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Spiritual Poems and Hymns

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If I would sing a song to God
Then I must sing a song for Man -
And I must sing it from the heart
As freely as an angel can.

If I would sing a song for Man,
Then I must sing for every Tree -
For every leaf that breathes my breath,
And every branch that shelters me.

If I would sing of Man and Tree
The song must be of Sun and Rain,
Of feeding bird and humble bee
Who sow the green of wood and plain.

If I would sing of Tree and Rain,
Then I must hymn the dancing Sea
Who pounds the land from stone to sand,
Whose silver gifts of cloud are free.

If I would sing of cloud and Sea,
I serenade the mighty  Moon;
For in her palm are Storm and Calm,
Her children with the Lord of Noon.

If I would sing of Sea and Moon
I lift my praises to the Sun
Who governs all from Spring to Fall,
The Life, the joy in everyone.

If I would sing of Moon and Sun,
The silver Queen, the golden King
Whose light reveals what God conceals
In every heart - to God I sing!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Love me love my God
I go in fear of peace I promise me
Do not unravel Him
He at the heart of death in wait for me

Who preys on all men’s prayer
I web the world He with my spinneret
Up fly and catch
Promise and arthropomorphic dream

Star set in a man’s skull
His morning beads a myriad I count
With Him we tell
And wait for the updraught dawn dusk underwing

O silver God-hand I
Make to be at the last enlaced and all
Manner of many
Legged unwary other me O give us manna

Before making love to the
Last rose O beautifully bind us
Before the real
Unapprehended fang of our own myth grinds in

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



God knows about anemones,

He knows about the winkle,

He knows about the night, and why

The constellations twinkle.

He knows about the mother moon

Who lullabies the river

And rocks the cradle of the deep

Asleep in sheets of silver.

He knows where all the starry dust

In dusky earth is hidden,

And why the tiny turtle seeks

The sea unseen, unbidden.

He knows about volcanoes, and

The sparrow in the gutter

He even knows why Frances felt

The urge to make some butter!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


He Maketh Me To Lie Down In Green Pastures

Some thing is sheep-dogging me.
It drives me over the field of my desires
Crouching patch-eyed at the boundary,
A swift snarl plugging each gap in the wires.

Every circle I make toward the outer sky
After the worn ground, is nipped back
In a belly-streak, determined I shall die
Of circumscription; not for any lack

Of tears for what I might be, me and my brethren -
We have huddled askance and shot star-like apart
To confuse and out-flank our enemy; but whether in
Sheer stupidity or lack of heart

We fail, and are whipped in by a whistle, who knows.
We stare silly at the same trough and the same tree
In the same chewed patch where nothing new grows,
Consoling ourselves with familiarity.

We know the way so well. We have, amid usual mayhem,
Rutted here, hating our poor fellows;
The hound’s eye rolls reflected in each of them.
Our only heaven is one clump of willows

Under an April rainbow - as I mate
In the dog-watch the unsuspected eye
Snapping each vain attempt to procreate
A vision of free hills and a different sky ...

I would stand outside the fence, you see. I would lean there,
Once out, not escape. I would not like to strand
My old company, but show them the fresh air
And all the patterns vanishing from my hand.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Rev. Pam Crane

Let there be love for every living form,
Love for the coal, the diamond and the tree;
Love for all eyes, for star, for meteor-swarm -
Glory be to God for all of Three.

Let there be life for every loving thing,
Life for the Light that out of Glory grew;
Life for the Harmony my soul can sing -
Glory be to God for all of Two.

Let there be Fire for every holy heart,
Fire understanding; Fire for duty done;
Fire for the rapture of God's rejoining part -
Glory be to God for All of One.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Help me - oh help me endure.
A touch from your finger-tip, fierce glory,
Is enough!
All that is darkest in me rises to the surface
Of my soul,
That which is dross, impure
Is borne up on the tide of my lanced love
My Lord, my Jesus, for you take me whole
To make the hopeless holy.

You have harpooned your struggling fish, O Man-God,
Master of Seas!
It is your net I fear far more than your will's sword,
Unvanquished Jesus!
It is your net - the stifling shock of shoals hauled asunder,
Outpoured as silver at your wounded feet;
The terror and glory
Is my drop lost already in your ocean.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * *** * * * * * * *



The child whose eyes are full of stars
That burn the hills of broken cars,
The man whose smile is like the sun,
whose only wealth is everyone -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To glorify their poverty.

The girl as simple as the moon
robbed of her innocence too soon;
The mothers who are left to pray
For sons and husbands locked away -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To shine in their captivity.

