Saturday, 23 January 2016


As I had a rather tiring night, tonight's poem is one from the back catalog, not posted online. It dates from February 2003. It draws on a saying of Jesus, and is as relevant today as then.

People often say: "What is God like?" They imagine an old man in a white beard. But all they have to do is look to their neighbour, look to those who starve or thirst (or drown trying to reach freedom), or poor, or sick, or in prison. Don't imagine that God will look beautiful and healthy: the ravaged face of those starving, the ragged clothed child in the refugee camp, the pensioner struggling with poverty but who may also be sharp tongued. If we are to see God, we need to see them there. It is not always easy to see the spark of light in the other.


I was starving in a land so bare
Swept clean of food by famine there
And did you come and give me bread
Or turn your eyes away instead? 

I was thirsty, no water there I drank
But only unclean, stagnant pool that stank
And did you give me fresh water, make me well,
Or just ignore me when I fell? 

I was a stranger, unknown here to all of you
Alone, away from friends now far and few
And did you come and welcome me
Or close your eyes, and did not see? 

I was the poor man, overlooked by all
As insignificant, contemptible and small
And did you see me there, a down and out
Or pass by swiftly, lest I shout? 

I was so badly sick, and very ill
No instant cure, no magic pill,
And did you come to pray and care
Or keep your distance out of fear? 

I was in prison, locked up away
Bound in captivity to stay
And did you visit me, in my bare cell
Or judge me there to go to hell? 

Do you see me now, open your eyes
Or just ignore, block out, despise?
Open the door, not shut and slam,
And let me in, for here I AM.

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