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

 

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Genvieve’s Questions

So very many questions

From the years of pain and grief.

But the ‘answers’ do not satisfy

And do not bring relief. Came, hoping for some insight

Where there weren’t none to be found.

Puzzled by a less-than-certain faith-style –

Yet where hope and love abound.

We, who do not have your answers

And cannot explain your loss,

Still are focused upon Jesus

And the mystery of his cross.

For his magnetism draws us

Down the labyrinthine years,

His Spirit captivates our hearts

And his love dissolves our fears.

We still hear his invitation

To his Kingdom of the free.

We can let go the complications

Hearing simply ‘Follow me’.

[ Prompted by a dialogue in cyber-space 2002]

Dialogue Between Scepticism & Traditional Orthodoxy

FREEDOM:  by K.F. age 16

I don’t want a role, Director

Or a make-up mask.

I don’t like your script, Play-writer,

So don’t say I’m type-cast!

But, Mr God, I want to fly –

To try to see from your eye,

(Up there in the sky ),

Your cage of a stage.

But there, I won’t be free

To be or to see –

For heavy my wings shall grow,

Earth-bound,

Full of my own sorrow.

14th September 1987    Brighton

A  RESPONSE:

My  ways are ways of pleasantness

And all my paths are peace.

From here, you see there is no cage

But a state of true release.

Pure air does not confine

Those who wish to breathe.

Nor does the Beloved struggle

To be free from her lover’s arms.

Will you teach your child the Highway Code

And not to play with fire ?

Those ‘cage bars’ are but signposts

To warn of perils, dire.

The actors in my play,

To improvise, are free.

I’ve left it open-ended

So that people such as you

May choose to try it your way,

To ‘make it’ without me.

I’d tell you, if you’d listen,

But you don’t have time to hear

A Father’s tender admonition

Or feel my presence, ever near.

But you were made for fresh, pure air

And poisoned fumes will harm.

So, were you made for Love Unknown.

Outside, alone and ‘free’ you’ll roam,

Restless, earth-bound, indeed –

‘Til you start to seek the truth

And I can really set you free.’

18th September 1987    Brighton

 

 

 

 

Alienation

Between the world of knowledge

And the problems of the world,

Between the day of indifference

And the detachment of Enlightenment

is the shadowland.

From justification through Art

To a need for atonement for sin.

From the vision of despair

To the affirmation of life

Is not so far

As from inauthentic existence

To any alternative way.

Between the world of the beautiful people

And the ‘cult’ of clinical concern,

Between the powerless intents of pacifism

And the disillusion of diplomats,

Between grievance demanding revenge

And tolerance of fallibility

Is far enough

To keep us talking interminably

Of the alienation of man.

Between the words I vainly say

And their meaning to another,

Between my most significant gesture

And its interpretation,

Between the intensity of my cry of pain

And the futility of its impact

Lies the division of the world.

Resignation is not enough

And stoicism, an escape to another illusion.

To stretch across the brink

Has some meaning.

And death itself is vindicated

If it opens the way for others

To cross the divide.

October 23rd 1967   [ Just after arriving at Keele University]

 

 

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

Love for its Own Sake

These are the little glimpses of beauty

Though never planned to blossom forth and grow.

Let us not despise them.

These have their value too.

And we, who perceive their truth

Are richly blessed.

For lovely little indications

Of gentle thoughts and sympathy

Surely are only intimations

Of a greater Lover than you or me.

The gifts He gives are offered freely,

Out of abundance to each a part.

For every day come indications

That this  giver of love has a generous heart.

And if perchance, the gift seems fraught with sadness,

When the tenderness of love brings pain.

There never was an easy way to gladness

And perfect love on earth, we’ll ne’er attain.

Spring 1966