HOW TO SING?

“How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 134)

How sing
In a strange land
Full of drooling and blood
Your body wracked, writhing in pain
Drama
Takes place
On this bed of sore suffering
You watch me ghoulishly
Then walk away
I sing

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A WOMAN’S SCREAM

A woman’s scream
Pierces the air of the Holy Place,
Like arrows, pointed, sharp,
Splintering the heavy stillness,
Fragments of her life lay all around,
Shattering the silence,
She sits in disarray,
Shame fills her very soul,
The unforgivable has been done,
You don’t scream in Church.
But what of the sin that was done to her?
Which sin was greater?
Silent she has been for far too long,
Swathed in shame and guilt,
Paralysed by fear.
But now, the life within her stirs,
Her bonds are loosed,
She fights for air,
And finds her voice.
Her scream is sacred

THEY SAY SHE’S MAD YOU KNOW

FOR MY FRIEND

I saw her last week, my friend,
Every time she stuns me,
They have called her mad you know.

She sees with eyes that others do not have,
Her insight knows no bounds,
Her intellect so keen,
She always has an answer for the wise guys.

I saw her today, my friend,
Still, she stuns me,
Still she sees with eyes that others do not have,
Still her insight knows no bounds,
Still her intellect is keen
And still she has an answer for the wise guys.

But today, she dies,
Today she is mad with pure clarity,
Such that her mind cannot bear.

I raise my glass to my friend,
The one I thought I knew,
And toast her brilliance
So bright as to scorch
And sear her very soul.

I am the one who is mad,
She the pure prophet.

She’s gone now, my friend,
You know, the one who is mad,
They took her away one night,
Kicking,
Screaming,
Biting,
Fingers flicking light switch,
On, Off, On, Off,
Signalling in code,
“Help me, Help me, Help me”.

No one heard, because of course,
She’s mad.
No one heard the sacred
Screaming out from the deep,
Roaring,
Wailing,
Cursing.
Because of course she sees,
With eyes that are her own,
The truth that others cannot bear,
And neither maybe, can she.

She’ll be back soon,
Quieter,
Sedated,
Normalised,
Will she still see, with eyes that are her own,
The truth that others cannot see,
That drove her to her fate?

Beside me now,
A CD, j
That once she gave to me,
That tells me of her soul.
I finger it in awe,
Tears fall slowly,
I caress the truth,
Her clarity,
And cannot bear the pain
Of my love,
Or hers.

MY SONG

I WROTE THIS SOME TIME AGO BUT NEVER CONTINUED IT. SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY I “LOSt” MY SONG. BUT MAYBE NOT. MAYBE IT WAS STILL THERE ALL THE TIME. I OWE MY THANKS TO DAVID. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. YOU MADE ME BELIEVE IN MY SONG AGAIN.

THE MIRACLE OF MY LIFE: A STORY OF SURVIVAL.

My whole life could be said to be a miracle – the miracle of survival. Survival against all the odds. There is a song that I love to listen to – here are the words of it:

“If I were a singer, I’d sing you a song,
A song that would stay in your heart for ever,
I’d sing it loud and strong, every single word,
So that when my life is over, and I ne’er see you again,
The singer may die, but the song remain.” (Steelye Span)

This book is the song that I want to sing to the world – a song that I hope will remain when I am gone, when my life on this earth is over. It is a song that I want to sing loud and strong, for it is a song of SURVIVAL – a song of Love.

In May 2013 I was given the words,

“Mrs. Lewis, you have cancer.”

It was unexpected, even though I had been ill for a whole year and had gradually become so weak that I was unable to walk, or even lift my head off the pillow. I had to be wheeled into the hospital in a wheelchair. My response to the Consultant was,

“Will it kill me?” He replied,
“I don’t know.”

Outside, it was a bright sunny day – the sort of day when I should have been outside enjoying the sight of the beautiful Spring blossom on the trees, and the flowers that were beginning to bloom in all their various colours. Yet here I was, in a dark and drab hospital room, being told not only that I had cancer, but also that I may die.

Miraculously, after a hard battle, I survived, and in March 2014 I was told I was in remission. Not for the first time had I survived something that threatened my whole existence, both physical and mental, and also spiritual. I have survived so much in my life, and the hand of God has been upon me from the moment of my conception, and it is still upon me today.

After I had been given the awful news, we had gone home, “we” being myself, my husband and my mother. My husband rang my brother, who happened to be on holiday on Holy Island. My brother tells the tale of how the seals had been absolutely quiet all morning, but as he was being given the news, they started to wail, loudly. The wailing has now gone, and has been replaced by a song of joy. One night recently, my husband and I drew up outside a fast food outlet, and quite suddenly, we heard the most beautiful sound of a bird singing. The notes were pure and clear, piercing the dark night air. It startled us in its unexpectedness. But also it thrilled us. Its sheer beauty, ringing out into the darkness of the night, so strongly, lifted us almost to heaven. It was the song of a nightingale. Like the nightingale, I too had learned to sing in the dark, in the most unexpected places. My song is and has been a song of love and survival, despite the many perils that have come my way. It is a song about a Being whatever you call Him, Who says,

“I love you,” and Who from the moment of our conception, stretches out His hand and holds us, whatever we may go through, and however bad it may be.

I learned to sing when I was a child. I knew much fear, and not for no reason. At nights, I would sit up in bed and SING for all I was worth. It seemed to stave off the fear, and send the danger away. Singing became a survival mechanism for me. I SANG in the dark. And now, as an adult, in my moments of deepest darkness, and fear, I sing.

May we ALL learn to sing in the dark, for it is only in the darkness that the purest songs germinate.

HEAVENLY HOSTS

Incense swinging
Gay bells ringing
What is this life
If not filled with strife
Holding up the Heavenly Host
What do you really like the most
Go to Confession
Tell your obsession
Toe the line
Then you’ll be fine
Sit at the back, sit at the front
But whatever you do don’t come in drunk
Come in with bare feet
Not looking neat
Fall asleep on the front pew
In everyone’s view
Hiding your face
Not nice to embrace
What brought you here?
Was it your fear?
You took that day
As you watched us pray
That Heavenly Host
And the Holy Ghost
Did it do you much good
On your cross of wood
Did that Heavenly Food
Leave you still screwed
Yes, you left that night
To take up your fight
On the streets paved with gold
Outside the fold
You slept in the gutter
Not a word did you utter
But you’d had your meal
Now how does it feel?
Are you still alive
Did you manage to thrive
Will I see you again
As I write with my pen?

SentP

THE GATE OF TIME

Dizzy, I stand at the gate of time,
Knowing not where it all will end,
Is it a circle or is it a line?
Is it an enemy or a friend?

I push, the gate opens a little way,
Stretching into the distance a path,
I hesitate now, will I go or stay?
If I go through the gate will I cry or laugh?

I do not know where the path will go,
But it seems to me I cannot stand still,
Standing there, I hear the cock crow,
Have I been betrayed by time’s iron will?

Time sucks me into its fickle arms,
Something veils my sight, but there must be more,
Am I deceived by its fatal charms?
Can I ever reach eternity’s shore?

I walk through the gate, see a golden haze,
It draws me on, I cannot now stall,
There’s no more time left to stand and gaze,
In the silence I hear eternity call.