The bones upon the searing plain
Too weak to reach for milk or grain;
The hands that cry from fields of blood
Dying in debris, war, and mud -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To guide us to Eternity.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Give me my share of the power of the mountains
And my part of the trees’ prayer.
Give me the wind to quicken my feet
And the birds to sing to.

Let me remember roses
And that rainbows begin in cloud,
That the sky has wept oftener than I,
And that tears may sleep in the quiet kiss of the grass.

Give me the love of man,
And fill it with light
So that my heart is not weighed down with wings,
But make it the gay feather on which I fly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Dear God, I touch the hem of your listening darkness with my heart;
And my lips are filled with light.
Clambering on the vanishing treads of prayer,
Each thought's finger strains in outreach unto you;
And it is wholly there, Mind close in for the strong force
To fuse Mind Holy with lowlier mind;
As a fine bead breaks of dew, runs at a water's touch, is lost in the pool.
As a passion of wind and wave claps cloud and the soaring sea together
Rapt in the silent eye of the vortex.
O God, I am a moving stillness within you:
But touch my need with the finest filament of your Will, Time is re-woven.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



When you first came - your clarion sounded by a thousand fables -
Nobody noticed you, hid in your own shadow,
Nobody saw the Man behind the winding-sheet
Who opened his arms wide and called to the children;
Who opened his arms wide with a lovely smile
And touched the amazing glass for all to see
In the bending light your face...bare Love breaks through a fissure of time
In which the heart, the Earth, and the Sun, stop.

And the second time, You blew like pollen through a thousand hearts
Lighting the grains of love into a flare;
Striking like a match dry nerves, and in a running flame
Catching the hands of the unprepared, of the unwary,
Catching the hands of the dancers in delight
And running with their messages of love
All over the Universe.
We are astonishment, we whose wide eyes were burnt open;
Bursting like stars on the firmament of fear.

The third Coming comes in a blue silence. Those
Who have understood, bowing their melting eyes
To the Infinite as the liquid Love of the Will of the Father
Floods and flows over the last banks of our history,
Floods and flows white as our burning blood,
Yielding with utmost grace each heart to the Inconceivable
As gaunt brothers tower in fear over a brief terrain
And are taken, all, with the body of the world.

And are faced, all, by the eyes of Christ in the blue silence

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Christ is your Creed, your high endeavour;
He that is Love let none deny.
You are the loved, without Him never -
In shadow and sunlight standing by.

Christ is your Truth, your God, your Saviour;
Ye are no wiser than His Word.
Dutiful be in all behaviour
Unto that Song the soul has heard.

No-one is lost; His dearest pleasure
Is ever to be our homeward Guide,
Gathering slowly all his treasure
Of human hearts to the Angels’ side.

Lord of our Joy, no tongue can praise you
More than the Christed soul can sing!
Beacon of Love in Heaven ablaze, You
Reign in our hearts as the Pilgrim King.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


to whom I do belong
to My
to My Self alone

My is a wide net cast
between time
hither and past

Self a sense of eye
in privacy

the blue nerve seen
through wax
is ice-keen

of uncommon kind
are they
who kiss mind

risk discovery in
Angels’ skin

the people of Light
behind my sight

we are the white-gold
We are very old

* * * * * * * * * * * *



Help me - oh help me endure.
A touch from your finger-tip, fierce glory, is enough!
All that is darkest in me rises to the surface of my soul,
That which is dross, impure
Is borne up on the tide of my lanced love
My Lord, my Jesus, for you take me whole
To make the hopeless holy.

You have harpooned your struggling fish, O Man-God,
Master of Seas!
It is your net I fear far more than your will's sword,
Unvanquished Jesus!
It is your net - the stifling shock of shoals hauled asunder,
Outpoured as silver at your wounded feet;
The terror and glory
Is my drop lost already in your ocean.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



You walk among us, and we become
Incandescent. Who are You?
You are the Light of the world, our life's flame
Opening bone and nail to reality.

Our liquid lives run away from the last cry
Cross-hatched with pain, melting into Your feet
To bear You mutely as the waters bore You -
All we can do, to make this Death complete

Is haul our Tree down to the rising tide,
The debris-ridden sea we call a soul.
Back in the lovely desert of our lies
The weight of it seared us, old and black as coal.

Nothing behind us but the wastes of time,
Nothing before us but the Saviour's face,
Like mad men we float out on the Cross
To enter You. In the dirtiest, holiest place.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Weird life.
All that time, that rolls
Before and around me like an irregular sea.
A pulse of the world s breath beats like a hill;
Miles of time
To move in the mind of the tortoise,
Spacious years
For living and dying
The day-dance of may-flies over the water.

