Festival Antipodean




I am a servant of the King. He called

me once and still I follow. Like the swiftest

stream life carries us. The western world,

so used to drought, at times has manifest

the inner surge. And this I know and gladly,

when his providence arranged it thus,

my stream combined with others here that madly

coursed towards the sea. But now I must

acknowledge life’s strange destiny. An ancient

vine that shares a common root will sometimes

spread beyond the fence into adjacent

fields. What sends it there? The radiant sun,

the steady rain, the hands that cultivate

are wise, the wildest grafts domesticate.





In time we come to choose. A long maturing,

then the moment when the paths divide.

We hope for clarity. In this, enduring

through the dark night of the soul, deciding

in the pale advance of dawn. The wind

outside is tossing all the trees. I shiver

in my room. I cannot now rescind

decisions made. The current of the river

flows one way. A providence is ruling

in the darkness, calling us to follow

in its paths. He rode upon a mule

into his destiny. He wouldn’t swallow

numbing wine. I watch him in his frailty,

radiating love, despite the nails.





I asked him, what am I to do, and added,

Lord. The answer, written on a wall,

had come before my voice was heard. It’s sad

I didn’t see. What do I do, now all

that was familiar is no more, and times

unchanging change to be another? Am I

not the person that I was? No crime

has been committed. But for this – the dam

has broken. Thoughts that gather through the years

become a force of nature. Pressure builds,

the structure fails. My friends give way to fear.

I find myself forsaken by the guild.

The Lord who entered humbly on a mule,

will not forsake the one they call a fool.





I am not asking to convert you, nor

to underwrite my views. A church can walk

in step with heaven, though diverse its store

of truth. What we believe is more than talk,

it nourishes our bones, and who he is

is manifest in who we are. The doctrine

of the word needs bend before the wisdom

of the Son, he is the key, unlocking

hidden mysteries. My views are not

a cancer slowly spreading. Scholarship

is not the wolf’s disguise. A heart that’s hot –

this is the sickness that we need, the grip

of holy fire. The word borne by the wind,

that is the place where everything begins.





Today I am a prisoner in the dock

because of thoughts. The meditations of

the heart are God’s domain. They are unlocked

in speech – it’s overflow. I am your brother,

searching honestly for truth. Why am

I penalised for following his word –

to seek and find? Desire to understand

is not a crime. So much that we have heard

is held unchallenged. Is it reverence

to fight for this, a structure built in time,

when truth’s eternal? In our experience

who has not had to change? The light would shine

on what we thought was so. I cannot turn

unless I see the bush begin to burn.





I do not dwell at length on this, my thoughts

have seasons, things that flourish in their time.

Creation, how we came to be, reports

of ancient memories, a text designed

to comfort and inspire. These questions stand.

More often other things engage my mind.

Why are our hearts so hard? Where is his hand?

What of the future – we have little time

to act to circumvent our doom? The Gospel –

have we grasped its core? Does beauty shine?

Without it generations may be lost.

How would we act if all our hearts inclined

towards his tenderness? These questions raised –

enough to occupy us many days.





I’m silenced. This I feared. A moon that wanes.

Unwanted prophets – lost before they’re found.

Irrational – the rational by name.

I’m sorrowful to leave this sacred ground,

yet Eden turned into a wilderness.

The tree of life appeared unique – a dozen

grow where waters heal our bitterness.

This evening the moon is high, a frozen

disk of light. Our days are numbered, swiftly

they advance towards another age.

We fade away, as if we don’t exist.

What value then, an attitude of rage?

A prophet’s voice is nourished by the sun,

his words take root whenever they are shunned.





The spring has room for many birds. Today

another one appeared. I recognised

its song. Each is in flower. The singing stays

as long as blossoms. Many darting eyes.

A rich community. The avian.

The vegetation. Spring surprises me.

A multitude. A start. A year begun.

I feel the weightlessness of heavy trees.

The turtledoves. A wing that darts. The is.

The gentleness that is a mystery.

The hours that pass. The sun that is and with

us stays. The tabernacle housing me

in festival antipodean, with sky

its ceiling – wide enough for every why.



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