#Return

Ashes to the Penitent: Dust to the everlasting
#Return

 

The same hands that lay the palm leaves
beneath the donkey’s hooves,
Hammer the nails in,
Received the pieces of silver,
Unsheathed the sword,
Rolled the dice, and the stone,
Prepared with care the crown of thorns,
Received the bread, and the wine,
Counted the accomplished Baskets,
And thrust the spear into His side.

Can these same hands now put down nets,
and nails, and coins;
and foods, and altars, and stones
(from stoning each other,
from stoning Him);
Put these down to take up compassion,
to seek the one their hearts reject;
to stand alongside the One upon whom a cross,
nails, and a crown they placed.

Without Love, all is vain.

©Denis Adide 2014

“Remember that you are dust
And to dust you will return
Turn away from sin
and Look to Christ”

For Bones

And we feasted
Concealing the truth that our fasting taught us:
We were ultimately hungry.

We drank,
Away from the wilderness
concealing our thirst.

We made merry,
with songs,
With the sound of drums and lires,
flutes and harps; and horns –
Concealing our sorrow,
In wine diluting our tears

‘But this bread has no substance
It fizzles on the tongue
fading in taste before teeth touch’

‘And this wine evaporates
with no sweetness
Nothing but the knowledge of a deeper sustenance,
and greater satisfaction
in the face of truly empty plates,
and hollow cups.’

So our feet are delayed in jest,
Our eyes utterly deceived,
Led by our desires we hide
Behind garments of Gold
made with leaves from the tree of the uncovering:
Sails raised but empty:
At the rudder in a desert’.

“Have you not seen?
Have you forgotten?
The seat upon which
but for the blood of the Lamb
you couldn’t approach?”

“The gift is greater than the trespass”

“Bread for the soul,
Water for the spirit,
A Spirit for dry bones.”

And so may it come to pass –
as indeed it already has –
That the great LORD laid out a table,
Placed upon it a loaf,
And beside the loaf a chalice.
Then with hands from compassion stretched out,
He called.

He called.

He! Called!

To the thirsty, the weary, the week,
The hungry, the broken, the meek,
The bound, the wailing, the weeping,
The fatherless, the widows, the seeking,
And the enslaved.

Come!

Come!

At the sound of His voice the music stopped
Fading into the sound of deep weeping.
The chefs downed their tools,
And parched tongues followed their hearts;
Ears to the wind,
Sheep by the staff.

In droves they came.

The chalice overflowed,
And the bread was never consumed,
Though broken and shared.

“Happy are those who are called to His supper”

©Denis Adide 2014

 

Just a note:

After the hours he had spent seated on the soft moist moss, Alexander opened his eyes. Though weighed he couldn’t rest. The trail he had been following had come to and end by the tree whose stump now supported his back. Five days worth of walking, itches unscratched, now lay at doors of vanity. The exhale that accompanied the slump was full. His feet twitched from toe to hamstring once the weight of his upper body was off. Now stretched before him, he could see the punishing he had given them. Closing his eyes he assured himself that the thirst he sought to quench was worth more than bruises, grazes, holes from thorns removed, rashes from nettle bouts.

Footprints; they were crucial but few. Whenever he had considered turning back their direction would call to his mind the possibilities; the reality of the dissatisfaction from which he had embarked turned his toes to face his leader’s. Soft earth was his map, twigs and warm fire stones – always five – proof that his journey wasn’t vain: but vain it was becoming at this stump.

On his emptying steel water flask he saw beards, hair surrounding dehydrated lips, a mane where there was none. The nails hampered by his teeth were now flourishing: this was a stranger, a man he was growing to like. His fingers shook as he lifted it, trembled as the last drops from it disappeared onto his parched tongue: they weren’t enough.

Head lowers with the flask. Eyes go from flask to forest floor. Beneath a brown leaf, footprints.

Notes to the son 4

(Worse still I didn’t name him)

I forgot he was there
in the room with the door ajar.
Walking through the corridor
He caught me unaware

He ran from the fortress
that he’d made with his mother
Stopped by me and slowly recovered
His apparent happiness.

