One day, God walked in, pale from the grey steppe,
slit-eyed against the wind, and stopped,
said, Colour me, breathe your blood into my mouth.
I said, Here is the blood of all our people,
these are their bruises, blue and purple,
gold, brown, and pale green wash of death.
These (god) are the chromatic pains of flesh,
I said, I trust I shall make you blush,
O I shall stain you with the scars of birth
For ever, I shall root you in the wood,
under the sun shall bake you bread
of beechmast, never let you forth
To the white desert, to the starving sand.
But we shall sit and speak around
one table, share one food, one earth.
– Rowan Williams, ‘Rublev’ in After Silent Centuries (Oxford: The Perpetua Press, 1994).
A pretty fair poet….and a Man of God.
Another pretty fair poet – James K Baxter
Farewell to Hiruharama –
The green hills and the river fog
Cradling the convent and the Maori houses –
The peach tree at my door is broken, sister,
It carried too much fruit,
It hangs now by a bent strip of bark –
But better that way than the grey moss
Cloaking the branch like an old man’s beard,
We are broken by the Love of the Many
And then we are at peace
Like the fog, like the river, like a roofless house,
That lets the sun stream in because it cannot help it.
Thanks Pam. One can never read too much Baxter.