Archives for category: 2015 poems

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.


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.


Sun plane

Song for a New Season

That tangled storylines
might unravel themselves
into sturdy road signs,
showing you the way.
That what was grafted
onto the lower roots
might wither away
to reveal the truth.
That illusions crafted
to hide the depths of pain
be gently released
and, washed by rain,
bare, you may rise.
That mystery be pieced
together just enough to
reassure you of God’s eyes
yet not enough to
make you smug or proud.
That your rope may be slung
to some distant cloud,
no matter how fragile,
so you may climb day by day
and hope with the young.
That you may stray
just beyond your comfort zone
to keep hail and agile,
grasping life by the wing.
And that you may steal
enough time and space
for wisdom to grow,
for the Spirit to sing
and all wounds to heal.