Inconsequential Death of a Hermit
God swept me off my feet
When He captured me
I was not expecting that
In Plaistow Lane, Bromley
On a mundane autumn Tuesday
As I walked to apologise
To half-baked Jesus Freaks
For mocking them on Monday
When they sang at me
And told me ‘Jesus loves you’
And I had to be a baby to get to heaven.
The electric cleansing fountain
Of love thrilling through me
From the infinity beyond and back again
Washed away my past
Stripped me of sin and self satisfaction
And left me new-born, innocent, raw
Gazing at the world as it really is
When not viewed through the lens of illusion;
The sounds of colours and the songs of birds
The unspeakable beauty of Earth
The compelling love of the 'Unknowable One'
And rejection from parents and the one I married.
For the sake of the family I forsook the family
Kissed the children and limped
On blistered feet to Galloway -
Then the flinty coastal path to Scrabster,
Cadging a ferry ride to Orkney
To be swallowed in obscurity.
I have taken up my pen
To write to my wife - still my wife
At her last known address,
“You would have liked it here
In my cottage beside the burn
I’ve a family kitchen – cozy
With a peat stove
But no one eats with me
And you would love the view of Egilsay
And spotting otters, seals and migrant gulls
Clustering the bay
And above all the silence.
Death is very close now
I’m waiting my turn
For passage from life to life
With patient dignity.
Don’t blame God for what has passed
Don’t blame yourself or me
There is only love and
There is no place for blame
Where love is found.
I wish you were here
So many years of memories
We might have sat together
Aound the stove and shared.
I wonder where you are.”
I wonder where we ever are