Remembrance – so easy now to judge

So easy now to judge:
that one was right,
another wrong.

But we were never there
in the narrow trench
or corridor of power.
We never heard the thunder’s fire,
nor found ourselves
strung up upon the wire.
We never had to make that bleak decision
consigning one to death,
another to derision.

Our innocence is born of inexperience,
our wisdom consummated in our ignorance.

And if the clocks turned back,
were we to tread where men,
now dead,
once walked,
would we be just as speedy to deride,
or criticise the ones we said once lied?

Dear God,
give generosity of thought
to read the pages history have wrought;
to look with eyes of grace into that time,
to fathom truth and reason
in that jagged, harrowed rhyme.

Then let our lines not ridicule the dead,
for, but for grace,
we might repeat their acts,
yes, but for grace,
we might yet taste their dread.
© Andrew Pratt 2014

Persephone – the turn of the year – winter solstice

Persephone, they said, delved deep through winter’s scold.
The leaves of autumn fell, condemned to mould,
a burial deep, seemed permanent and cold.

And so it seemed till snow had fallen,
frosted soil had hardened into stone,
a frozen, hurtful bed,
where all seemed dark and dead.

Incomprehensibly, some life still lurked within this frigid earth,
and, hidden still, green shoots would come to birth.

And so, they said, reflecting, Persephone would rise,
beneath the early skies of lengthening days.
Experience led this hope,
but other days would sound a different song.

Divine interpretation sees, in nature, re-creation,
an annual resurrection,
a seasonal response to winter’s dereliction.

And as the seasons turn a spirit still may burn,
and breath may move and breathe,
a song may ring where cold and void and chaos rules,
to usher in God’s Spring.
© Andrew Pratt 2/6/2017