A Year of Poems – Day 142


I have believed in certain words
confessed until my mind wore thin.
I know that they are not just words
they hold far more than I can say
and point to Him from whom all language springs.
And yet with my repeated creeds,
prayers prayed until they’re memorized,
my mind continues in its way
a handcart stuck upon the rails.
I worry that these words have lost their sting
in my long obsession with their ring
and like a collar worn thin with biting
I see my constructs worn away.
I still walk where the rails lay
But weeds have worn it to a trace.

But these are not my words
though I have made them mine
after years spent tracing
onto this lined paper
words copied from the illuminated text.
This trail, that I have forged, is mine.
Weeds grow where only one has walked.
Plants cannot grow where blood has spilled.
The bloody soil leaves a rug,
a royal carpet none can walk upon.

It is only my words which I wrung dry;
but I have not believed alone.
These words well with living water
in a stream that runs by shattered crosses,
churches battered, blown by bombs asunder,
standing calm amid the pain of stolen life,
standing still faithful to words, the Word
who dwelt in fullness as a man,
filling words long promised
with all the fullness of flesh and blood,
meeting the hopes of broken people
with an understanding gaze and
a hand outstretched to lift us up.

These words resound in a slow, glorious chant
sung since this world first took breath.
The procession formed when there were only two,
gathering like rocks rolling down a mountain,
till one day the parade ran through palm strewn streets
and runs today even by the bombed church of Alexandria
and beyond us all into eternity,
we walk and sing together with these words –
We Believe!

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