Delirium on entering a Dark Tunnel

.      Swirls of colour.
.           Fear – past and present fear.
.             Whirling colours, flecking in the dark.
.                    Fear of the darkness?
.                              Or the light?
The Voice,
.     soothing, calming,
.         shadows fold, light fades,
.           one into another,
.              into another,
.                    calm, quiet,
.                                    sleep.
.     Light,
.            the Voice,
.                      movement, twisting;
.                                gibbering swirls, sound and light,
.                                                          being lifted, turned;
.                                                Heat, other Voices,
.                                      pain.
.                   fear,
.        pressure,
.     the calm, protecting Voice;
.     warmth, calm, the Voice,
.        folding, fading light
.           into dark,
.                  gentled
.                            shades;
.                                      sleep.
.                   Darkness.
.     Flecks of light,
.shapes, sounds, fear.
.Fear in the Voice, fear and concern;
.Pain in the Voice; fear in the Voice,
. yet it helps, it helps.
.      Pain, the Voice –
.         safety,
.                dark,
.         comforting dark,
.      a near and far tunnel of dark.
.      Fear, sounds, drowning the Voice,
.         burning in the darkness,
.            fearful light,
.                  a tunnel,
.                              light.
.     Pain,
.           light,
.                 brightening, not paling.
.                           Loud meaningless sounds,
.                                           painful light,
.                                                      the tunnel
.                                                                      leading on,
.                                                                                             away.
.      Loud meaningless sounds,
.         pain, loss, pain, distress;
.            the Voice crying – more crying.

“Mrs. Smith, you have a beautiful baby boy.”
.     Warmth, the Voice, comfort, safety;
.                 The Voice has loving eyes.

Highland Hills

So many hills I trod the miles, each steady grassy climb,
where each horizon seemed to be eternity in time.
Somewhere the unseen peak beyond each skyline drew me on,
on grassy tussocks, turf or scree,
on steady rise, on tired knee,
in cloud-mist, faded sun.

Each heavy, crossed horizon shows another up ahead:
another lessened slope that grows more stonily instead,
and weary limbs and counted steps attack the boulder field
which levels to the cairn at last
where, triumph gained and labour past,
the whole world lies revealed.

And is there fairer yet than this that our world has to show?
when trial and beauty seem as one,
and clouds that used to veil the sun
drift slowly, down below?

Dark & Light

Dark within darkness, cloud within a cloud,
when every way is hidden and comfort is a shroud,
when shadows deepen blackly
in the byways of the night
and thoughts flow slow and thickly
and truth hides out of sight.

As sun can blind the eyes with a burst of umbral pain;
a central spot so dark and an image that remains
blotting earth and sky – all loss, and nothing gain.

Darkest in the cloud within the darkest cloud
where shadows deepen blackly
when thoughts flow slow and sickly
and every way is hidden and comfort is a shroud
in the byways of the night when truth is out of sight.

I see you in the shadow by the love you cannot see
by the tears of love and grief that nailed me to the tree.
What blinds you to me?

See the glad giver who gave so much for love,
who, for all Man, died at your hand
that you might see and understand.

See and understand, believe I am.
I so loved the world that all that I have done
is so you may believe that you and I are one.

Dark with excess of light, my love,
as by a naked sun,
then know that I am here, my love;
and in my darkest hour, my love,
my glad gift lit my heart, my love
and eased my pain.
I saw you by that light, and all my loss was gain

And though you cannot see I hold you in my sight,
your darkest hour and mine both glow in one bright light.

The Bow Shall be Seen in the Cloud…

Once I saw the most remarkable rainbow of any I can remember. It was not double – I have seen double rainbows, and they are certainly a wonderful sight. No, this was a single, ordinary rainbow, if anything as wonderful as a rainbow can be called ordinary. It was complete, bold and beautiful in colour, spread across a broad, dramatic peakland sky, extending over the far tree-lined drystone wall of a sheep meadow which in turn I viewed over another drystone wall.