I have borrowed the slow heart-beat
That shortens the day
And swallowed time in a step too vast
To heed the scurry of rabbit-paths in the thickets.
I have ticked an hour into more aeons of time
Than can be counted or conceived by men
Stripped of empathy and
Armed with stones.

The ant burns away a long life,
And the tree,
In the onward rush of seasons.

Trees grow no taller than I;
They watch my life as I would watch an ant.
My day is a second in time   Their day is eternity
To a may-fly.

So what of my strange metabolism
Flung between the particle and the cosmos?
To what end my journeys, lonely as love,
To the last forts of reason?
Which way,
Through lands of a million clocks that tell no more
Than a dandelion puffed away in the wind?

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Sing songs of the dark font where I was named,
And of her I seek,
Who comes from the same chill God-house and milked with me
And who was named
Her name and my name, Silence,
We one and many.

We women weave still our intricate small spells,
Those webs of time
To catch the best of the world's uneasy beauty.
The thread is hard
And wonderful wild and delicate
In our hands.

There is You, though, with power to ease, always,
To manipulate
My each most dedicated tapestry.
Your day dawns,
Your shadow on the loom, and
I can do nothing.

I can no longer walk in the mind-forest I made
And reach for her,
My sister down every avenue waiting.
Caught in my maze of
Little grey rags when You with your laser-light

Oh You with your great gold humming shield before you
Fend them off in the dark undergrowth
To cower
Abject and unprotected, I gone from them.

                          * * * * * * *


Come to my hills.
Come with me in a dream;
You'll not remember.

My lonely power extends
through every singing fibre of the wind.
See, out of the mist
swim mountains towards my fingers.
Out of the shadow of clouds
come lakes!

Facing the vastness,
watch me summon the wind.
It will blow through your heart and mine
till my eyes are seeing crystals
and you are stilled by the springing ice in your blood.

There is no horizon.
To the white edge of time
I have brought you
to know what I know of the wide power
that quickens the world.

Take it, take it
and keep it. The darkness comes
softly between us from the forgotten valleys,
bringing stars.

There is no light anywhere;
you will not remember.
But here in the stillness of night
you have known the power,
you have lifted the wheel of heaven
that lies in my arm;
you have touched the skin of God,
and looked at me.

Long out of your dream,
you shall look at me so again, one day, in a room;
pause, sensing the reason ...
... and not remember.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I saw the god in the mist that moved
And in the ground I heard him.
I felt his fear along my limbs,
And in my womb I feared him.

He showed me where his beauty was
And where the truth lay sleeping
Under a blighted tree. I wept,
And all mankind was weeping.

I wept for eyes that could not see
because they sought a reason,
And hands that murdered God - dead to
Their terrible blind treason.

The trees I love! The skies I love!
I mourn for them and cry,
For axe and flame are on the tree,
And wreckage in the sky.

And limbs are lost in ugliness,
And passions lurk and fester.
The night still flowers sweet for man -
How long since he has blessed her!

A red moon holds for him no fire,
The earth shakes him no fear.
Poor lovely stupid man, what wrath
Can prove the god is near?

Must stars claw out your eyes, and trees
Bear down to bring you to your knees?
Must grasses shrivel under rain,
And lightning rot the standing grain,
And worlds be hammered into dust,
The victims of incurred disgust?

My fear went into the mist that moved;
The god was in my hearing.
A tremor passed through the earth I loved
And all mankind was fearing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I am Orphea.
Creatures come to me.
I sing, they come,
I am their healing.
I am mother of
All the love-lorn,
I am a tree
For every bird.

I am a rock
For those who drown,
I am the house
Of all the homeless,
I am the hand
That feeds the hungry,
I am the path
The lost may follow,

I am a fire
To warm the lonely.
But for Orphea
Who is a haven?
Who will comfort
Orphea's hunger?
The breast of a hill
So dry and hard?

Orphea roofless
Who will shelter?
The winter trees
Or a draughty sky?
Who will sing to her?
Who loves Orphea?
Only the sun
Whose arms are generous,

Never the moon,
So cold and contrary.
Orphea yearns,
The moon disdains her.
There is no cure
For Orphea's sorrow.
Who will comfort
The lonely singer?

* * * * * * * * * * *


Man, you know, is no longer Man. I've seen
Unlaboured efforts on the part of God
To hold him up to ridicule. I wish He would
Be wrathful - compassionate - something in between ...
But not so rude.

He falls away
In vast dudgeon, whirled in a breath of stars.
Exasperating little Man! You had your way;
And may it do you good to appal Him grey
At the godless genius of motor-cars!

