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Tag: Poetry

A Bright Cloud

Last night in Serum, we talked about language for God, and about the mystery of God’s absence and presence.  At one point we talked about the mataphor for God, as the cloud – the Shekinah.  We shared out experiences in dialogue.  I found it quite an emotional exchange. One of those who attended who I will not name, sent Vanessa a poem that she came across the next day, which was moving for them, so I thought in this time of Advent and expectant hope, that I would share this, as R S Thomas is one of my most favourite poets.

The Bright Field by R. S. Thomas

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receeding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

POSTED 09.12.10 BY: ianmobsby | Comments Off on A Bright Cloud

A DAY, by Bart Wolffe


Like no other? The same obstacle course, problems with the job,

Cash flow short, going from bed to chair,

From here to there and back again?

No. Instead

Today I heard of a friend from far away and long ago

Alive and now … and so

What’s more,

I saw a man with a black cigar and from his backpack

A protruding flower.

Today was not the same.

A note came from South Africa

To let me know another fellow was holding in his hand

At that very moment a book of mine.

It made me feel that  time and distance was not real

Between the call for miracles

But rather planned.

And before I knew it, I had taken from the shelf

The same book for myself

And said across the Ethernet:

“I have it, the same words, the same text, the same truth

And we both are less than a few inches away

Across the continents

In what we share and say;

The virtual world is tactile now,

The bridge is built

And manifest right here somehow.”

And when you who, stranger I never knew

Read these cogitations written here

We also, my dear, make common use;

My tongue, your eye, our ear…

POSTED 04.11.10 BY: Moot Archive | Comments (1)

SNOWFALL IN SURREY

By Bart Wolffe


Periodically stepping outdoors,

(Well, to the edge of the patio through the glass door

Hovering)

To light up another home-roll,

Suck in the silence of the snowfall

And count the inches creeping upward

In their white ascension.


No buses pass by. The trains don’t run.

The road devoid of noise,

Not even birds seem to sing

A song to disturb the hush.

My toes are cold in their slippers,

Socks have holes.

I sit. Time doesn’t tick,

It hovers like a snowflake

Before settling into the white approaching night.

The garden birch is star-studded. A crystal chandelier upended.

Frost-flaked with filigree and tracery, the tender twigs

In their wintering dormancy decorated with delight.

The silversmith has worked his trade well

And hammered out against the frost a pale web across the sky.

Icing from above, all garden blooms its winter wedding bells

Mutely, deaf an untold voiceless sigh.

The eye spies only one, complete whitewashed word of it.

A world of frozen milk, a sherbet of sugar dust,

A sure sign of the anaesthetist doing his work

Numbing the world’s new canvas

Pending Spring’s scalpel to cut the ice

And paint the green blood upon

The unbandaged skin of earth once more.

In the morning, the foxes will have left their imprints,

A printed pattern crossing over the frozen waste.

I blow white clouds once more by the patio door

Before I bid goodnight.


[Click this link to get to Bart’s Lulu shop front, and to a book of his which can be downloaded for free.]

POSTED 06.01.10 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

A little bit of poetry… by Jocelyn

For those of you who were at the service this past Sunday, here is the text of the poem I read as part of the meditation; I wrote it as my final project for an arts course at my undergraduate university and just felt it fit well with this week’s theme of wandering, identity, and belonging…

