Over the Alps

I do not pray these days.
The faith is gone
Which underpinned such rites.
Yet do I still,
In quiet moments
Of the day and night,
Commend you to the gods,
Call down upon you
Joy and health and peace
And days of grace.
Now the water flows,
As healing sun
Melts through the winter snows.

Bess was lonely and ill, in Milan (2000)

Titicaca, between Peru and Bolivia

In the lake of floating islands,
Beyond the haze of disbelief,
Lie the Island of the Sun
And the Island of the Moon.

The Sun God rocked our reed boat
On the breast of the sacred lake.
In the great stillness,
Between sky and water,
We closed our eyes and journey inwards.
Here, truly, was Arcadia

1999

Fill my heart

Fill my heart, 0 Lord, with joy!
Let me sing your praises still!
Calm the doubtings of my mind,
Reinforce my failing will.

Every moment of my day
In your service let me do
What your love inspires in me
To create the world anew.

January 1988

Genesis

When I consider, in the Sistine light,
The hand of Adam and the hand of God,
Their fingers meeting in the gift of Life,
I see the vital spark from left to right
Ignite and spring. So much for Genesis.
In Man’s own image, God’s persona grows
And languid Adam life on God bestows.

November 1990

Noah’s Ark

Image

Noah's Ark by Aidan Smith

Noah’s Ark by Aidan Smith

The Golden Man

“What is man that thou art mindful of him?” Psalm 8

I am a ragbag of organs
With guaranteed obsolescence,
A parcel of aspirations,
Of failings and infirmities.

And yet! and yet
Pure cosmic gold flows in my veins,
Gold laurel leaves surround my head
And, in the arcades of my mind,
A spirit moves, begot by stars.

I am a pit of misgivings,
Beleaguered by ancient taboos,
In the land of instant image,
A mirror without reflection.

And yet! and yet
Beyond the final range of hills,
I am my own El Dorado,
In the swamps of absurdity,
My own walled garden of delights.

19 March 1990

Rome Revisited

I travelled light this time
And came to Rome without
Religious certainty
To pin my conscience down,
Free now to excavate,
From strata of belief
And primitive taboos,
Some vestiges of truth.
Now, gods and ages merge.
Inscriptions, sculpted all
By one perennial hand,
In unison proclaim
The noble promises
And hollow alibis
Of each successive age.
St. Peter’s colonnades
And fallen architraves
Of Augustan temples
Possess this in common:
All are, terminally,
Fatalistically,
In varying stages
Of decomposition.
No crying of the geese,
High on the Capitol,
Can protect the City
Against time and reason.

13th November 1990