Autumn 96
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Devotional Verse

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The word 'god' is a pronoun, pointing out
Devolving meaning from itself.
A person's voice behind it, 'I' would convey
No meaning. The same with 'he' or 'she': they
Need a body standing here, or there,
At any point in time, or anywhere.

But the word 'he' can't show the colour of his skin
Her state of mind is not revealed by 'she'
'They' can't reveal the community they're in

The same it is with 'god': no proper noun,
The preserve of a particular creed or race;
Its meaning shifts, expands to fill the space
Where nothing else makes sense -
                                                          the here, the now.


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"Lift up the stone and thou shalt find me
Cleave the wood and I am there"
The proper noun of incarnation
Eternally spoken everywhere.

Break the chalk: I'm in the fragments
In the insult my wounds weep
Yes, the Word and yet the speaker,
Spotless lamb, yet mother sheep.

I'm in the smirk of condecension
From the awkward child with low esteem,
I'm in the beam of bashful pride
From the grafter picked at last for the team.

In the flesh, then in the bread,
In the biscuit with your cup of tea;
In the staffroom, in the classroom
I'll be with you if look for me.



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Circle in point, blossom in seedling lies
The autumn leaf makes beauty from decay
Those who seek God within the world are wise

The leaf that synthesised the seedling's rise
Now nourishes the root within the clay
Circle in point, blossom in seedling lies

The root supports the tree on which Christ sighs
"You'll be in paradise with me today"
Those who seek God within the world are wise

The body ascends in inscrutable guise
Whilst Spirit strews God's glory in our way
Circle in point, blossom in seedling lies

To know where heaven is, just use your eyes
To contemplate a fallen leaf's to pray
Those who seek God within the world are wise

God pours himself into a man who dies
In bread upon the altar every day
Circle in point, blossom in seedling lies
Those who seek God within the world are wise.



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  The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary


Like Mary we are bidden to bring
God's love into the world
And with that grace comes the awful joy
Of the fearful pregnant girl


This embryonic divinity
Seems hidden within me so deep
But to my surprised delight it finds
Itself in others. The divine spark in them leaps.


It is a long tiresome labour
The delivery is not without flaw
But God will out. He doesn't moind
Being cradled in my words of straw.

Presentation in the temple

With startled thanks I give to God
The Word that God must give to me:
My eyes have seen the salvation
Prepared to set creation free.

Finding in the temple

In the midst of busy lives
It's easy to forget the source
From which God comes, but when we seek
And find its proper place: what joy outpours!



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     Without the point we could not draw a line
And lines compose the solids of our world
The entire universe therefore's divine:
From the focal point of God it's being unfurled.
   To be out of time is not to take time out,
Eternity is here with us now
Surrounding and suffusing time. No doubt
We'll understand this mystery - but how?
   This week is almost over, but its days
Are happening at the present instant yonder:
All Monday mornings, and all holidays
Participate at once in heaven's wonder.
   Today is just one note; how can it be
   That now we hear eternity's symphony?


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