Poets struggle, sculptors risk…

One gospel (Mark) doesn’t mention the birth of Jesus. The other three relate it in different ways. This has led me to reflect on the way in which different arts attempt to give expression to the nature of God. 

Poets struggle with the language, 
words both mystic and absurd 
fail to frame the incarnation, 
giving flesh to living Word.

Art constrained by expectation 
will not let the colours go, 
only spreading, mixing media 
emulate the Spirit’s flow.

Sculptors sometimes risk the fracture, 
letting stone dictate the form, 
giving rise to new creation 
chance God shattering our norm.

Even music caged in bar lines 
lacks the freedom to expand,
till in jazz, through improvising, 
rhythms stretch to new demands.

Nothing ever fixed or final, 
way beyond the human mind:
mystery and imagination…
all that we will ever find…
© Andrew Pratt Written 17/12/2022

             Incarnation – Watercolour © Andrew E. Pratt

Pam Rhodes – Hearts & Hymns, Premier Christian Radio, 13/20 March 2022 – Ukraine, suffering, war and peace

Reflections for Ukraine based on some of my texts on Premier Christian Radio were broadcast (Freeview channel 725) on Sunday 13th March 2022 0800 hours (UK)

A video prepared for SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE is available here with thanks to Pam Rhodes and Gareth Moore (to be broadcast Sunday 20th March 2022 at 1800 hours UK)

Also see hymn @ https://hymnsandbooksblog.uk/2022/03/01/we-hear-the-news-in-anguish-hymn-at-time-of-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/

An extraordinary new hymn for the Passion/Easter season by Graham Adams – The people wanted soldiers

This hymn, by Graham Adams, arose from an ‘Empire’ module at Luther King House in Manchester last week. Graham says, “feel free to use as you wish!’ It connects with the Passion/Easter season. It was particularly stimulated by a discussion around whether ‘the alternative realm’ (God’s basileia/kingdom/empire) is ‘a quaint dream’ or something more ‘threatening’ – and the destabilising language of poetry spoke to this”.

The people wanted soldiers
so hope might come as curse,
to smash the occupation – 
but change turned up as Verse:
the poetry of yeasting,
the parabolic sword,
no match for Pax Romana* 
and yet this Lamb still roared.
 
Although it claims possession
of mind and heart and soul,
the Empire’s grip has limits – 
it can’t control the whole:
the surplus lives as Poem
for those with ears to hear,
resisting final closure,
declaring what is near:
 
This dream of re-creation,
this threat of life set free,
disturbing tame religion,
confounding how we see:
it won’t succumb to cliché
where purities abound,
but glimpsed in seeds’ potential,
it ruptures solid ground.
 
Where empires grow by violence,
where systems blame the last
and close down other futures
by editing the past,
the Poem can’t be silenced,
though quietly it dies,
and dances through the fissures
to teach us how to rise!
 
Graham Adams (2021) … prompted by the conversations during the Empire module   
Potential tunes: THORNBURY, CRUGER…
*Pax Romana is ‘the peace of Rome’ secured through military violence; if it’s easier to replace this with ‘crucifixion’, the meaning still works.