yesterday, tbV and i went to visit our friend Lilly Lewin in Napa for a morning activity of prayer, reflection and listening to God that she calls ‘Time in the Vines’.

one of the activities was selecting a stone with a random word on it and the word i picked was ‘Gratitude’ and one of the things i did while reflecting was write this poem:

GRATITUDE

as i drag my almost lifeless body

one more step forward

towards the hope of an unseen oasis

my dry mouth listens out for

the possibility of even a solitary drop of liquid refreshment

to forever banish this dusty cough

i shield my eyes from the sun

beating down directly at me

as i stand at the bottom of this well and gaze upwards

fingers numb and brokenly bloody

from scratching at the walls

of my undeserved prison

voice reduced to a hoarse mumbling

as i talk back at myself

and chastise my very existence

for holding out this hope

as i lean a little closer to the fire

to try and squeeze some small measure

of warmth into these aching bones

my fingers curl tightly around the edges

of this shard of glass i hold tightly to

which acts as a defender of this body

from those wretched sores and boils

“Yet will I rejoice”

Yet will I? Re-joice?

“Can we accept good from God and not evil?”

Well, in times that are good, surely we can easily hold to this

to account for the bad?

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

The joy. Of the Lord.

What if, right now, right here…

i don’t have any strength?

“Father, forgive them!”

Oh come now, now you’re asking too much…

What of that is ever deserved?

By them i mean?

“Consider the lilies…”

Now this i do try to do

And there, out of the corner of my eye

Calling on all my powers of peripheral vision

I think, just for a second , that i may have spotted a hint of blue

The sound of a vehicle arriving, perhaps

And footsteps heading towards my pathetic pit

Of a voice from somewhere above

Readying to clear His throat

and, despite all of this present now

i am reminded of all that has passed

and know so effortlessly

what my response has got to be…

[If you are interested in any other poems i have written in recent, and less recent, times, click here]

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