Dirty, beautiful, strange, familiar
The city is the cocoon from which I emerged
A long time gone,
The prodigal son
Or daughter
Every city still feels like my own,
Still feels like my home
Prodigal not by my own decision
Every parting an incision
On the flesh of my heart
Too long gone I feel claustrophobic
Feel smothered
Like a child too long mothered
By an oppressive parent
The city, every city–my city–
Striking in its contrasts
Its rich, its poor, its ugly beautiful pasts
Its freedom, its oppression
All the cause of my obsession
I love each place
I can’t help having a taste
For all it has to offer
Every nation and race
Wish I had come of age
On this stage
With every turn of the page
With every turn of the corner
Crossing invisible borders
Don’t look at me and say
Where you belong you should stay
You look through me, not at me
Your vacant eyes looking past me
“If you’re not from here don’t come here”
I see the words in your eyes
As you cut me down to a size
That fits in your little world
But I am rootless and free
Can be who
And what
And where I think I should be
Don’t try and reprimand
A thing you don’t understand
What you never learned to comprehend
Every two years a new land
I am California, Colorado, Florida, D.C.
I am Boston and L.A. and every city I see
If art is an expression of self
Is the reflection of self
Then listen to me as I tell
How I see my life
And my love
And my perception of self
In every face on the street
How every city I meet
Opens up a new world
That extends out of the old
I have no luxury of hometown
No one place to settle down
I am a city girl that has been displaced
A casualty of just the way I was raised
To be unattached
So the pain doesn’t last
To be independent and strong
So when I have to move on
The change doesn’t kill me
Doesn’t break me and fill me
And now twenty years later
I have found a way to cater
To the lost feeling inside me
By choosing to find me
Myself and my home
In every place that I go
My soul in every city, not one
So I don’t have to feel so alone
So that before long
I can feel I belong
In a place that from my birth I had no claim on
So think and feel what you will
But do not doubt what you’re told
And that I tell what I feel
And that the city
Every city
Any city
Is my home
The why and the where and the reason I roam
The reason I hope
That I will one day no longer be a nomad
And finally become someone with a land.

POSTED 08.12.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

Moot’s Arts Cafe Church Vision – gatherings of kindness, cups of friendship

Well, at last it is looking like Moot will be launching its cafe church vision in the near future, but more of that later. People have been asking me why a cafe? and what has this to do with the arts?

I have been reading the Poetry Book ‘Flotsam‘ by Bart Wolffe, one of the talented poets that has performed in the Moot Cabarets. He is a very talented guy with an incredibly tough life as an asylum seeker. He has my greatest respect. In this book of poetry, where he explores what it is like to be homeless and with no money in London, he explores the real day to day struggle of trying to survive in the City, and brings fresh perspective to issues that we often forget about. In the middle of this he dreams about what Could be:

City of Loneliness, of loss, the scraping amidst the barony of landlords and tax collectors, rent gatherers, and supermarkets milking us of our liberty. He dreams. “The ideal world would let cafes be free for all, gatherings of kindness, cups of friendship. A church, a welcome sanctuary, a retreat, without denominations. The democracy of true meeting-places, the universities of life for exchange of thought and word in all tongues” (B Wolffe, 2009, 19).

I think Bart has richly put what we are seeking to build. A place where a church becomes public space again, with a small cafe that practices friendship and hospitality, which we hope will birth relationships, peace, kindness and facilitate expression and creativity, in the search for a common humanity and deep spirituality. We hope to start this once the detail about a place is sorted out.

So thanks Bart for putting this so well, touching the qualities we hope to shift from a dream to an actual incarnated reality, and a new home for the Moot Community. Incidentally, a way to support people like Bart is to support their work, so why not help him by buying his books here from Amazon, and here from Lulu.

POSTED 20.07.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

Moot's Arts Cafe Church Vision – gatherings of kindness, cups of friendship

Well, at last it is looking like Moot will be launching its cafe church vision in the near future, but more of that later. People have been asking me why a cafe? and what has this to do with the arts?

I have been reading the Poetry Book ‘Flotsam‘ by Bart Wolffe, one of the talented poets that has performed in the Moot Cabarets. He is a very talented guy with an incredibly tough life as an asylum seeker. He has my greatest respect. In this book of poetry, where he explores what it is like to be homeless and with no money in London, he explores the real day to day struggle of trying to survive in the City, and brings fresh perspective to issues that we often forget about. In the middle of this he dreams about what Could be:

City of Loneliness, of loss, the scraping amidst the barony of landlords and tax collectors, rent gatherers, and supermarkets milking us of our liberty. He dreams. “The ideal world would let cafes be free for all, gatherings of kindness, cups of friendship. A church, a welcome sanctuary, a retreat, without denominations. The democracy of true meeting-places, the universities of life for exchange of thought and word in all tongues” (B Wolffe, 2009, 19).

