wealth per person for the past two years running. We have so much, yet we (at least, at the government level) share so little with the disadvantaged both in our own country and overseas. I do hear that personally, Australians are very generous towards charities, but there is a mentality that solving poverty is someone else’s business. Where now is the Christian call to “bring good news to the poor”? Can we also bring news of relief from poverty? I wrote this in 2009, finding that we are all culpable in one way or another.

Someone Else’s Saviour

When resigned corporations
think that money turns the world
we fear
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When rice-fields, mine-fields, grave-fields
bury freedom underground
we pray
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When eking out a living
leaves no room for them to speak
we dream
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When tangled in this messy net
of interdependent responsibility
we feel
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When real stories shock and shame us
and we look into their eyes
we sense
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When the echoes of their voices still
haunt us in the market
we guess
there’s enough to share it ’round.

When burnt-out lives leave ashes
on our doorsteps
we regret
there’s enough to share it ’round.

Well, it’s too late, mate,
but the researcher has found:
we know
there’s enough to share it ’round.

Spring has come with an embrace, certainly not a vengeance. Around our garden, well tended by Anne and Annie, many little green beings are poking their heads up to survey the scenery. It is the perfect time for spring cleaning – of the house, the mind, the soul.

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Growing Pains

The transformation of the seed
has been done to death,
but nevertheless the metaphor
continues
to rise
again.
The verbs make the story
of a body made new.
It’s not easy
to let go,
release,
spurn,
or to die.
Old grudges cling, beseeching.
New enemies tease, enticing.
Habits press against our senses.
Prejudices preach their wisdom.
It’s not easy
to believe in change.
Snuggling into the ground
is just too comfortable.
The radical break
just too sharp.
But the wounds of the crucified
remain in the tree.
And here verbs falter.
For no one can describe
just how
the Great Planter
resurrects the seed.
It’s not easy,
but we trust in the empty tomb
and surrender.

A prayer for the day, written in 2009:

 

God of Integrity,

     in the meanderings of my day,

     as I weave in and out of context,

     among fragile borders and circles of pride,

     as I face off for another round with temptation,

     amid gossip’s siren song and chocolate sharks,

     may I have the grace to listen

     to the voice at the end of sound,

     as Conscience swivels my eyes on you

     and may I spurn the two-faced contender:

     a double life.

 

In the name of Jesus the Intended,

                                                       Amen.

Today is the feast of St James and we had the gospel reading about him and his brother wanting to sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom. I have always felt a bit of affinity to these two brothers – at least they were honest about their ambition and selfish dreams!

So I have dug up a few poems on this theme. The first is from 2013, the second from 2009.

 

Self

Source of all my doting,
shall I look past you to the
underfed wisdom trapped at the horizon?
Shall you, little life,
be pleased to give way to the
freedom in a dangerous liaison
with what lurks beyond?
Oh, far beyond you is
what is most close, what only
exists to swell this heart,
to bring you undiluted joy
and pain. But though I think
I love you, my clinging hold
refuses this breach of the jail cell,
this cleansing bush fire,
this feeding of the sapling,
growing to encompass the whole of the universe.
This lust I have to love
only you, it strangles,
slow source of seductive suffering.
This is not love.
This is fear.
This is grasping what’s meant to be launched –
you face towards freedom, year on year.

 

Virus Undetected

Insidious, this…
seeking praise,
defending territory –
a virus in the system dodges our gaze.

Turning from God
to be needed
by the mirage
that good works have superseded.

Ambition, yes…
and stealing the light;
thunder of applause
is more sweet than the brownie working by night.

Explaining away
any defect;
what utter shame
should the truth-revealer decide to interject.

Insidious, this…
climbing the ranks
when the gospel points
to the only one who truly deserves our thanks.