Monday, 21 January 2013

The Gift.

I have laboured on this my gift to you.
I hope you will love it and delight
In its great, wide, blue and beautiful sky,
Its grandeur of studded velvet night,
The mysterious trackless expanse of sea,
The surf that surges upon the sand,
The billowing blue black of tumbling cloud,
The fall of healing rain upon the land.

I have laboured on this my gift to you.
And entrust into your care
A teeming abundance of sentient things,
Creatures with whom this gift you share:
Colourful birds that float, flit or soar;
Dolphins that play in the surging wave;
The diligent ant, the lion’s great roar;
Bats that pour from darkness of cave.

I have laboured on this my gift to you:
Fruit that hangs from the boughs of trees,
Moss covered rock, dew laden fern,
Seed that floats on the scattering breeze,
Towering trees that in thick rainforest grow,
Flowers for beauty and the honey bee,
Tendrils that emerge from the mountain snow,
Forests that sway and grow beneath the sea.

Thank you.
Yes, it is indeed very beautiful.
And here is what we will do.

We will grasp it to ourselves.
We will fight over the largest share.
We will invent weapons to enforce our will.
We will eliminate species in our rush for gain.
Billions will die in this quest for more.

We will burrow deep into its core,
Level mountains, gouge huge holes,
Burn whole continents of forests,
Pour our waste into the ocean, pollute the sky
In our reckless, insatiable quest for more.

We will pursue knowledge
In our own limited, blinkered way
Until finally, puffed up by pride and conceit,
We will deny that you have ever existed
For we will be too advanced to need you anymore.

But perhaps, just perhaps,
When a merciless sun relentlessly shines,
The polar caps melt, the sea rises,
When in stifling heat we struggle and gasp for breath,
When our numbers have grown beyond our control
When we have plundered so deeply that it seems there is no more-

At that time we will feel small, vulnerable and human,
When problems beyond our ken in bewilderment mount,
When the future seems bleak, hopeless and lost,
And in sad desperation we will then cry out to you.

Will you then hear our voice?

Friday, 11 January 2013

Two sonnets

Here are two poems previously written in quatrains which, for various reasons, I have rewritten as sonnets.

Shards of Light.

Approaching night led me darkly down
Labyrinthine corridors, through countless doors
To ones long unopened, near forgotten,
And there in strange anxiety pause.
Some doors were old, their hinges rusty,
I had to push and shove and prise
At lock, handle and heavy weight
Before they creaked open before my eyes.
O strange paradox that blackness reveals!
How out of darkness shine shards of light;
Shards - friendship, family, faith and love-
More clearly discernible in the night.
O shards of light! Darkness reveals your shine!
Shards of light richly sustaining this life of mine!

A dew drop before the rising sun

This life is brief, a breath, a vapour,
A dew drop before the rising sun,
A fleeting appearing of the mist,
Disappearing before it has hardly begun.
For a moment in the shining sun
The refracting light will sparkle and dance;
Then before the rising heat
It disappears into the sky’s expanse.
But what is that insistent music
From the velvet, star studded sky?
Do the stars sing of an eternal power?
Is a personal God enthroned on high?
The body groans in sad mortality.
Can the mind hope for vast eternity?