Archive for ‘Religious’

Thursday, 1 September 2022

The New Decalogue by Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.
Adore no images save those
The coinage of thy country shows.

Take not the Name in vain. Direct
Thy swearing unto some effect.

Thy hand from Sunday work be held –
Work not at all unless compelled.

Honor thy parents, and perchance
Their wills thy fortunes may advance.

Kill not—death liberates thy foe
From persecution’s constant woe.

Kiss not thy neighbor’s wife. Of course
There’s no objection to divorce.

To steal were folly, for ’tis plain
In cheating there is greater pain.

Bear not false witness. Shake your head
And say that you have “heard it said.”

Who stays to covet ne’er will catch
An opportunity to snatch.

From: https://www.blueridgejournal.com/poems/ab-deca.htm

Date: 1911

By: Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-?1914)

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Weary Rings by César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza

There are desires to return, to love, to not disappear,
and there are desires to die, fought by two
opposing waters that have never isthmused.

There are desires for a great kiss that would shroud Life,
one that ends in the Africa of a fiery agony,
a suicide!

There are desires to. . .have no desires, Lord;
I point my deicidal finger at you:
there are desires to not have had a heart.

Spring returns, returns and will depart. And God,
bent in time, repeats himself, and passes, passes
with the spinal column of the Universe on his back.

When my temples beat their lugubrious drum,
when the dream engraved on a dagger aches me,
there are desires to be left standing in this verse!

From: https://poets.org/poem/weary-rings

Date: 1918 (original in Spanish); 2007 (translation in English)

By: César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (1892-1938)

Translated by: Clayton Eshleman (1935-2021)

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Untitled by James Baldwin

Lord,
when you send the rain,
think about it, please,
a little?

Do
not get carried away
by the sound of falling water,
the marvelous light
on the falling water.

I
am beneath that water.
It falls with great force
and the light

Blinds
me to the light.

From: https://kenanmalik.com/2017/01/19/let-america-be-america-again/

Date: 2014 (published)

By: James Baldwin (1924-1987)

Monday, 30 May 2022

Rows and Rows of Rain Clouds (Yirra, Kuji, Yirra, Karti Ngayirrmani) by Yintilypirna Kaalyamarra

Cloudbank, rain, cloudbank,
row upon row of them.
The big upper-layer clouds are rising.
As a result of the host of little clouds
multiplying the country is heating up.

In the constant thunder it talks,
telling us it’s coming.
The downpour is drenching the countryside.
In the open country the raindrops are causing a soft
roaring sound,
as the swathe of the downpour passes.

Lightning is striking at the front,
the storm is causing the dust to swirl around.
Sudden silence! Splashing of falling raindrops.
Karnkulypangu* was the cause of this!

Yirra, Kuji, Yirra, Karti Ngayirrmani

Yirra, kuji, yirra, karti ngayirrmani.
Purntura ngarra maninyu.
Kapalya kurru marnanyurulu
ngurra parlangkarna-parlangkarna kamarnu.

Ngurntika wangka yulayinyu.
Ngurra kunti marnu ngurlungkangulu.
Parlkarranguraya kuji muurrkarra, jinyjirrarangka.

Ngari para pungarnu,
kurlurlu karti ngampurrjarli marnu ngurntijartulu.
Jamukarra! Warlpa warninyu.
Karnkulypangungu.

*Rain was Karnukulypangu’s kalyartu (totem); he was therefore in charge of its increase, and so is considered to be the one responsible for this downpour. This song was composed in Ngarla, an Indigenous Aboriginal language spoken in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

From: Kinsella, John and Ryan, Tracy (eds.), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, 2017, Fremantle Press: Fremantle, WA, pp. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=o7i1DQAAQBAJ)

Date: 2003 (published)

By: Yintilypirna Kaalyamarra (????-c1940)

Translation by: Brian Geytenbeek (1933- )

Friday, 22 April 2022

A Woman’s Prayer by Philadelphia Nina Robertson

I am so placid as I sit
In train or tram, and knit and knit;
I walk serenely down the street
And smile on all the friends I meet;
Within the house I give due heed
To every duty, each one’s need
And when it’s dark and lamps are lit,
I take my sock again, and knit.

Sometimes the newsboys hurry by
And then my needles seem to fly
Through purl and plain, row after row,
They flash, until the fire burns low—
I am so tranquil as I sit
Till bedtime comes, and knit and knit.

And when the house has grown quite still,
I lean out on my window-sill—
Lean out to the velvet night,
Gemmed with all its points of light,
And pray to God to see to it
That I keep sane enough to knit.

From: “New War Books” in The Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 1916 (2 November 1916), p. [The Red Page].
(https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-658831288/view?partId=nla.obj-658862907#page/n0/mode/1up)

Date: 1916

By: Philadelphia Nina Robertson (1886-1951)

Saturday, 16 April 2022

An Easter Text by Anne Emilie Poulsson

Waiting so long in the earth-dark low,
Flower-seeds, do you but hope, or know,
The glory to which you shall some time grow?

Whether by hope or foreknowledge blest,
Upward and outward the plantlet pressed:
This is the text. Do we need the rest?

