Monthly Archives: June 2013

When Holy Kiss

When holy kiss
laying on of hands
and communion
go out of fashion
the lonely faithful
make pilgrimage
to barber and doctor
for their ration
of human touch
 

When the church ceases to be a family, the church ceases being the church. That’s why I think God encourages us to meet each other’s need for physical affection, by giving us these (and other) rituals. As a wise man put it, “we can live without sex, but not without love.

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Nightly Journey

The white winter night
though sparkling coldly
beckons mad and bright
with colours rarely
seen by daylight’s eye
 
Its deep blue purples
uneasily lie by
those emerald gurgles
yet never to touch
whilst intermingling
in stray wisps of sky
hardly perceptible
 
The threshold behind
the cold heightens sense
exciting the mind
 
The lunar air’s tense
while stars illuminate
and softly point out
the humble wicket gate
which pierces all doubt
 
The moon’s rays sing
modest melodies
conscious of their place
in the sky’s symphonies;
the lesser light’s grace
for nightly pilgrims
on their way from night
 
to where darkness dims
and both lights shine bright
with the morning star
who with broken hands
holds the seven stars
 
To that living land
strive, pilgrim, strive!
 

This poem was inspired by Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. A good read despite the sometimes old-fashioned language, it is full of simple but effective imagery. It’s an allegory (a story that stands for something else) and has become a classic still read today.  I can recommend it to anyone who wants to read a classic of spiritual creativity.

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