for world poetry day and beyond

A journey shared

I wasn’t old when
news became old:
tired news of flood or drought,
epidemics or genocide.
Even vicious hate
becomes dreary
on that hypnotic screen.

I wasn’t old when
God wept over me,
and I didn’t weep.
Hearts that dull young
stay dull:
matted with tar and tarnish
that lay a dark veneer over truth.

You stripped my age,
you called the child in me
that ached over history’s years.
Recalled the sharp, metallic
taste of shock and pain
at the sight of a broken man,
crushed in hate’s wheels.

No trite reflections,
but honest confessions
and a heart that shares pain:
I knew you, knew the source
from which compassion springs.
And I reflect in that source,
though ripples of strong current
distort the light that
reaches back to me.

Still I fail; still my
barren heart thirsts to take
each step on the journey
towards truth;
still that which distorts your light
I embrace. Yet in its
darkness I find truth to build
on truth; for only in
darkness can light prevail.

And still, as a child I hunger for your song;
for the strength in shared hope
and for the love that journeys on.

Copyright 2002 Sarah Parkinson, published by the Sanctuary with kind permission as part of a small selection on our core themes of worship, prayer, justice, outreach and creation care.

Read our contributor interview with Sarah to find out more about her, and visit her website to find more inspiring and challenging poetry.

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