Sunday, 28 July 2019

Poem: Meditation on Psalm 131

The second in a series of poems that I wrote whilst on retreat, undertaking the first stage of the Spiritual Exercises, at St Beuno's earlier this month. I shared this poem at St Bride's this morning:

Meditation on Psalm 131

‘Like a weaned child at her mother’s breast’ –
I sigh into you in contentment.
Not with the rooting hunger
Of breastfeeding, that single-minded devotion
That knows only need and turns blindly for its source –
That’s had its time, and will no doubt have its time again.

But now is for enjoying the stillness
Of knowing myself to be held;
Choosing, in simple desire,
To clamber onto your lap,
Lay my head against your shoulder,
And feel your cheek, your arms, your body
Envelop me – above, around, beneath.

Now is for relaxing into one another,
Both accepting, both offering,
This gift of presence.

Now is the time to feel my breathing slow
In time with yours;
To know that this is the Alpha and the Omega,
The beginning and the end.
This is the place I belong, the place
I have been longing for.
From here I will go out, in time,
And to here I will return.

My only prayer is an almost wordless yearning
That nothing may tempt me to forget,
To diminish this, from a distance, as a childish indulgence,
A mawkish fantasy,
That’s all very well, but has no place in the real world.

I want more than anything to always know,
In the very depths of my bones, as I know now,
That this is more real than any of the fantasies
On which I have constructed my life.

This is humility;
Not a performative fawning,
But this raw acceptance of my want of you.

This is not an intellectual proposition,
Or an argument to be won.
It is humiliating to discover,
After all my research and questioning,
After all my jealous frustration
At my inability to frame you in words,
That it comes down only to this –

My need, and my simple acceptance of my need,
To rest in your embrace.

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