Poetry Gallery One
This gallery contains two poems, one of recollection, one of faith.
The time has passed
in which the twig could bend;
awaken uplifted to a bright-eyed sun;
lay claim to its full legacy
with the comfort of nature's backing
and, at day's end,
caressed by tender winds,
frolic in a moonlit garden of blossoms.
I have heard it said:
if only I knew then what I know now,
how different I would have been.
Yet, I often think:
if only I had not been afraid
to partake of the things which I did know then,
how different I would now be.
For from a distance,
desire can breed obsession,
weakness can encourage excessiveness,
and regret can induce passivity.
I have read:
"Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind."
Yes, the twig is now brittle,
but I will no longer bemoan this state.
Instead, I will gain inspiration
from its determined posture.
For no distance is so great that
homage cannot be borne from desire,
nor strength from weakness,
nor action from regret.
And, even in the worst of times,
the Muses will appear,
the senses will rejuvenate
and the heart will beat heavily.
[Note: Quoted lines are from William Wordsworth's
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality."]
FOR BISHOP ROBINSON
This morning the rains fell upon the city;
heightening the contemplative mood
within which I found myself.
It began as a cacophonous downpour,
followed by a brief but measured rest.
Upon resuming, the rains alighted gently and rhythmically,
as if relief had come from the initial burst
and contentment from the pause.
I longed to be in the presence of that revered trio
whose trumpeter's sounds still echo within me.
Yes, though my convictions have grown dubious with time,
an impassioned but faithful rendition
is something to embrace on such a day.
Having warded off a material challenge
from late afternoon's chaotic fusion of asphalt and steel,
the melodies continued well into the night.
The rains, bond between past and future,
temporal and eternal, are exalted
for allowing respite from the mundane and disconcerting,
and bringing us closer to the ground of our being.
[Note: The late Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, England, and theological
scholar John A. T. Robinson wrote "Honest to God," a then controversial
book about the nature of God, published in America by the Westminster
Press, Philadelphia, Pa, 1963. The phrase "ground of our being," used in
the book, and attributed to theologian Paul Tillich, is a definition of God.]