A response to R.S. Thomas
Where has God gone? The mind’s branches
are empty and without
song. Their leaves are encrusted
with town dust.
(‘The Lesson,’ Uncollected Poems, p. 143)
He has gone to your head. He cares,
The Raptor counting sparrows there,
You won’t find him in town or nature’s dust;
steady cascades pushing lost pine needles,
mind mapping firs, sweeping from Bl**neinion
beaver’s den to froth by the Furnace wheel.
These, too, are just things. Momentary things.
We see him in shaped clay, preciously alight,
bearing our loneliness. Seen, then unseen,
comburent our hopes on the invisible horizon
Where have we gone? God’s tree, a cross,
encrusted in blood, laurelled in triumph
with branches of fulsome song, still invites
his fruit to rest in redemptive dust: The Man.
Leaves the mind found and free.
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