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Lament for the powerless

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Selected poems


For Astrid


There come times

For us to confront

The uncertainty

Of moving-on —

We who are yet

To make that leap

Walk with you

To that edge of wonder —

We tell each other Story

Of life beyond life

And the grace

Of ultimate mystery

Making 'All things NEW'



Here for you

Is the opening-up

Of journey's end

Moving us all

Towards intimate discovery —

Towards a knowing

Where spoken-out words

Dissolve into amazement

Beyond comprehending



We celebrate

What you have received

Through your searching out

The Jesus Story —

Immensely thankful

That you have walked

This Journey

Amongst remarkable people

Here on the edge

Of this ancient mountain

Sharing Words

Exploring mystery

Searching possibilities

That dovetail into Life



With you

may we

Have the courage

To delve and discover

Our journey of wonder

A travelling Mindfully

Into deep-dreaming

Beyond time

Making our quantum leap

Into the strongly real



Finding Gabriel's oboe

I am recovering

something strongly alive

Something deeply rooted

Ready to jump out again

From a resonating memory

Renewed this morning

Through a 'chance' tuning


Here a 'thank you' is also due

For the immediacy and diversity

Of listening and a life-remaking

Courtesy You-Tube and Wikipedia

To name but two such transforming hosts

Through them

Ennio Morricone and his 'Gabriel's Oboe'

Resound with stunning amazement

Through that complexity of being

Which is emmerging in the experience

Of one slowly-becoming human

Encountering a numinous musicality

Edging an eternal-grace



An ode for Valentine's Day

There are moments in outside time

When all things come together

In a sense of 'rightness'


All things in their place

All thing knowing their place

All things not so much in stasis

As in harmony with themselves


Here is deep looking

Into the nature of things

Looking from the inside

Building sound taste touch smell

Into an overwhelming symphony

Seeing into the roots of all being

With an infinity of knowing


Life lived with a quality

That may last an eternity

On the inside — and the outside?

It becomes endowed

With that sense of quality

Which can always potently linger

Pulling you back into its embrace

As we respond to its evocation


And in such an ambience of wonder

We come to know beyond doubt

That love is the centre of all we are



Lament for the powerless

Powerless ones

Innocent ones

Called to live timelessly

An ongoing liminality of terror


You destroyed ones

Who have come to be in places

Of age-long contention and hate

In place since the first sensing of empire

Through the long remembered Nimrod

Akkadian — Assyrian — Babylonian — Persian

The names and uniforms change

The oppression simply grows in depth and heaviness


Perhaps ironically resilient ones

It has been the imposition of empire

That has given refuge-space for your clan-family

within your tightly squeezed survival-place

There to find a semblance of holding to life

Born into a world that knows how to hate

That holds sweet vendetta through the generations

Relying on the local functionaries of a faraway Shah

To maintain a semblance of festering order

But never heart-reconciliation


But such possibilities of imperial balance

Are fragile and cannot hold

Days of chaos and anarchy are foretold

And come to be like the collapsing house of cards

That has been denied foundation

Except to hate and thus to survive


The powerless lose their fiction of hope

And are naked in the presence of seething oppression


And you the god

In whom these powerless pawns of history

Place their trust and receding hope?

Who are you? — where are you?

In their hope against intangible hope

Where is your comfort for this age-long affliction?


What can you find nameless one

In those stories of the naked become divine

So iconed in the crucified Christ

And in the flagellation for the murdered Imam

And in the haunting faces and broken bodies

Of those dead before their natural time

Still living in their awake nightmare fixations

Until they arrive at their final grieving

Their last memories of a world

So at odds with itself



John CranmerJohn Cranmer lives in the morning shadow of the Dandenongs; more prosaically in Boronia on the outer edge of Melbourne. One of his commitments to life is as a Uniting Church Minister (somewhat retired). John in collaboration with Denham Grierson have recently produced a collection of poems Walking on Bones published by Morning Star Publishing.

Topic tags: John Cranmer, poetry



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Existing comments

" For Astrid" is beautiful in its simplicity and sincerity. John's deep faith shines through his imagery of death as a journey full of wonder " into deep - dreaming". A gentle poem which touches the heart and soul.

Nerida Clark | 17 October 2017  

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