Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Book of Selahs

Meditations for the Pauses in the Psalms.

Selah 1
Psalm 3:2
'many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah. '

A scaffold, or a place of oratory;
this wooden structure draws all men to me.
To see and hear they come, but not to learn
their time is running out. Hear them condemn
this coffin-wood salvation, far inshore.
Probation’s ended. God has shut the door.
The jeering crew obliterates the plain,
Methuselah’s dead and it’s begun to rain.

Observatory and platform for their shame,
a span that spells dishonour to their name,
the roof, above the throne room. Of disgrace
the father flown, the son sat in his place.
A mob-ejected sovereign quits the land
reduced once more to lead an outlaw band
that, quitting him, ignores his plea, and turns
into the woods to hunt down Absalom.

Up! Hoisted to the high point of his grief
above the clamour of the crowd beneath
and, amplified by loneliness he hears
the mocking of the ages in his ears.
‘Come down and we’ll believe in you,’ they cry
with a world of unbelieving standing by,
abandoned by disciple’s flit despair
and, sitting on the ground, we watch him there.
This poem was accepted for publication by Symphony but I think Philip mislaid it in his computer and the magazine has ceased circulation (though check this out if you can.)

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