Category Archives: Poetry

Lent’s Compass. Day Three: Unrequited Love

Unrequited Love by Jude Simpson

Jesus is in turmoil.
He can’t stop thinking about you.
Every moment without you feels like eternity.
He blushes whenever someone mentions your name.
His heart skips a beat when you walk in the room
any room
every room
he’s in all of them.

Jesus lies awake at night trying to think of ways to get your attention.
He composes emails to you that never get sent.
He really has to force himself not to follow you home.

Jesus remembers every word you’ve ever said to him, and I mean every word
though to be fair, there aren’t a great deal.
Only on occasions,
when something feels like it’s about to go really wrong.
Once when your Nan died.

Yesterday, Jesus spent half an hour just trying out your name with his –
how good you would sound as a couple – Jesus and Shaun – or Shaun and Jesus?
He’s tried swapping surnames – both ways.
He thinks Jesus Penlington sounds marginally better than Alison Christ.

Jesus keys your name into Google at least twice a week
The results are always the same –
an obscure mention in someone else’s blog,
and the medal table of a judo competition when you were twelve –
but even so, it still makes him feel very slightly closer to you.

You see, Jesus wants to be with you all the time.
He could sit all night just watching you sleep
Sometimes he does,
but not very often,
in case you wake up and think he’s a psycho.
That might not help.

Jesus tries to say to himself, that he just wants you to be happy
but he doesn’t.
He just wants you to be happy with him.
Jesus bought the Zutons new album last week.
He overheard you mention that you like the Zutons.
If you ever come round, he’s not sure what he’ll do.
He might have to hide it in case you realise he only bought it
because of you.

But if he’s feeling confident, he’ll casually leave it out, and when
you see it he’ll go, “yeah, I love the Zutons – what –
you do too? Wow, that’s amazing! Hey, actually –
what a coincidence!
I’ve got two tickets for their next gig next week
and my mate’s just pulled out – I don’t suppose you’d …..

But it’s all just a fantasy,
what can he do if you don’t even seem to notice him?
You are Jesus’ hero and you haven’t got a clue.
Sometimes Jesus feels like you don’t even know he exists.

~ original post found here:

I’m spending Lent working through 40-Day Journey with Madeleine L’Engle (40-Day Journey) Each day’s entry begins with a quote of L’Engle’s followed by questions to ponder, journal reflections and prayers for the day. I’m using the quotes as writing prompts for my own reflection, which I’ll share here. Sometimes, like today, the quote will spin in my head and remind me of someone else’s work and reflection. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post. I’d like to do a daily post, but that might be beyond the scope of what I’m able to do. There may be pauses in between posts, where life takes me to different places and keeps me from sharing my thoughts here. We’ll see.

And so, the first three posts move from agape’s unconditional love, to the impossible becoming real and now Jude Simpson’s “Unrequited Love.” The link to Simpson was triggered by a quote about false expectations. You may find yourself chewing on both.

“We have false expectations of our holy days, of our churches, of each other. We have false expectations of our friends. Jesus did not. He had expectations, but they were not false, and when they were not met, he did not fall apart. He was never taken in by golden calves! Friendship not only takes time, it takes a willingness to drop false expectations, of ourselves, of each other. Friends – or lovers – are not always available to each other. Inner turmoils can cause us to be unhearing when someone needs us, to need to receive understanding when we should be giving understanding.” ~Madeleine L’Engle

We Had Him

We Had Him
by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing
Now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace
Sing our songs among the stars and and walk our dances across the face of the moon
In the instant we learn that Michael is gone we know nothing
No clocks can tell our time and no oceans can rush our tides
With the abrupt absence of our treasure
Though we our many, each of us is achingly alone
Piercingly alone
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him
He came to us from the Creator, trailing creativity in abundance
Despite the anguish of life he was sheathed in mother love and family love and survived and did not more than that
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style
We had him
Whether we knew who he was or did not know, he was our’s and we were his
We had him
Beautiful, delighting our eyes
He raked his hat slant over his brow and took a pose on his toes for all of us and we laughed and stomped our feet for him
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing
He gave us all he had been given
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Blackstar Square, in Johannesburg, in Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama and Birmingham England, we are missing Michael Jackson
But we do know that we had him
And we are the world.

Read by Queen Latifah at Michael Jackson’s memorial service.


Mary Oliver’s The Journey

This is about perspective.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.