"Somewhere in the process of obedience to the law, in the turning to scriptures to discover more from them, the sight and sound of the living – active and moving – God whose Word dictated their deeds was replaced by the ritual itself. There he stood amongst them, unknown to them, lamenting their self-blinkered hearts, ready to intervene and bare the cost".
“… An awful lot of coming and going and swooping round of Christmas presents and the young rushing down to the shops for last minute things; at the moment there are quite a number of boxes of sweets, etc, here… That’s all very well here, but who are we bombing this Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, who are we bombing on Christmas night, when the snow lies thick on the ground oh? This bloody silly war”.
What the softer, truer insides knew
Lips dared not utter.
With chisel and rock, old castles brewed
What was silent into matter.
But battered by time and tide,
The brides ears and eyes –
Never assailed by art (his heart) –
I will give you all this if you bow down and worship me
It is with a great disappointment, especially in myself, that I find this being the mode of the world: that in some cases, honesty – and all the vulnerability it requires – yields pain, sorrow, and failure. Tomorrow I face an interesting situation, the heart says break and be true, the mind says be as true as you can without breaking. The heart says be honest and yeild control, the mind says control and be safe. Deep down there is the knowledge that controlling is actually unsafe because it takes power away from heaven – whose loving heart yearns only for my Good (or at least I hope). Voices, externally and internally however, have made their opinions known: this world isn’t ideal and has no patience for optimistic (what they call naive) idealists.
It will quickly chew up and spit out what is not bone
Have you ever felt the fear of being known – understood – and not rejected? Scared by the idea that your scars would not repel? Or that what you may receive for your openness is an embrace? This is the place where true choice – the determinant of character – resides: in the decision to manage what you know, or step into the unknown (or rather the un-experienced – because you already know it).
Maelstroms (see picture) can either destroy or propel depending on the sailor. Confidence, skill, and grace are key.
In the desert He knew Himself
I’m unable to sleep out of pure anxiety. Seek me tomorrow and see if hope was victorious over fear.
Vindicate me, O LORD for I have led a blameless life,
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and mind:
For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your Altar, O LORD,
Proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
Denis 26:8 [between 9 &10 pm]
Will you vindicate me? I have not led a blameless life,
constantly I doubt your hand and presence in my life.
My faith wavers like a flag: steadfast in the wind
and baren in the still. I forget you till I need.
My inner heart does love you, but my hands resist;
opting rather to sing in dishonesty.
Though I avoid deceitful men, my tongue is just as adept
in my solitude I find a hypocrite.
I long to do great evils and admire the seats among the wicked.
My hands still stained, and the stench of dishonour upon me,
I dare to approach your Altar. Not in penitence,
but masking my guilt from my companions.
For fear of shame I bite my tongue, hiding praise for you
beneath my pride: sourced from the gifts you give me –
I, too quickly, forget your wonderful deeds.
If you don’t, with my guilt before me, who will?
Seated, he heard the foreign sounds
Of passing cars, of children, of hounds,
Of planes sailing through the clouds
Of silent moments, and of crowds.
The wind through the leaves whistled
The bamboo heaved along with the thistles
Distant worlds in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds
Seated, he thought to find the nouns
For subtle smiles, for tickles, for frowns
For faces floating from the downs,
through greens, through forests, and through towns.
Deep within old cinders glistened
He strained his heart so it would listen
And the world without in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds
“Let us make man in our own image
and in our likeness form him.”
Perfected yet dead; still he lay
void, recent from the deep.
No thoughts emerged nor receded
None pleaded for victory, none defeated,
And none rebelled: He was balanced,
inanimate, formed but still,
alive but perfectly dead.
Then breath, hovering over the deep;
the same that churned him from the mound,
approached from steep heaven
and un-barrened sea to seep
Awakening earth from death to sleep.
Inhaling, he embraced life – the gift;
drifting into the breath that once crept
into the crypt – fleshy heart at the mercy
of fleshed earth – made first animate.
Before him he saw his naked arms,
with naked eyes saw naked feet,
felt naked air be drafted in
and blown on naked skin.
Untamed wind within,
unchained wind without,
both whispering “Live!”
“Go” He said. With weighted measure we
Obeyed. With sword, bow and scepter our siege
We laid. In decadence we hewed out our footholds
In the foothills of grace’s dismay. With hands,
By architecture tainted, this earthen town we laid.
In thick steel our gates we made; their outward
Arrows sharp as gazes. So high the walls
We chose erect that the early breeze, once
Composed abated. The mighty streams, whom
Once in spring we bathed, in anxious zeal
Rose we and tamed; life we chained in hymns,
And winds to whom once in song we’d yield,
Chose we assail.
Was it for this, Accented Verb,
That the dream you fearlessly sowed within,
Turning even from thine own to share
In garment and kin, so vigorously denied
Yet still in song enchant, to reap deceit?
Look at your lands: barren and boldly fruitless.
In feeble might the sands, enriched by winter’s
Edifice, declare the winds immobile, the seas
Empty of power, the sun a stain, and seasons
Mortal. In haughtily chorused anarchy slayed
The voice which in their hearts you laid. Look!
These pews for joy, fill with hearts reticent,
These words for peace, impress the beasts intent
So we the coven away from peace repent;
Relenting rather into dirges’ cadence:
In songs for poise and praise we’d rather sleep.
Weep! For deep in time’s chains we choose
Our keep; a citadel from unfurnished bricks.
Her glory cursed slumbers windless still.
“I sought your hearts, knocked and waited as
You built these stone altars for yourselves.
Heaven is my throne, I dwell not
In houses made by human hands.
My spirit thus shall not contend with man,
For in wicked stain his heart is full versed.
Oh Jerusalem! City of grace and might,
For how much longer shall thy watchmen sleep?”
Is it for this that we now dream as hope,
Rooted deep in sightless depths unknown,
For breaths, as light though gone, were once our own?
In action sowing seeds away from rain,
With hearts content and minds commenting vain.
If walls we measure, then therein none’s contained
For weight of wrought. And all shall slumber lest
The heart is, once more, kissed. It is no less,
Away from the promise of deathless wist proclaimed,
And feet from breathless walks now found maim,
That from thy love to mountain peaks we fray
With limping hearts and conscience in dismay.
Whisper not for silence less assails.
Wretched hands what violence though avail.
Guide thy tongue from haughty vein oh soul!
And set thy sights on ancient heart’s abode.
We built these walls of sorrow high and steep,
And hiding in our laurels didst we sleep
In plundered halls as barren widows weep.
Our golden courts with haughty windows speak
Testing justice, resting in deceit.
“Oh Jerusalem! City of grace and might,
Thy line of measure mine alone shall be,
Thy walls a flame that I alone shall keep,
Thy hearts a seed that I alone shall reap,
As breath and life are mine alone to give.
For I gave you hope, and hope chose you to smite,
I gave you peace, but war chose you recite,
I gave you mercy, judgement chose you rite.
I saw your darkness, and chose to give you light,
But light fought you and chose to sleep in night.
Daughter of man! In sleep I would have left you,
But mine own hand of love would not forsake.
Though in the hymn of wretchedness you set,
The seeds I sow I once more will collect.