Most people who write will tell you that there is nothing quite like that moment when you open a box of crisp new copies of your new book. But like all ego-driven satisfactions, it is fleeting. Books actually only come alive when they are read by others.
In case you have not yet ordered your copy (why on earth not?) here is the link again.
The book is divided into a number of chapters, all streams related- river, irrigate, sea, souls swimming etc. Today’s poem is rather different. It is concerned with the what happens when the stream dries up, and we lose our connection what may be beyond.
It will happen to us all, sooner or later – all people of faith, if they are honest with themselves, know the presence of doubt. It is my contention however that doubt is not the opposite of faith, rather it is part of every faith journey.
If our reaching for meaning is to progress beyond fairy tales and St Christopher medallions, it will have to grapple with those moments, or those far-more-then-moments, when our certainties are stolen, to be replaced with something more fluid and frightening. Something that seems at first to be hollow and empty, but might just be the place of new beginnings.
This poem was written at one of these beginnings.
The silence of God
Here I am again
Speaking into the vast unknown
Straining for resonance in a space left wide open
They say you sing through sunsets
And voice the throat of sparrows
That I should look for you in the least of these
And that you also speak in silence
They say you are a jealous God
Who calls from beyond the periphery of understanding
But I am weary of mixing portents from
I hope for so much more than a God-in-abstract
Who is unmoved by weeping
Perhaps the problem is all mine
A deficiency of listening
Holes in my audial spectrum
My head snowed with white noise
My ears plugged up with sin-wax
But then again, can it really all come down
To religious technique?
An accident of genetics gifting only some
Do you require holy smoke-filled sanctuaries?
Or flagellated enlightenment?
Can a loving God be so capricious?
I decided to stop sending out wish lists
No longer will I plead for success or significance
I will even intercede with reluctance
More out of habitual hope
A desire to carry the shape of you to others
I mean in this no lack of respect
For who am I to command your attention?
Neither is this related to my lack of faith
Even when I forget where I planted my
It is just honesty
In the face of
But still I’m listening