The bow shone against a backdrop of grey and white clouds amply interspersed with blue sky. The sheep field shone green in the sun and two sheep wandered along the far wall. A fine cloud-mist cooled my face.

I was walking with Kate, a small west highland white terrier, and was brought to a halt by the spectacle. Kate, with the poor colour-sense of all dogs, ignored it and nosed along in the long grass getting slowly covered in goose-grass burrs while I stood transfixed. I paid for it later when I had to pick them off.

It is hard to describe my feelings as I stood for over ten minutes watching the changing moods of the sky and fields. At times the entire bow was seen against a backdrop of clouds except where its earthbound ends dipped to the trees and wall. Occasionally it stood out in places against blue sky which shone through it although the spectral bands could still be clearly seen. Sometimes the field below darkened with cloud shadows and yet the rainbow persisted above. There were no great drops of rain, just the fine cloud-mist against my face from a large irregular cloud that was passing over me. Any moment I expected the greater flurry of rain that often comes at the tail of a cloud, but it did not come. Only the fine refreshing cloud-damp blowing through my hair and lightly in my face.

Behind me a low morning sun gleamed through the silver-gold lining of a grey cloud, that seemed almost stationary compared to the wracks passing overhead. In front, the tail of cloud moved, oh so slowly, toward me. The rainbow was fixed, bright and constant. The sheep ambled to and fro then moving off to my left passed through the rainbow’s end by the wall.

Suddenly a thin cloud crossed the sun and the bow dimmed only to brighten again as the sun penetrated more strongly. Steadily the tail of the cloud moved toward me. The blue sky grew in its wake. The wind tossed leaves through the air and ripples through the grass. Kate lay down, thought better of it and nosed off after some fascinating scent. The clear sky grew until the whole bow was spread out against the blue vault of the heavens – something I had never seen before. Then, very slowly over several minutes, rain and bow faded together leaving a brilliant morning sky.

I pondered that a rainbow can fade in two ways: because the sun is dimmed or because the rain clears, and that I could be struck by beauty while my colour-blind companion saw nothing at all.

I stayed a few moments looking at the scene, then turned to go. To my amazement the rainbow colours returned in a flash. There was no rain, just the sun shining in the drops in my hair and lashes. I carried the rainbow with me.

So Loved

And God So Loved the World

the Other of you,
Your Father.

I made the first waking breath,
the infinite-finite moment,
the first pulse of love,
the flickering of desire;

Other than here and now,
Other than where and when,
the first breath, in the first waves
of growing light at dawn.

and the world was born:
waters and waves of light,

you, another,
Loving eyes,
light, sound, colour, cries;
the infinite-finite moment.
Loving eyes, searching:
eyes lost in love.

Oh, how I loved you,
love you.

And God called the light day,
and the darkness he called night,
and the heavens and the earth
are darkness and light,
here and there,
day and night,
and it was good;
and God so loved the world.

For God so loved the world
that he gave,
he came,
he shared,
and died,
as his own son.

that whoever should believe in him,

who came, shared and died;
sent from whatever dimensions into these three,
into its tiny inner darkness,
no bigger than this universe,
this hazelnut universe,
this mere infinity of three dimensions,
than which there is so much more;

should have eternal life.

For the turning of the wheels of space and time
are no more than the smooth rolling shell of the hazel.

And can he love his lost ones,
lost within the hazel shell?
And if it roll so tinily in his hand,
did he yet enter it?
And are we held in time?
And was he here,
in the bright day
in the kernel’s heart?

‘Love those who hate, bless those who curse, do good to those who spite.’

We must love the lost
who cannot escape,
the captives in that outer darkness
no bigger than a hazel shell:
those who did not believe,
cannot believe,
will not believe
in Him.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
fallen away in the darkness.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
fallen away from the one true Person.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
you we brand as demons, lost and unloving,
and grant you his peace