Spaces and Divine Office
I’ve been looking for God this Monday in vain
in the headlines, the deadlines, the fog and the rain
the faces of commuters crumpled with sleep
the drunken old man curled up on the street
the weary young girl clocking off for the night
the wife whose makeup can’t quite hide the fight.
God’s a figment, a phantom, I’ve lost Him. He’s left.
My foundation’s gone missing. Oh God, I’m bereft.
Perhaps I’m looking in all the wrong places.
Un-focus your eyes, He’s there in the spaces;
Between the key in the hole and starting the engine
between hearing your lover and paying attention
in the silent appeal between the bing and the bong
of bells that peal weekly to come join the throng.
In the grey of the grout of the train station walls
in the gaps on the tracks where life’s detritus falls.
From lowering the baton to rapturous clapping.
The flow and the ebb of the ocean that’s lapping
the tips of your toes as you dig them in deep
to the pebbly sand where you wish you could keep
walking for miles till the beach meets the sky.
It’s the lurch in your stomach as the plane starts to fly.
It’s the dream-addled gap between closed-eyes and waking.
The gasp between seeing the child and braking.
It’s green amber red, and then red amber green,
the space between seeing and having to be seen.
The battering pulse from anticipating
that moment, oh God, how long were you waiting
for your baby daughter to draw her first breath –
the white space that separates us all from death.
Brings the pheasant in his finery, grockling to the silvered lawn outside,
the blue tit to the creeper crocheted round my door.
The blackbird in the acer chinks and churrs at the first snap of winter,
the frost nipping the last of the flames from the branches.
A congregation of spiders gathered overnight drape their lacy headscarves
from the top of the wooden window frame.
An occasional leg-twitch echoes a suppressed cough in a cathedral.
Warm inside the converted log store,
tea freshly fetched from the quiet communal kitchen,
I watch the dawning prayer orange the sky above the mist-strewn valley.
Jay Caldwell lives and writes at the edge of Peak District in England. Many of her poems gain inspiration from the hills surrounding her home. She lives with her husband, and rescue dog. Her poems appear in a variety of publications and anthologies, including the Thomas Merton Journal.
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