Seek and you will find
Prayer is like watching for
Kingfisher. All you can do is
Be where he is likely to appear, and
Often, nothing much happens;
There is space, silence and
No visible sign, only the
Knowledge that he’s been there
And may come again.
Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,
You have been prepared.
But sometimes, when you’ve almost
Stopped expecting it, a flash of brightness
The Uninvited Guest
He seems to come in like the leaves –
Blown in at the open window,
And always on a light and airy day.
Never in stormy weather.
And always, I’ve noticed,
At an inconvenient time –
Right in the middle of the washing.
He looks at me and shows me these holes in his hands.
And, well, I can see them in his feet.
‘Not again,’ I say.
‘Please don’t stand there bleeding
All over the kitchen floor.’
Sometimes he comes softly, sadly,
At night – close, by the side of my bed –
Sometimes I latch the door –
But he never goes away.
All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of life.
Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.
Sleeping on the hearth of the living world,
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
as of a master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.
D H Lawrence
It is alive. it is you,
God. looking out I can see
no death. The earth moves, the
sea moves, the wind goes
on its exuberant
journeys. Many creatures
reflect you, the flowers
your colour, the tides the precision of your calculations. There
is nothing too ample
for you to overflow, nothing
so small that your workmanship
is not revealed. I listen
and it is you speaking.
I find the place where you lay
warm. At night, if I waken,
there are the sleepless conurbations
of the stars. The darkness
is the deepening shadow
of your presence; the silence a
process in the metabolism
of the being of love.
R S Thomas
The Abandoned Valley
Can you understand being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the well
so you could feel something down there
tug at the other end of the rope?
Now I am still and spent
and lie in a whited sepulchre
but there will be
no lifting of the damp swathes
no return of blood
no rolling away the stone
till the cocks carve sharp
gold scars in the morning
and carry the stirring sun
and early dust to my ears.
It is exasperating
to be called
when the last thing
we want to do
is get up
to keep on haunting
Thomas John Carlisle
The Lion Book of Christian Poetry, compiled by Mary Batchelor,
Later Poems, RS Thomas, Papermac 1984
Refusing Heaven, Jack Gilbert, Alfred A Knopf 2005
Selected Poems, Laurie Lee, Penguin 1983