Monday, December 5, 2011

in church

Often I try
To analyse the quality
Of its silences.  Is this where God hides
From my searching?  I  have stopped
to listen,
After the few people have gone,
To the air recomposing itself
For vigil.  It has waited like this
Since the stones grouped themselves
about it.
These are the hard ribs
Of a body that our prayers have failed
To animate.  Shadows advance
From their corners to take possession
Of places the light held
For an hour.  The bats resume
Their business.  The uneasiness of the pews
Ceases.  There is no other sound
In the darkness but the sound of a man 
Breathing, testing his faith
On emptiness, nailing his questions 
One by one to an untenanted cross.

~ R. S. Thomas
from Parabola (winter 2011-2012)


erin said...

i think faith must be a vast volume of more than we think, at first, for i do not have faith in (let's say) god per se, but i have faith in being, in the miraculous animation of humans and in the generosity of nature. i have faith in a world of dualities, all opposites existing. i have faith that die and this gives great flavor to living. and yet, even though this might seem so far from god, i feel as though i am close.

There is no other sound
In the darkness but the sound of a man
Breathing, testing his faith
On emptiness

i ask for nothing back.


smilingheart said...

in letting go of the past, of effort to control future circumstances, of knowing answers, of knowing who you are and what you represent, these relaxations toward letting, just letting things be ask me to find in myself a willingness to just see what's around the corner. the word faith seems to point to that willingness that comes out of a knowing that has nothing to do with what may or may not happen. resting here, i smile and feel surprised at the peace it brings.