Monday, 20 April 2015

I don't fear the night

I don't fear the night.

-For my children and grandchildren.

I don't fear the night.
The ocean ebbs. The sun sets.
After the day comes the dark.
So too this body must decline,
yield, slump and fall
before the overlord, Time.
His reaper will come. He must.
The leaf falls, the stump rots.
All living things turn to dust.

I do fear the night in day,
the dying of mind, the slow decay
so that the hard-won gains of mind
are inevitably eaten away
and justice and love
are usurped by need
or, in sad pitiable display,
the dying mind without restraint
permits the primitive to romp and play.

I hold no fear of night.
Winter is followed by spring,
the ebb the flow, the dark the light.
The bare branch bursts into blossom.
From dust new plants bloom
and long ago men of practical bent,
fishermen, ordinary, unheroic folk,
witnessed a miracle, which they said
was for them a life-changing event-
their friend and teacher, a crucified man,
rose miraculously from the dead.

I don't fear the night.
In willing surrender I bend my knee
and bow before the Lord of Light,
desiring that transformed life be granted to me,
not through virtue, understanding,
or by meritorious serving,
for, too wonderful for words,
the resurrection of the dead
is freely gifted to the undeserving

No, I don't fear the night,
Yet if from the last sleep
I never in rebirth arise,
though the great gift be granted to other eyes,
then let it at least be said
that in this life of flesh and blood
he grew in spirit and mind,
judged none but self,
sought and strove to forgive,
desired justice, was merciful and kind
and grew in patience and in love
despite the ravages  of time.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Interim Report.

Interim Report.

Unseen, we hovered above the planet,
noted its beauty of air, land and sea,
grassed plains, high mountains, sky and cloud,
its spectacular displays of flower and tree.

Noted also considerable damage and scarring.
Floating islands of plastic and huge holes abound.
Grey smudges and stagnant water indicate
much pollution of air, water and ground.

Noted too the numerous dominant species.
They have a limited, self-centred thinking.
Their emotional state requires decades in becoming
and can be followed by rapid sad shrinking.

We observed their gifts and concept of beauty.
They have capacity to create and abhor.
Note though that a limited self-interest
often leads them to violence and war.

Problems demand altered consciousness.
Resource plundering, increasing population,
primitive energy sources, climate warming
indicate a need for global cooperation.

That this is possible is problematic.
Co-operation seems to be limited.
Wider sharing and empathy is, for them,
rare and difficult. However, there is hope.

Some thinkers have shown greatness,
have understood, written and testified
on the power of total love. Sadly, these they
ridicule, inter, and even once crucified.

We believe they slumber in partial consciousness.
Perhaps for them to fully awake
may require an apocalypse. That may induce
the required emotional and intellectual earthquake.

I think we could additionally comment that
they are inclined to waste their moment of life
in superficialities- pleasure, wealth, power or fame.
Worse, they frequently lapse into murderous strife.

We will return in a millennia or two.
The species has potential for distinction.
We conclude with the hope that their folly
does not ultimately lead to their extinction.

Friday, 3 April 2015


With thanks to Viktor Emil Frankl              

I read of a man who survived the camps,
those places of deep and monstrous  cruelty
where unspeakable crimes were performed each day
with callous, regimented regularity,

where children were not nurtured but starved,
where the fires burned and showers emitted gas,
where the spirit could so easily be lost
in a deeply incomprehensible, thick morass-

what he said was so extraordinary
it made my heart stir and spirit rejoice.
"There is one thing," he said, "they can never take.
It is yours alone and that is choice."

He said: "There were men who walked through the huts
and gave away their last morsel of bread,
proof sufficient that what cannot be taken
is the choice of which life to lead.

"The last of the human freedoms is
to choose one's attitude for every day.
No matter the given circumstances,
there is the  freedom to choose your way,

"to choose to submit or not to powers
which threaten to rob you of your humanity,
to make  you a mere plaything of circumstance
through your renouncing of freedom and dignity."

I knew then that if this man could so think
in such a scene of unspeakable tragedy,
then in choice there is power or degradation,
base horror or defining beauty

and we make choices about who we are,
to desire beauty, love, joy, kindness
or favour selfish power and desire
above patience, peace and gentleness.

Even then when fools or oppressors rule
we can choose to gaze upon the sky's blue light
or when thick darkness threatens to envelope
there is still velvet wonder in the night

and always the mysterious communion of hand on hand,
always beauty in endurance and  solemnity,
always the awareness of what can never be taken,
the human transcendence of love and dignity.