Catechism for a friend

Are you careless, unsure and angry?

Are you kind, curious and hungry?

Do you stand in awe

And laugh like crazy?

With me?

Paternity dispute

My Father sees well when I do ill – and acts.

But when my need is dire, some other cause distracts.

The sermon

Just a voice – a breath

Ideas flutter down like dead leaves

And a scent of old times hangs on the vapid air.

Only the occasional eddy of contrived emotion

Stirs the humus on which they fall.

Whirlwinds and forest fires

Are my barely disturbing symbols;

No longer can my heart or mind seed their storm

Or spook the Spirit of the Trees.

The dust settles as I finish.

Lifeless as when it all began,

They shuffle to the door.

Mary Magdalene in Brompton Cemetery

 

I sit here with this marbled muster of the dead.

What purpose this bedraggled regiment of stone,

Deaf to the soundless trumpet-call to fight

From lips of chipped archangels poised eternally for flight?

Can they join up again, reporting bone to bone,

And come a-marching forth with lively tramp and tread?

 

One bears the tarnished old insignia ‘Here lies Ted,

Beloved spouse of Jane and ‘Dad’ to Jack and Joan’.

Could but this crumbling brigade undo his plight,

These sculpted platitudes bring back his speech and sight!

Another, creeper-clad and bramble-overgrown,

Says, ‘Jesus lives – he’s risen from the dead!’

 

But will he share his magic with this troglodytal host?

Will Ted rise with his family to morning tea and toast?

I’ll ask the gardener – he’s new – and certainly no ghost.

For the defence

Things are not wrong but approximate

Nor evil but in error.

For sinful read inappropriate

And for major, minor.

Love’s measure

The spectrum blends, reforms.

Now blue, now red, now green

Predominates.

 

Colours are petty norms

What purest white is seen,

Evaluates.

 

Leave her alone!

Oh let this sweet perfume be poured

Upon my Saviour’s head

Where I with thorn and spittle scored,

‘Despiséd Lamb of God!’

 

How many times will He forgive –

A thousand times a score?

A thousand times what you must have

And then ten thousand more!

 

Mark 14 v 4 and 15 v 17 – 19 (The Bible)

The Coming

Lord, you came,

Not as the lightening fills the skies

Nor with a warrior’s shout

But babies’ cries.

.

You claimed –

Not rights, not pomp, not majesty –

But just a pauper’s hovel

In humility.

.

For there,

Among the refuse, hopelessly,

Lay other vagrants – all humanity.

You chose our lot,

And through those long and wintry hours,

Lay down your head amid the hay

With ours.

Faith

Though the fig tree does not blossom

And no grapes adorn the vine

No olives gathered in their season

In the fields, no harvest time.

Though the sheepfold stands deserted

And no herds graze on the hill,

Yet with all my strength exerted

I will praise – and praise Him still!

Yet with all my strength exerted

I will praise – and praise Him still!

                                         Habbakuk. ch3  v 17 and 18. (The Bible)