“Where have you been?”
He asks, then stares.
“Oh how unfair”, I think
Pitying myself in the affair.

He is the son I can’t hug
Stringing me up like a hangman
on the noose of my own longing
we stand and know each other
eye’s locked till he understands
till we both understand
It hurts to say goodbye.

(worse still I couldn’t name him,
fight the frames and show him love –
the wealth of which overflowed)

We’ll have to mourn separately.

© Denis Adide 2013

38da5-fatherholdingbabieshand

Note to the son 2:

They tell stories of sons and Fathers
Of names passed on, with love and luggage;
Tales of love, passion, compassion, courage,
longing, sorrow, and rites of passage;
Hammers, nails, paints, and screws,
waiting patiently in absence for news.
Sulking quietly in pebbled mews
after leaving the playing fields
assailed by apparitions –
the visions of happiness,
Fathers and sons arm in arm with dog leads,
kite strings: heart stings – like wasp stings
inciting anguish where absence flourished
and the word unspoken never became flesh,
like songs they linger, hovering over the deep,
Keeping without form, void of love:
There are no parting skies here,
no falling dove, no world of Love,
no baptism, and indeed no name,
not pat on the shoulder.
Just the boulder – unassailable emptiness –
pressed down by these long tales they tell.

Maybe as I sit recounting what ails,
my hope is that in my edicts –
sorrowful they may seem –
are sinewed songs to entice you to –
in your grand oddessy – settle by my shores
And change the colour of the ink I use,
Scent the pages, accent the alphabets,
give prominence to my loftier notes,
amplify the chords that bind me together,
roof the house that leaks
and light the fire.

And light the fire

light the fire.

© Denis Adide 2013

 

38da5-fatherholdingbabieshand

The outstretched arms of Love

There were no clouds when I set off; none.
Clear skies and sunshine,
Hope and songs of praise,
Fields of daffodils and tulips,
posies and forget-me-nots,
Chariots of fire.

But the Darkness I blamed You for fell
And for hours the sky turned black,
the wind blew dust into my eyes
the waves disobeyed the horizon
and spilled their showers mightily
over the untrodden path through beeches
that I could just about make out.
Feet sinking in the mud
I began to regret leaving the boat.

Lamma Sabach Thani

“look up” You said.
And at the foot of the first tree
I saw the streak of blood
still trickling down.
Up from my muddy hands I saw soiled feet
scarred marathon worn calves
lines from the leather straps.
Buckling knees and exposed hamstrings.

Dice in my hands.

Scars that aren’t healing
a dying life without end
and outstretched arms of love
under whose tension the slumped crown
drops tears, seals of my salvation,
down onto my brow.

‘behold I make all things new’

Hope and songs of praise,
Fields of daffodils and tulips,
posies and forget-me-nots,
Chariots of fire.

© Denis Adide 2013

The Forgotten

We exist,
Far from pebbled streets,
Castles, boats, and the great stream.
Far from the high walls lit up by screens,
From crowns, kings, queen and politics,
We are the only things
They honestly cast aside.
Like a gum wrapper or a flyer from the 4th Sainsburys down the street.
They built it over the ruins of the old library, Which they had first converted into a pub.
Our worth receeding as the companies
Saw fit to freeze the books for drinks,
Then drinks for the chance to squeeze the last pennies
From the emptying streets.
Underneath whose dim lights we exist.

Like the prison, they walled US in.
Slowly we forgot the dreams they sealed,
Visions and hopes tinned between
The tall – wall to wall – blocks that seem
To keep even the slightest glimmer of hope at bay.
the Light of day is rarely seen.
In darkness mothers turned to teens,
And fathers into ghosts – unseen.
Beep
Beep
Beep
Sold the age old heresy
That in these dejected seams
The colours of skins divide.
But we, who in these covered schemes reside
Quietly recite the chants and sing
Knowing that here,
where the forgotten swim,
the truth – like we – exist.

© Denis Adide 2012