Beside Still Waters
Fragile she sat with words a still acceptance of my
Longing battered soul – not strong in fight but
Present depth of quiet being.
I dared not move or breathe lest I should break the spell
And lose this wisp of heaven here on earth
Returning all to grim realities of
Struggle to survive.
She asked again – I spoke of tumult in
The sweep throughout the gorge – the gasps for air
Amidst the foam and spray –
The frantic clinging to the slippery rocks
That smashed the forward flow –
The swirling eddies’ short respite
'Fore dashing hopes relentless in the push.
And what had brought about this shift
From quiet paddling venture gone so greatly wrong –
I told her, like I’d told the rest – and
Like I’ve told the others since –
But this was different – then, and looking back --
A touch of Him amidst the swirling boil –
Long days ago a Prison Chaplain queried from the
Grime of keepers and the kept – “my brothers’ keeper? –
No, my brothers’ brother – sisters’ too – and
Best we do not loose that vision of our Lord” –
Six weeks he walked me through the doors
Of others of his kin – exposed me
To his strength of hope – integrity within.
When done he said, “the choice is yours – which
Type you’re going to be – but everywhere you go
You’ll find rare jewels such as these.”
Then looking up I watched again this sun-dried reed that rocked
In gentle breeze,
Heard hum of bees,
Foam bubbles lap
Of pungent Cambrian rock.
She gestured to the widened gorge
Emerged to quiet lake
“It’s over now,
Restore thy soul,
Even for His own Name’s sake.”