Ever the dreamer and idealist, from my youth I have sought explanation for life other than just the material. As I have done so I have been horrified to continually observe the discrepancy between belief and action and the gift of self-justification that seems so common, especially amongst some people professing strong faith. I explore this discrepancy, as well as love and grief, in these three poems. I blog at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au
They Know Not What They Do
Joseph’s brothers threw him down a well
then sold him as a slave,
yet when he held them in his power
he hugged, blessed and forgave.
“I am Joseph, your brother!”
was his heart-felt cry.
What is the torch
that lights the dark?
What is the high and sunlit place?
The clear and cloudless sky?
Stalin sat up late at night
marking victim’s names off a list.
Twenty million people fell
beneath that ruthless fist
“Lest one of them threatens me,
they all must surely die.”
The merry-go-round slowly grinds
with its choice of horses to ride,
cankerous beasts of revenge, resentment,
folly, heartache and murderous pride.
The Pilgrim Fathers fled to a new world
in search of religious liberty.
There they tried and hanged their brethren
for the “crime” of blasphemy.
“Such abomination,” they declared,
“can never be spared.”
What grinding beasts did they mount
and then loved to ride?
Bigotry? Murderous pride?
The Nazarene healed, taught and blessed,
freely giving, never counting the cost.
He was betrayed, ridiculed and flogged
and then cruelly nailed to a cross.
“Father, forgive them,” he said,
before he bowed his head and died.
First published at Praxis Online
I see you as a gift from God
and you are wondrous fair,
your lovely eyes,
your tender lips,
your silken cascade of coal black hair.
To your soft touch the waves lap close
then tumble over my head.
In ecstatic joy
and loss of self
you take me to your bed.
Your greatest gift is beyond compare,
strong cords which tightly bind,
the relentless chime
of tangled time
tying me inseparably to your mind.
Though years have passed and lips may fade
love has wondrously grown-
more dear to me,
my gift from God alone.
Here I disclaim all my paternal care
-King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1.
Should I complain?
My Lord’s domain is beautiful,
sunnier than home,
filled with mountains, rivers
and vineyards on the rolling hills.
My Lord, great France, is kind and loving.
I want for nothing.
Yet grief fills my nights.
Then I remember, my sisters,
our young lives together.
What hardened your hearts?
What stole your sisterly affection?
But most I grieve for you, my father.
When I was young I lay in your arms,
trusted you and felt safe there
yet you have cruelly banished me.
What happened to your judgment?
What happened to your love?
I want to let you go.
I want this nightly grief to leave.
The heart-hurt is deep.
I want to be free of it.
But every night, in my very essence,
that place where my spirit dwells,
heavy chains of blood and love
bind me to the full sad weight of you.
O my father, my father,
what happened to you?
Was it only time that diminished you
or did my love make me blind?
© 2017 Neil Creighton
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