Saturday, 26 July 2014

Touch Screen

Little migraine auras litter you,
Rainbow, smudges, glitter you,
As, in the evening light, you catch some ray
Of golden brightness gone astray.
And then the words beneath your rigid glass,
Are secondary to patterns, pink, green, blue,
Which, greasy finger tips have slid
And tapped and swiped, in childish dances.
You don't catch coal dust in between your keys,
And grime, but only little specks and motes.
You shine yourself from underneath,
Pale, butter yellow, when I'm making notes.
But it's in the unexpected brilliance
Which glances on your surface suddenly
That shows the popularity of places.
The zed and ex bear barely any grease,
The smiley face and exclamation mark,
Show hardly a trace of poking, but the space
Bar is quicksilvered in the dark,
A veritable oil slick; so the chances
Of mistyping, adding unexpected gaps, increase.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

My Church Going (written 5 years before I was confirmed)

A church of ancient stone and handmade brick,
Above a fertile plain, upon a hill,
Surrounded by gold crops: barley, wheat,
(Whose scent upon the summer air
In intense heat, is like the scent of heaven
When the old oak door is opened)
Sets the scene
For so much that made England what it was,
And, against the odds, is still.
And just because it's precious, quaint, serene,
Does not imply it stands for all that's wrong.
The wheezing of the organ in its loft
Of 18th century flaking, greyish green,
Accompanies the singing of the flock,
Contraltos fruit cake rich and quavery men,
Mostly white haired, but farming stock,
So there are young ones too, who come along,
And take communion, say the Nicene Creed,
And love their neighbours as themselves;
Knowing Christ and knowing how to act
To make this mean
Something real within their daily lives.
And every week it's always just the same,
With different hymns to wash the message down,
'Amazing Grace', is loved by all,
And sung with feeling
By these farmers and their offspring and their wives,
Whose upper lips are stiff, and who would frown
At any mention one might feel moved.
And Handel at the end to round things off,
Restores us to neutrality, concealing
Any sense that prayer or bread of life or sermon
Might have caused us, standing, sitting, kneeling,
Any deeper pause for thought.
And yet I came here, for years, rejecting
The central tenets of the Christian faith,
Moved only by its history and tradition.
Partly as enlightenment and philosophical wisdom,
Albeit that they grew in opposition
Were rooted in this same need to stand outside ourselves;
To seek out and discover
Some meaning in the human condition.
And yet, this too has had its season,
And science has itself become religion.
And so perhaps we need to hear again the old ideas,
Not with the arrogance of hindsight,
But really listen with new ears,
Because when wise words aren't spoken,
Heard, dwelt on,
How can there be wiser contradiction?

So every week I hear that God,
Is not responsible for man's misdeeds,
And every week I say the words Christ taught,
Asking that I might resist temptation.
And though I only ponder these things vaguely,
Because my mind is turning on roast dinners,
I comprehend man has his freedom:
Reason, choice, also his lesser instinct, intuition.
And despite redemption and salvation
I feel rather glad we're fallen sinners.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

On Maternal Love

Maternal love grows stronger as it hides.
The love for helpless infants we expose
to all the the world because it's general, glows
in shining eyes. It's recognised. Those tides,
that kept us joyful, happy, were besides
the means of gaining sympathy. But those
first feelings were merely the start. We chose
to let the world rejoice with us. The strides
the infant made, becoming an adult
we named and shared, but it was in between,
in ordinary hours that the swell
grew high. The peaks and troughs did not result
in longing for an end. And yet the scene
must shift: love sets its object free and bids farewell.