Poems of the Spirit
The word “spirit” here means, in a nutshell, the way we approach life: what we see as the most important things, and how we shape our actions accordingly. Put another way, spirit is the realm of our philosophy of life, our religion if we have any, and our ethics. Anyone familiar with my other website, www.banishingboundaries.com, will know that these are things extremely important to me. Matters of the spirit bulk large in the overall volume of my poetry.
My poetry of the spirit is sometimes secular, or apparently so, and sometimes religious, though not on the whole tied to any particular religion, for I have a multi-faith approach that sees merit in various religions. Anyone familiar with my theory of creativism will detect that I make frequent mention of truth, love and creative action, for these together are the cornerstone of my own somewhat individual set of beliefs. In brief, I see the presence of goodness in our lives as the best way to interpret the word “God”, and this in turn can be interpreted as truth brought into being through love, in an endless flow of creative action.
The challenge for any poet who is serious about spirit is to make his or her viewpoint intelligible – and memorable – through the ordinary and everyday. So, for example, in We Seek the Sun I have used imagery of light. In The Sea, the Deep I have used ocean imagery to capture all the immensity and impenetrability of the divine. And in Truth, I have used the very concrete image of the Taj Mahal, which in daylight – at least when I saw it – wasn’t completely special, but which in the darkness of night would obviously gleam with absolute splendour.
WE SEEK THE SUN
We who seek a God
Seek a sun,
A perfect light.
But it’s too pure, too bright,
And so we learn
A subtler, finer art.
We find our way
Through Christ the Son
And other human kind, the scintillae
Who manifest the divine.
We live not through direct sunlight
But reflected or refracted light.
THE SEA, THE DEEP
The sea bounds all our life’s strand,
Solid and definite the heavy boom,
The dark green-grey,
Easy is the first encounter,
Softly slapping our innocence,
Our faith of child at play.
Tough, though, with the bigger questions,
It rears up, inveighs
Against our vanities, breaks hard,
Up-ends our foolish ways.
Then comes the mighty Deep,
Ocean’s endless reach;
And which of us can know
How deep the Deep can go?
Eternal truth is hammered fast
Beyond all reach of cyclone’s blast,
Beyond the wrecker’s heartless siege,
The vandal’s act of sacrilege.
And through the night a subtler curse
May assail this fabric of our universe:
An acid air, a noxious mist
Of fear and doubt and prejudice.
But truth endures beyond all blight;
The Taj Mahal gleams brightest in the night.
He lived as bone and muscle like
A Japanese room.