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notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Tuesday, August 20, 2002Contains profanities Greenbelt is only hours away now and I'm being constantly reminded of it. Today I've enjoyed reading the new Wild Goose magazine with news of friends and excellent insight from John Bell; and also the current LGCM magazine, which carries this poem, which makes me well up with some sort of holy thrill the more I read it. I hope Rosie Miles won't mind me reproducing it here because it says so much about what Greenbelt's about, and the possibilities it suggests.
For all the Godawful Bits of the Bible
(For Sara Maitland)
For the texts of terror:
For the rape and the pillage and the shame
Of these sanctified words;
For the whatthefuckdowedowiththis verses
That make no sense at all
To us, now;
For their endurance in our lives;
For the utter brokenness
Of God's human words;
For knowing how these words have
For still somehow reading on.
In spite, or even because of all this,
There are theologies
Or irreverence and mischief
Winking their way into our lives;
Playful theologies of craft
Weaving the weft against the warp,
Shuttling untold designs
Into new patterns;
Theologies of art and lies
Telling us stories we never knew.
These painful words will endure,
Or maybe be forgotten.
How we inhabit their shadow
Is no longer a question
For those who think they know,
But for the loving potters,
the waiting poets,
the holy clowns.