Archives for category: 2014 poems

The Advent Time

Grass crackling dry like tinsel
and mozzies singing their carol-like tunes.
This is the season we have been waiting for,
counting off the suns and moons.
Expectation hangs like pregnant air
and plans go flying, calendars fill.
Even the atheist shopper knows
that the world is holding its breath until
the clanging of a baby’s cry matches the bells
and it’s time to be loving, giving and true,
as from splashes of red and green emerge
the purple hope of a life that’s new.
And we’ve only to notice the promise of joy
if we doubt that God could visit the earth.
As we blur in the rush and parch in the heat,
for one heartbeat away from Advent, His birth.

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YCW retreat

On my (metaphorical) knees

Apart from piled-up platitudes, space is peppered;
more than words, it is the stance I take on a precipice.
Wrapped around ruminations, rough and rude errs to real;
when life breaks in, I sigh, but is it gone?
Are attitudes passable? Acts are always framed
in my relationship with the one to whom they are directed.
Years of yielding petty frayed not yets, to cry in humility,
yet a lifetime on my knees leaves me vulnerable.
Tests are early endings, shame, bleeding and death,
though every moment it waits to break into life.
Returning to interruptions, reaped from boredom and repetition;
I crave it, forget it, it pierces me through.

Echidna

I found this echidna up a mountain in Gariwerd (the Grampians) on my retreat last week. It was the only picture I took as I relished the chance to be away from the usual technology. But this post is not about animals, it is about fruits – specifically, olives and nard. I wrote these two poems after a fascinating reading of the gospels through ecological lenses, with our wonderful retreat director, Veronica Lawson RSM.

A Neighbour in Service

I am crushed / to the heart.
Beautiful, aromatic, sweet,
my essence streams away from me,
poured out as libation
to mercy.
I keep / for the time being
as all who wait on God’s promises,
as all who strain to hear
the whisper of a call
and flex slightly,
a promise to keep.
I travel / through new horizons,
vigilant with my partners
in the crime of mercy.
We see / a break.
It is an interruption,
an anomaly
in the fabric woven of our desire
for harmony
and the life that gushes eternally.
It is my moment / now.
The call whispers, tendril-like
around my guard of common-sense
to propose a toast to infinity,
a taste of the garden of paradise
and the certainty
of who I’m meant to be.
And so I am / the libation
poured out
in mercy, by mercy, for mercy.
And I am received
in gratitude
by the screeching scars.
As I flow / in dissipation –
traces kept by sore, to store,
most in the proud rubble neighbour –
I remember my source,
the belief of my parent.
My mentor, who planted in
me the seed
of the triumph
of being a sacrifice
of mercy
and who sent me to be crushed,
all the more to partner
that good, compassionate man.

(Luke 10:25-37)

The Cost of Remembrance

I have always been a risk;
hard to get and tempting.
Kings and courtiers know my name,
as I keep far from the lowly ones,
until their deaths.
Although I love to dance
in the warm sunlight
and stretch to tantalise
the nostrils,
I am more often kept,
afraid in the dark,
afraid to be spilled and wasted.
And so I sang my lonely song
until the She-who-would-do
came along.
And she carried me resolutely,
intent,
like one who knew freedom,
like one in step with the fuse of a bomb,
like one walking from a funeral into a birthing-room.
And then she stopped.
I shivered once
and waited
for the glorious, raucous, outrageous
shattering of the jar around me.
I tiptoed out, unsure,

and bolder then,
I let pour and pour
like pure surrender
I drained myself until there
was nothing more.
Over, through, under, around,
I caressed His head,
I let flow through His beard
with a sweet massage
and, in my gaseous form,
swam through His nose.
It was all part of the risk.
I knew what this woman needed from me.
My instinct for healing,
my bold proclamation of royalty,
my rising prayer in death.
And so my drops were tears
and so my voice sang of good news,
news that rose beyond death
to silent life.
And for She-who-had-done
I covered Him in love,
washing away the sense of
insufficiency
and preparing Him
to die.

(Mark 14:3-9)

Apart from piled-up platitudes, space is peppered;
more than words, it is the stance I take on a precipice.
Wrapped around ruminations, rough and rude errs to real;
when life breaks in, I sigh, but is it gone?
Are attitudes passable? Acts are always framed
in my relationship with the one to whom they are directed.
Years of yielding petty frayed not yets, to cry in humility,
yet a lifetime on my knees leaves me vulnerable.
Tests are early endings, shame, bleeding and death,
though every moment it waits to break into life.
Returning to interruptions, reaped from boredom and repetition;
I crave it, forget it, it pierces me through.

Easter greeting 2014

May we recognise him in the silence,
in the parties,
in the pain.
May we recognise him in the newborn,
in sparks of life
that rise again.
May we recognise him in forgiveness,
in celebration,
and in prayer.
May we recognise his love abundant
in each presence,
everywhere.

Photo by Anne, Sister in community.