I give to this land,
and the land to me,
that down millennia God has graced:
here in the depth of this hollow oak
the satin grain,
the thornless wood,
this hall of God,
this belfry tower
the holly’s way beyond the font,
through death and suffering,
Andrew Pratt -/2/2004
To Alan Garner, Cheshire author.
Things we know are never wholly certain,
we fathom and explore,
we test the tangled evidence
while seeking to decide.
This is the time of crisis,
a time for making choices.
Life sometimes stutters,
moving on in stages.
At others it seems seldom interrupted.
Day to day passes without incident.
Then the cancer, infarction,
crippling us with indecision.
Death is inevitable since our birth.
But should we, as the poet wrote,
‘strive against the dying of the light’?
Or, windhover like, roll, riding on the steady air,
swing in mastery of this fluid existence?
Broken pinioned we may plummet,
But is it worth the struggle?
To claw heavenward,
at what present cost?
And all that now determines action will sound ephemeral,
of little consequence.
Such impulses drive the decisions we will make,
for life or death,
in love or grace.
© Andrew Pratt 30/11/2018
and every day a memory,
Survival’s guilt hangs heavy
like a shroud.
The frightened eyes,
the failing breath,
the flailing limbs,
I will never forget.
yet nothing fades,
vivid as yesterday
flamed on the retina
of my mind.
I hold his hand,
hear his voice,
he slips away,
yet is no more,
at the going down of the sun
and in every blazing,
I will remember him.
God where is your victory?
Death, I feel your sting.
© Andrew Pratt
Dysfunctional people still seeking direction,
still blindly pursuing our selfish desires,
we’re longing for certainty, vision distorted,
embers of hate blown to wild, raging fires.
Struggling persistently, stirring up prejudice,
fuelling the hatred that labels the poor;
storing our wealth, yet more grasping than giving,
hoarding what’s worthless in life’s endless store.
When will we learn that our Godless humanity
faults every plan, undermines every hope,
leaving us desolate, fearing the future,
putting the love that we crave beyond scope?
Good God forgive us, restore and renew us,
knit a community woven with grace,
help us to live held by love for each other,
here, in this moment, right here in this place.
Andrew Pratt (7/11/2018)
Reflecting on the state of society in the UK and USA following mid-term elections in the USA.
Words © 2018 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England,
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Mystery and wonder,
love and compassion have freedom
when we recognise that
no ‘religious’ creed can ever be
fixed or final.
Then love can encompass those we have,
in our wisdom,
deemed to be beyond love
even if our scripture and tradition
seem to tell us otherwise.