The Wrong Road Taken

However did we leave His Way

Of justice for the poor, and peace?

To sell our souls to Constantine

And fighting over Creeds?

Align ourselves with Power and Kings

To fawn, exploit and kill ?

So often done unspeakable things

And claimed they were God’s will ?

So much of all this tragic folly

Has for so long been justified –

By literally reading as ‘Word of God’,

The Books of the Canon were deified.

They told of an angry, violent God,

Of arbitrary favouring –

Such stories clearly gave the nod

To bigots, wars and slavery.

But though we’ve strayed from Jesus’ Love,

We can still change to choose His Way.

22nd, January 2017

 

Towards Freedom

Tell us not once, but often

That we need no further exposition,

Books or cults or emigration.

Tell us again that the shadow cast on the wall –

Is the other side of beauty.

That to touch it brings no danger –

There’s no need to fear the truth.

But we’re slow to claim our freedom.

The dependence on our bonds

Has been nurtured by our loved ones

And projected on our gods.

So, be patient with our questions –

With our need to chrystalise.

Don’t let us vegetate in symptoms,

We will never be content with lies.

For ever, as we dimly see

Our hearts and minds confess

That this is near the truth to which

We can at last, say ‘yes’.

July 1967

Exiled

I am living in a country that is not my native land

On an altogether different piece of earth

But perhaps the only place I’ll ever really understand

Is my well-beloved island home,

The land which gave me birth.

For I belong by birth-right to a folk who are apart

And their special zest for living is always in my heart.

Their heritage is beauty in the hills and lakes and trees

And every exile heart is stirred by memories of these.

But there’s sadness in the beauty of my lovely island home.

Some people there are prisoners whose thoughts may never roam

Outside the rigid system which

They’ve learned to need too much

And although I understand them,

I can no longer talk to such.

Christmas 1964

It is hard for us to Understand

It is hard for us to understand

Why men were made this way,

That some great God has really planned a home for such as they.

For nature does not teach us,

The Bible cannot reach us,

Nor holy men convince us

That God will bring a cure.

It is hard for us to understand

That death is not the end –

That to some vast and ghostly land

Our spirits will ascend.

We cannot quite believe it

And even if we wished it

We still could not receive it

Until we were quite sure.

So we must try to live without

Knowledge of Truth and Right

‘Til death relieves us of our doubt

And steeps our souls in night.

Then if He’s there we’ll see him

(Though we may have to flee Him)

Because we could not see Him

On earth and were not sure.

1961

 

Youthful Vitality ……..

Youthful vitality ! I wouldst thou were to me

The breathing spirit of the heart and veins

Thou art to some. Instead, the heavy chains

Of thought from which I’ll ne’er be free

Crush like a weed my soul which cries for liberty.

These hours which should be filled with song and pleasure

Are robbed of innocence, of quiet leisure –

While in their stead I watch in misery

Day follow day, tears follow tears and never

Anyone to understand. It’s hard

To smile when the heart is crying.

But oh, if ever I find one to understand and

love me for a while,

The years and all my guilt shall fade away –

I shall be young again and free and gay.

November ’61  (c) IconoclasticNan

The Unbelievers

When we decide to be

Out of anxiety –

Now a forever free,

Pagan Society –

We ask no sympathy

From your complacency.

We have spent thoughtfully

Sleepless nights, tearfully –

Cried out in agony,

Brokenly, prayerfully.

Childlike simplicity

In the complexity

Of all philosophy

Creeds and theology –

We cannot see

You may be sure of right.

We have not any light

Shining in our dark night

No God redeems our plight

So all alone we fight

‘Gainst your dogmatic height –

Rejecting your rules, so trite

Until at last in sight

Freedom comes, gently, bright.

Yet still we’re not happy, quite

Midst your reproving blight.

We do not wish you spite –

You dressed in spotless white –

(Always so sure of right) –

We do not have your light –

Leave us in freedom’s night.

Then will we quietly

Wander in ecstasy,

Finding fresh poignancy

In life’s variety.

We will live joyfully

Children of gaiety

Finding in fantasy

All that we could not see

In man’s philosophy.

Childlike and humble, we

Live for discovery

Loving humanity

Now making history

We do not think we’ll be

Burned in eternity.

We alone are the free

Frustration

Thoughts which may not be in words expressed

Form toxins in my mind and heart and being.

Let me be free of them.  Give me some rest.

When can I live again without all this fleeing,

This sham and hypocrisy, lies and pretence?

Childish and laughable, wrong and evasive.

Let them be tolerant.  Give them some sense.

My way is right for me.  If they’re persuasive –

Science is more so.  Just let me find my way,

Slowly and steadily, quietly, haltingly.

Truth comes to the traveller alone in the fray,

Who, longing to find it has fought to be free.

Forgive the child who cannot understand

And cannot be the person you had planned.