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Wildness and Calm

May 21, 2011

One of the reasons why I started this blog was because, after I had performed a ‘spoken word’ poem in a cafe a couple of months ago, somebody came up to me and asked if I had any of my poems online.

There’s a couple of reasons why I haven’t put up all my poems. The name ‘spoken word’ suggests they are better to be heard than read. But that’s not a really good excuse, because I’ve only written a handful of ‘performance poems’. Other than that, I’m not sure I want to publish all my poems online, with the faint hope that one day I might pluck up the courage to send them off to a publisher or enter another competition. But there are a couple that can already be found online, so I thought I’d add them to my blog..

In 2009, I entered the Ted Hughes Young Poets’ Competition. And I completely forgot until recently that the title for the competition is fitting with the name of this blog: Wildness and Calm.

If any of you have done Duke of Edinburgh, you may be able to sympathise with some of the experiences I tried to describe..

The Ted Hughes Young Poets Award 2009, Runner Up – 15-18 years old

Wildness and Calm

The roaring spring races to the

pattering puddle below while

the childishly cheerful streams

bubble with excitement. The great

river meanders through like a

scribbled line through a still painting.

 

The wind marries the rain as they

conjure up a mutual tempest.

Clouds cry out in agony; they

long for mother to stifle their

frightened sobs, while babies in bed

curve into comfort, shuffling in

in their sleep with a thunderstorm

for a lullaby. Father snores.

 

The pack pulses on my bent back.

Crippled with cold, the resentful

rain insults me. The bog beneath

my feet is loose as change in

my pocket, full of useless things.

 

The gusty wind tries to master

me and for a moment I’m pinned

down to the ground by its whirling

pitchfork, terrified, too young to

die. Saved by a trig point, up there

on the hill, do you see it?

 

The only reassuring thing

(apart from that) is the bobbing

bag in front – my companion’s- which

is as comforting as Christmas.

I squeeze my eyes as tight as a

fist to force some kind of sob, but

tears don’t come till I’m home and those

remote memories take shape. Tears

of rain and relief fall down my

face as I succumb to slumber.

 

During the expedition I saw the parallel between the burden of a backpack, and the burden of our sin – that is, our rebellion against God, which makes us “by nature objects of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3b)*.

 

The packs pulse on our backs,

Like the sin we so often carry with us

Up the steep hills through life. Why do we do it?

I remember a verse from the Bible,

Something Jesus said once, something so real to me

Now I could reach out and touch it.

Come to me, all you who are weary

And burdened, and I will give you rest.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Now I know how I did it.

(You can read the other poem here)

 

*”Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3b-5)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Annabel permalink
    May 26, 2011 20:50

    I can definately sympathise with you here! I especially remember that bit where
    ” for a moment I’m pinned

    down to the ground by its whirling

    pitchfork, terrified”

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