Is this your heaven, this world of ours,
Here where you bloom into lovely flowers
After your groping and toilsome hours?

From: https://dvpp.uvic.ca/poems/atalanta/1888/pom_1770_an_easter_text.html

Date: 1888

By: Anne Emilie Poulsson (1853-1939)

Friday, 15 April 2022

Barabbas Speaks by Edwin McNeill Poteat

I heard a man explaining
(they said his name was Paul)
how Jesus, on that fateful day,
had died to save us all.

I found it hard to follow
His fine-spun theory,
but I am very, very sure
He died that day for me.

From: Morrison, James Dalton (ed.), Masterpieces of Religious Verse, 1905, Harper & Brothers: New York and London, p. 184.
(https://archive.org/details/masterpiecesofre002909mbp/)

Date: 1892

By: Edwin McNeill Poteat (1861-1937)

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Noah’s Song by Evan Lloyd Jones

The animals are silent in the hold,
Only the lion coughing in the dark
As in my ageing arms once more I fold
My mistress and the mistress of the Ark.

That, the rain, and the lapping of the sea:
Too many years have brought me to this boat
Where days swim by with such monotony,
Days of the fox, the lion and the goat.

Her breathing and the slow beat of the clock
Accentuate the stillness of the room,
Whose walls and floor and ceiling seem to lock
Into a space as single as the tomb.

A single room set up against the night,
The hold of animals, and nothing more:
For any further world is out of sight –
There are no people, and there is no shore.

True, time passes in unbroken peace:
To some, no doubt, this Ark would seem a haven.
But all that I can hope for is release.
Tomorrow I’ll send out the dove and raven.

From: http://www.australianpoetryreview.com.au/2015/02/evan-jones-selected-poems/

Date: 1960

By: Evan Lloyd Jones (1931- )

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Just Doing My Job by Clare Bevan

I’m one of Herod’s Henchmen.
We don’t have much to say,
We just charge through the audience
In a Henchman sort of way.

We all wear woolly helmets
To hide our hair and ears,
And Wellingtons sprayed silver
To match our tinfoil spears.

Our swords are made of cardboard
So blood will not be spilled
If we trip and stab a parent
When the hall’s completely filled.

We don’t look very scary,
We’re mostly small and shy,
And some of us wear glasses,
But we give the thing a try.

We whisper Henchman noises
While Herod hunts for strangers,
And then we all charge out again
Like nervous Power Rangers.

Yet when the play is over
And Miss is out of breath
We’ll charge like Henchmen through the hall
And scare our mums to death.

From: https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/literary/our-favourite-christmas-poems

Date: 2004

By: Clare Bevan (19??- )

Saturday, 25 December 2021

A Christmas Letter from Australia by Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen

’T is Christmas, and the North wind blows; ’t was two years yesterday
Since from the Lusitania’s bows I looked o’er Table Bay,
A tripper round the narrow world, a pilgrim of the main,
Expecting when her sails unfurled to start for home again.

’T is Christmas, and the North wind blows; to-day our hearts are one,
Though you are ’mid the English snows and I in Austral sun;
You, when you hear the Northern blast, pile high a mightier fire,
Our ladies cower until it’s past in lawn and lace attire.

I fancy I can picture you upon this Christmas night,
Just sitting as you used to do, the laughter at its height:
And then a sudden, silent pause intruding on your glee,
And kind eyes glistening because you chanced to think of me.

This morning when I woke and knew ’t was Christmas come again,
I almost fancied I could view white rime upon the pane,
And hear the ringing of the wheels upon the frosty ground,
And see the drip that downward steals in icy casket bound.

I daresay you ’ll be on the lake, or sliding on the snow,
And breathing on your hands to make the circulation flow,
Nestling your nose among the furs of which your boa ’s made,—
The Fahrenheit here registers a hundred in the shade.

It is not quite a Christmas here with this unclouded sky,
This pure transparent atmosphere, this sun midheaven-high;
To see the rose upon the bush, young leaves upon the trees,
And hear the forest’s summer hush or the low hum of bees.

But cold winds bring not Christmastide, nor budding roses June,
And when it’s night upon your side we ’re basking in the noon.
Kind hearts make Christmas—June can bring blue sky or clouds above;
The only universal spring is that which comes of love.

And so it’s Christmas in the South as on the North-Sea coasts,
Though we are starved with summer-drouth and you with winter frosts.
And we shall have our roast beef here, and think of you the while,
Though all the watery hemisphere cuts off the mother isle.

Feel sure that we shall think of you, we who have wandered forth,
And many a million thoughts will go to-day from south to north;
Old heads will muse on churches old, where bells will ring to-day—
The very bells, perchance, which tolled their fathers to the clay.

And now, good-night! and I shall dream that I am with you all,
Watching the ruddy embers gleam athwart the panelled hall;
Nor care I if I dream or not, though severed by the foam,
My heart is always in the spot which was my childhood’s home.

From: https://mypoeticside.com/show-classic-poem-27515

Date: 1885

By: George Brooke Wheelton Sladen (1856-1947)