The sky turned on me,
I looked, and saw
Arrows shooting down, piercing me one by one
My soul bent over, crippling me.
I screamed in the silence, but even I could not hear myself.
The deadly arrows had no archer.
Was the Devil to blame?
Did God do it?
Or was I dreaming?
The air screamed, was deceived with lies and evil,
Haunting me in my failure.
I was to blame for the arrows shot down.
I brought them on myself.
For I had failed
And the guilt almost killed me.
No, it was remorse.
I see the rugged hill
Where my saviour was
Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus said
On the Mount of Olives.
Now we live in poverty.
And now we are spiritually poor.
Our redeemer, rescuer has gone,
And he would be Messiah.
We are now poor
For Jesus has gone.
But we are rich
Yes we are rich
For having walked with him and talked
Yes we are rich.
And although I do not understand this crucifixion
Of an innocent man, I will understand this crucifixion.
And I saw the man next to Jesus at the Skull call
Jesus, asking forgiveness. Today you will be with me in
Paradise, Jesus replied. The other man insulted him.
And yes, a rich young man amidst the riches…
Of a slum? Amidst the riches of disease? Amidst the
Riches of not knowing God?
He rose again on the third day! Yes
And is coming back to take me to Paradise.
Jesus’ agony. Am I poor, am I rich? Do I know this God?
Do I know that he cares for me?
–Written in 1992
My first published poem was in a church newsletter and it should have been left for the back page as the matters of church life would be of more importance rather than a mere poem. This rather negative estimation in view of ecclesiastical concerns which would take up much weight in the minds and hearts of many older middle-class members.
As one of the youth I expected a rejection of the poem I submitted to the church newsletter (can’t recall precisely how I got around to submitting to a church newsletter, but I did have a affinity for the people) I expected a flat out rejection, but I was pleasantly surprised by the forward thinking pastor who gave my poem the whole of the front page! It was a poem about Jesus and especially the cross he died on and the mountain he was on…the poem came straight from my heart, out of my relationship with Christ. The words just flowed.
I wrote the poem and thought it was kind of a napkin type of thing. There was no real attempt to submit professionally to a real publisher—I guess I did not consider a church newsletter the real thing. But I was graced by the pastor who saw something good in it and decided against better ecclesial judgment to have put it on page two. Page one will do, though.