I think Bart has richly put what we are seeking to build. A place where a church becomes public space again, with a small cafe that practices friendship and hospitality, which we hope will birth relationships, peace, kindness and facilitate expression and creativity, in the search for a common humanity and deep spirituality. We hope to start this once the detail about a place is sorted out.

So thanks Bart for putting this so well, touching the qualities we hope to shift from a dream to an actual incarnated reality, and a new home for the Moot Community. Incidentally, a way to support people like Bart is to support their work, so why not help him by buying his books here from Amazon, and here from Lulu.

POSTED 20.07.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

Poem from a Marginal Mooter

Received this poem from a guy who surfs the edge of the Moot Community cyberly.


I thought I should post it, as it gives a strong sense how some are spiritually searching in our culture to get beyond the nihilism of our consumptive & technological culture of surface meaning …


I am reminded that many are seeking for something deeper, and hence are on a spiritual quest.



I am given the world
but lose my soul, nothing
I feast on means anything
to me just another person’s
problem, but my own.

We live in the comfort of
our own envy and aspirations
the gluttony of a mind
preoccupied with just
another person’s problem,
but my own.

I desire liberation,
full of transcendent hope
to be a full person,
connected
and not on my own.

POSTED 31.01.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Poem from a Marginal Mooter

CHALLENGE, by Bart Wolffe

My angel, evidently, has broken wings, still tries to lift me up,

It also somehow clearly seems, my chalice forms a broken cup,

The song I dream from my cracked lips, the bowl from which I sup

Imperfect too, a blemished thing, rides like my shirt untucked.

Yet from the grist and guts of it twists my remaining luck,

As one who wins just second place my thoughts also run amok.

From my wrist I fashion it, unclenching my tight fist a bit

Into an open palm in order not to strike a blow or hit out at anyone;

– If God were perfect and could fit together like an answered prayer,

Love would take me home to him borne on such a rarer air.

Yet truth is not enough I fear and hope but mere deceit

And from what I’ve seen everywhere, Life ends always in defeat.


For this I am guilty to declare my challenge to miracles anywhere,

God, prove me wrong, if you dare to show me nurture and not harm

Or else at least to show you care a damn with truth to accept me as I am

Not just judge my lack of charm or doom my gloom right down.

I’d like to sing of second birth and say heaven is to be found on earth

But from the dirth my dirges groan with lack of thrumming mirth

And thirst for meaning makes me bleak and black as my parched tongue

When champagne springs and angel wings are only when you’re young.

POSTED 29.09.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (4)

Importance of Poetry

Cheryl, friend from OZ has written some great things about poetry, click here

POSTED 02.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Poem – The Godhead by Peter Thomas

There’s no triumvirate, nor trinity
No triune divinity
(No spirit, father, son all three)
In me, that oversee, that hold sway;
That prick delay and harness haste
And govern all my ways
From morose to delirious
Not three, but two:
Doctrine and experience.

These bedfellows with twin thrones
In my head and heart and bones
Are rulers over me
And when there’s peace
There’s sobriety
When they agree
There’s harmony
When they make love
They begat bliss
No matter how painful
The issue is.

But when they’re at odds
Like feuding gods
When they’re unstable
A Cain and Abel
Fisticuffs
Hostility
O when they both do disagree, they thrash and cut and shout
And when they bleed they both bleed doubt.

Thus one must have the final say
Yes one must oversee , hold sway
So at twenty paces on a misty dawn
They turn and fire so that decision’s born.

Experience and doctrine thus settle the matter
And mostly it’s the former, not the latter
That emerges intact
And that my friend is that.

For as I’m told someone once said
That put the thought first in my head
(So that my heart O damn near burst)
“I’ll toast the pope, but conscience first”

Peter Thomas

POSTED 08.05.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Poem – The Godhead by Peter Thomas