Abandoned to angels - Mercury and Michael,
Lucifer who likes us - we carry on abusing
The beauty we thought we could understand, foolishly choosing
(Instead of leaping naked) a faulty cycle
And hat-losing.

How we amuse
Our disconcerting audience, and grieve!
They must be disappointed, but the means they use
In making up for this are sheer abuse
Of all a god is able to achieve;

For why not work some sort of miracle?
Why not make us good all of a sudden,
Instead of watching every day to see the blood
In us from auricle to ventricle
Stagnate to mud?

Of course, they can.
But these are not the gods to whom we pray
If we are sufficiently perceptive as to plan
Posthumous privilege. Oh, He began,
As soon as we decaying, to wander away

And left us to the lesser deities
Who, I am much afraid, have little mercy
Now that God has turned His back on us, so tersely
Non-committal - "That's the way it is.
I let them curse me."

Finding failure bitter and more alone,
Alone with a Mistake among the stars. "Oh shoot me
Happy with if any perfect one!
In self-extinction, what an end of duty!

Magnificent! I am Creation's quick,
And nothing now is perfect save my being;
Deleting that, nothing perfection, and therefore (agreeing
That ultimate pure perfection is what I seek)
Perfection - Nothing."

The little gods laugh.
They pick up their lightnings, greased in a flash, and hurled
Through Immortality (unwounded as a loch
Showered with pine-pins at the brink) to scoff
Omnipotence, void of self-rule and runaway world.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


No greater darkness is there known
Than when the Old Malefic One
Intrudes upon the Over-Sun,
Between the soul and Heaven's throne.

Yet every soul on circling Earth
Is core and crown of radiant Light
And all are glorious in the Night
To bring divinity to birth.

For under Saturn's murmuring ring
The little will for right or wrong
May listen for a mightier song
And join itself to Everything ...

Caught in a leaden chord of Time,
If it is silent, patient, still
The soul will pulse to its Father's Will,
A twin to Love and Joy sublime.

Without the ancient Dweller there
No little Sun with feet of flame
Could play the holy hero's game
With ladders of the Reaper's hair.

Over the wall of dark and death
We climb (or else die whimpering there)
- And find it a triumphant stair
To Lightning and the Holy Breath.

O Sun of Suns, O Mystery,
You wait for us beyond the wheel,
Spinning our reason to conceal
Your hands upon our history.

O Mind of Minds, our journey's end,
Your wisdom set the Ring-Pass-Not
Where men become the Fools of God
Or of the self. Here waits our Friend.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



I looked on Jupiter by night
Too large, a red and dusky light
Which in a spasm spread the sky
To blind, engulf and terrify.


I stand with others in a room;
Out of the window all is still.
Nothing but water meeting sky.
My Master calls beyond the sill.


We gather in a holy place
To pray. I see my Lady's face
And figure stream with sparkling light
And I am lifted to the height
Of floating incense through Her grace
Higher than prayer. All who see
Wonder, and wait for prophecy.


We reap the whirlwind. Houses fall.
Amid the gale, my Lord I call -
"This is your house, and we are yours!
Stilled instantly, the storm withdraws.


Men sit or stand, await the Word.
"You must seek out your chosen Lord,
You are the one to forge the bond
Till He embraces you beyond.
Yours are the words, the striving love
Requited in the realms above."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Candles do flare, my friend;
The dark responds
To the mind's fingering.
Even the fear you feel
Is very real,
Alone, and walking
Motionless up a dream of stairs
Leading to pain and sorrow where she lies
Too close to her forebears.
The night may come to your call;
One flame may form
A spire, and a woman live.
If you are wise, however, you will give
All thanks to God you did not lose yourself.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


To be a light to lighten the Gentiles
He set you in the midst of speaking women -
Women who sleeping speak,
Who are waged by war -
And the glory of His people Israel
Is your keepsake
As an old god marches through Faversham
In his sleep, in his sleep,
And they turn where his head turns
From fire and cloud,
Bespoke women who turn to the old stones -
Blind pumice, circle of basalt -
Unable to watch you rise
In full Sun.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


A little child I do not know
With a stone broke my window.
The beautiful glass, all shattered and smashed
Lay on the floor where it had crashed,
Its jewelled colours alive no more -
In fragments dead upon the floor.

Mother Mary's gentle face
Was cracked and holed in many a place.
Her soft-draped cloak of heavenly blue
That glowed like love when the sun shone through
Was torn from the limbs of the Virgin Queen
And there was a hole where her heart had been.

The cruel stone lay there below.
I picked it up and with sorrow
Bluring my sight with tears unshed,
My mind numbed and my heart like lead,
Wearily over the glass I stepped,
Sat down on a chair, and wept.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Written when I was thirteen.)