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A broken life gathered in beauty

  • 02 December 2014


I don’t know your precise job description

though I know that part of it is announcing good news. Assaulted by daily horrors we could surely do with more of it down here. Was it you who started the old cliché Look for the silver lining which turned into song? So not your words then, but when you did speak, the young girl was truly astonished.

Taking your advice, I find solace in clouds. On this November day, the breeze attempts to herd them over azure pasture. My head lifts upwards. Beyond the shadow of your spread wings lies the shimmering light of high summer and the one who imagined us.  

Give us this day our daily water 

more to be desired than bread     bright chameleon pulsing in the ocean’s plenitude         delight in its transitions      fog  steam ice snow its power of resurrection   give honour to rain-bellied      clouds soon to give birth deep soaking of red soil   bless all things aqueous      pearls bouncing off green bride of new grass        our flesh married to water   


I hope no-one asks me what the preacher said or who among the hurt and hungry we remember today

for I’ m looking  south, where David strikes his harp in a riot of glass and the hymns wash over.

His face is sorrowful, though it’s hard to think the psalm is penitential in this sea of red, blue and gold.

Perhaps it’s a trick of the light but is his crown slightly askew? O Absalom, Absalom, he laments, as his broken life, gathered here in beauty, 

is knitted with lead.

Bill Rush, who sees poetry as ‘healthy speech’ that invites both clarity and response, had his third collection Into the World’s Light published by Interactive Press in 2013.

Clouds image by Shutterstock.