Poems by Anne Thomas – 10

St Cuthbert's Island

Poems by Anne Thomas – 10

(More poems written by Anne when she was a young woman.)

St Cuthbert’s Island  (December, 1983)

No man is an island,
Yet you have made
This tiny scrap of land your own
And in some strange, mystic union
Were joined with it.
How many long hours
Did you spend in self-imposed isolation?
Yet this was for you the highest communion;
The greatest calling to front line battle
With the forces of evil.
With so much of England
Still heathen and unclaimed
You still determined
To use prayer as your only weapon.
Therefore you became holy,
At one with this beautiful island sanctuary.
A tenuous tide-controlled thread of land
Kept you attached
To the island of believers
And continent of humanity.

Taizé   (1984)

(Taizé is an ecumenical community of monks in Burgandy)

It is written:
‘My temple shall be a house of prayer
For all nations on earth.’
The words rage
Against the walls that divide us,
of nation,
of denomination,
of political peesuasion.
As a mighty ocean
against dry stone walls,
Your voice trumpets round our divisions,
and our barriers fall.
In this place where a man has a vision
of a parable of community,
Your voice speaking in Great Silence
has conquered many hearts,
And the House of Reconciliation
is a House of Prayer for all nations,
Even those suffering brothers and sisters of the East.
Send with a cross
a symbol of your suffering and theirs
A message of peace
united in the prayer
of two thousand opened hearts.

Teach me to love  (September 1981)

(Written after nursing a difficult patient)

Lord I feel sick inside.
My memory burns with what I’ve seen today,
Sores, muck, deformed and twisted bodies.
My heart has been rent by anguished cries,
crushed by abuse.
But most of all I weep, Lord,
for maimed and bleeding personalities
portrayed by hate-twisted faces
bitter, cynical remarks
and vitriolic curses.
The darkness threatens to engulf me.
I want to lash out, to hurt those who’ve hurt me.
But I hear you say:
‘Be not overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.’
As I think of your passion
Of your agony in death
I see it as a privilege to share a little
of your suffering,
to spend myself in your service of loving
For ‘it takes hurt hands to bless.’
You knew where you came from
and yet you washed feet
So as your follower
I rejoice to do the same.
I long for you to use my hands
to touch into wholeness these broken bodies.
I long for you to use my voice
to encourage the faint-hearted
to support the weak and helpless
to set free those locked within themselves.
Transform my watery soul
into your rich Cana wine.
Teach me to love.

First Love (1984)

(About a friend)

Now the finest gold has lost its lustre,
And the promise of spring seems empty.
A hollow, lonely future stretches before him.
But he can’t help remembering
Those first faltering steps of his first love.
The trembling reaching for that first touch.
The fresh joy of newly awakened feelings.
The discovery of new depths of sharing and caring.
And each thought, each memory of her
Throws more salt
On the gaping wound of betrayal,
The agony of rejection,
The jealous anger of another usurping his place,
And his new love lies shattered on the ground.

Lord you came
To heal the broken hearted
To comfort those who mourn
To give joy and gladness for grief,
A song of praise for sorrow,
To give a future and a hope.
Hug him to your shoulder now
And may all his tears
Water the seed of new life within him.

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