When the clouds shake their hyssops, and the rain
Like holy water falls upon the plain,
‘Tis sweet to gaze upon the springing grain
And see your harvest born.
And sweet the little breeze of melody
The blackbord puffs upon teh budding tree,
While the wild poppy lights upon the lea
And blazes ‘mid the corn.
The skylark soars the freshening shower to hail,
And the meek daisy holds aloft her pail.
And Spring all radiant by the wayside pale
Sets up her rock and reel.
See how she weaves her mantle fold on fold,
Hemming the woods and carpeting the wold.
Her warp is of the green, her woof the gold,
The spinning world her wheel.
– Francis Ledwidge
Prayers for peace
rose up in many tongues
from the congregation
gathered round a new pole
hewn by parishioner hands
emblazoned with words
words of peace
in eight languages
Hopeful prayers, repeated
shared by the congregants
by the members and friends
rejoined after summer’s allure
of the road, camps, the water
in the community of faith
welcoming others, some for
the first time
with hopeful words of peace
on a day before
in mindless hate
‘May PEACE prevail on Earth.’
– Raymond A Foss
Today Armenians celebrate the 100th anniversary of the mass killing of their people. The official Turkish line is still to deny this genocide ever happened, blaming the deaths on the conditions of war at the time (1915).
Regardless, it is another opportunity for all of us to think about tolerance and peace – especially accepting the rights of others to worship in the way in which they have chosen. In the future, there will no doubt be further memorials recognising the deaths caused by the barbaric behaviour of extremists in the Middle East.
As I have said in the past, there is simply no excuse for the persecution and killing of those who are different to you.
Here is a poem that I found to express this…
IF you can go to heaven your way,
I know of no good reason why
I ought to curse you, or display
Contempt when you are passing by ;
I have no wish to see you barred
From future everlasting joy,
Although you seem to find it hard
To use the faith that I employ.
As long as you are not inclined
To have me damned and scourged and burned,
I’ll try to have an open mind
Where our two creeds may be concerned ;
No pious hate nor holy wrath
Shall make me wish to bruise your soul
Or put obstructions in the path
By which you hope to reach your goal.
If, kneeling at your mother’s knee,
You learned a faith that keeps you strong,
No effort shall be made by me
To prove that your belief is wrong ;
I shall not question nor deny
The saving grace that fills your thought,
Though you may hold beliefs that I
Have never had, and never sought.
Hold fast the faith that you possess,
If you can find sweet hope therein,
And freedom from the bitterness
That plunges bigots into sin ;
If your way leads to heaven, proceed,
Nor any of your hopes resign ;
I have no doubt that there, indeed,
Are many other ways than mine.
– Samuel Ellsworth Kiser
IF Michael, leader of God’s host
When Heaven and Hell are met,
Looked down on you from Heaven’s door-post
He would his deeds forget.
Brooding no more upon God’s wars
In his divine homestead,
He would go weave out of the stars
A chaplet for your head.
And all folk seeing him bow down,
And white stars tell your praise,
Would come at last to God’s great town,
Led on by gentle ways;
And God would bid His warfare cease,
Saying all things were well;
And softly make a rosy peace,
A peace of Heaven with Hell.
– William Butler Yeats
Men say the world is full of fear and hate,
And all life’s ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.
But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.
What care I for the world’s desire and pride,
Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide,
The homing pigeons of Thine eventide?
What care I for the world’s loud weariness,
Who dream in twilight granaries Thou dost bless
With delicate sheaves of mellow silences?
Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom,
Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom,
The mute and mythic terror of the tomb?
For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee,
O inmost wind of living ecstasy!
O intimate essence of eternity!
– Sarojini Naidu
Today is Earth Day 2015.
Let’s take a little bit of time to be grateful for our beautiful planet, and consider how we can contribute to making it a better place – in so many different ways.
A poem, then…