A PLEA FOR FAITH


‘The Incredulity of St. Thomas’ by Caravaggio (c.1601) Now in the Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Berlin, Germany

I composed these verses many years ago, in my youth, when struggling to come to terms with my staunchly Christian upbringing, and to move into a less accepting, more questioning future.  In many ways I have moved forward very little since.

Print words of faith into my heart;
Brand me with irons of proof;
Dispel the doubts that have held me
So long from thee aloof.

I need the truth, I can’t say why –
I won’t let you desert.
I want to find those inner wounds,
I need to feel your hurt.

My outer self accepts you whole,
And shields you from assaults.
Effectively, I water down
And camouflage your faults.

Believe me when I say I try,
But that will not suffice.
A great despair dispels the light
And the devil’s fiends entice.

But when the doubts arise inside
I can’t dispel the gloom,
Because I know I’m losing you
and hurtling to my doom.

The devil prompts and makes me ask
That central question “Why?
Do I really believe in God above,
Below or in the sky?”

Then I reflect and need to know
If all my past is sham.
Why do so many still believe
He was the Son of Man?

Print words of faith into my heart;
Brand me with irons of proof;
Dispel the doubts that have held me
So long from thee aloof.

The Pebble Path to Peace

At evening with a heavy heart
I’d had enough of talk.
My mind’s reflections overwrought
I left the house to walk.

I came across it quite by chance
Whilst ambling by the sea.
I’d hoped to clear my head of doubt,
To find some certainty.

I dimly saw the trail ahead
Climbing to my right,
A Pilgrims’ Way to paradise;
It was not there last night.

Its pebbles seemed to call to me
To follow where they led;
To seek their end where ere that be,
Pursue them without dread.

Their blue and red encouraged me,
Spoke to me of hope,
Of everlasting certitude,
The means by which I’d cope.

They led me on beside the sea,
Meandered to and fro
Until abruptly then they ceased;
In front a golden glow.

The certainty I’d hoped to find
Was there in front of me;
A testament to Nature’s Grace –
The Glory of the Sea.

A feeling of contentment spread
Throughout my fatigued mind.
My body too relaxed in peace,
Resentment left behind.

I’d found what I was searching for,
Afforded by that path
Of coloured pebbles on the shore;
My soul’s search aftermath.

Both photographs were taken by me (WHB) one evening in 2009 
along the seashore of the English Channel at Swanage, Dorset, UK.

Lockdown 3: Day 52

‘Hope’ (after Michelangelo) … WHB Pencil 1958

Sun comes with morning’s news
Bright sky floods the straightening horizon
And gloom disperses with the waking day
My tunnel view widens its purview
Funnels its Richard Of York colours
Revealing improving prospects
Pleasure-principled and hope-led
If-Only hopes
Offering release
Instead of regret
Along with a reinstituted Plan
Of Action
End of inertia
Perhaps and possibly
Depending on This and That
On Doubt and Uncertainty
On Doubt or Certainty
These Will-We, Won’t-We times
Tremble on the brink
Promising nothing
Yet
Delivering Hope
To our nebulous days

The Farrago Choice

Photo by Ikon Republik on Pexels.com

The Farrago Choice

It’s a farrago, a hotpotch,
Call it what you will;
Choosing never did attract me,
I am counting chickens still.

For lately I have lost all faith
In making a prudent choice;
I’ve given up decisions,
Conscious I’ve lost my voice.

It fell apart whilst doodling,
It lost its wobbly way;
I never could abide its cheek,
Its soul was out to play.

For when it comes to choosing
Between two guilty factions,
I’d rather plunge my head in sand,
Yield, then bemoan my inactions. 

Some may think this refers to my given right to vote in all elections . . .  They may be right!

Omen Of Doubt

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ON OMEN OF DOUBT

He caught my eye in the heat of afternoon
Transfixed my gaze for seconds
A cardboard cutout of a man
Alone and palely loitering

Transfixed
Imprinted in  that fleeting glance
The bespoke figure etched in my vision’s glass
Brought a faltering wisdom

Leaning on my sense of time
Disturbing my sense of normality
Suggesting some bizarre fantasy
Relating to Old Father Time
A reminder of both past and present
Yet warning of what is to come
A comment on my state of mind
And on my own unstable sanity
A pronouncement best left to fade
To curdle in the whey
Of a newly felt despondency.

The sense that age had brought me no peace
Only an uncertainty
That caused me to doubt
Not only my present vision
But my once accepted faith
in a sure future
Hitherto grounded in certainty
But now clouded in the unknown
And coloured in the shadows of doubt

Photo: WHB – Surrey, England – 2020

I DiD, I DiD, I DiD – An Affirmation

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Manhole cover – Surrey, England:  Photo WHB – 2020   ©

I DiD, I DiD, I DiD – An Affirmation

Did I do it?
I did not
No, I didn’t do it, Dear,
Did I?

Well, OK, what if I did?
What if I did it?
If I’d really done it
I’d say I did
Wouldn’t I Dear?
I’d say
I DiD, I DiD,
Yes, I DiD, I Did.

I think you think
I did do it, Dear.
Don’t you, Dear?
Don’t say you don’t
‘Cos you know that I did.
I always do, don’t I Dearest?

But Did I do it?
Well, if I did it
Then I did it, didn’t I?
So… Consider it done
Well and truly done
Done to death
Done and Dusted, Dear,
Done in, Done down,
Easier Said than Done.
I’ve been Done
She’s been Done
You’ve been Done.

Didn’t I do well to do it, Dear?
But really,
No!
No, I did not!
‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman!’

Oh, well, if you insist,
yes, Maybe, I did do it.
Yes, Perhaps I did, Dear.
At least I think I did it.
I told myself
Not to do it,
But I DiD, I Did, I DiD …

Don’t say you don’t believe me, Dearest.

 

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Two Word Tales #7- The Past Will Teach

Chambord-Loire-France

‘Chambord’ … WHB – Pen & Wash

The Past Will Teach

Two words
“I do”
Gave me
Some hope

Two words
“Of Course”
Helped me
To trust

But then
Two words
Led me
To doubt

Those words
“Not now”
Made me
Despair

Two words
“No Luck”
Made clear
My fate

Two words
“Look back”
The past
Will teach

 

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My ‘Two Word’ Verses

Number six  in my series of short verses 

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Reverie #6: Doubt

trees in park

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reverie #6: Doubt

 

Nothing in the world is certain
Pull up anchor
Sink or swim
Switch the light off
Draw the curtain
Do it now upon a whim. 

You’ll find your destiny has spoken
Only when you realise
That all is doubt
Some lows
Some highs
And all good fortune  rests
Upon that final funeral hymn. 

Abide with me
Do not forsake me
You are needed by my side
A life is given
A life is taken
Now fast falls the eventide
Stay for ever
Leave me never
‘Lama sabachthani’, He cried.

 

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Cum Dubito Desisto

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

WHEN IN DOUBT – DON’T!

The indecisive man
Never can.

Before he will try
He first must ask ‘Why?’

Will he win or maybe lose?
He hesitates to choose.

This is the the way to go, 
But then he thinks, ‘We’ll, NO!’

That way might be right,
But he is never sure quite.

So his ardour cools
And indecision rules.

All is shilly-shally;
Always a blind old alley.

As resolution stutters
His heartbeat trips and flutters.

Timid and forever fickle,
Always in a hopeless pickle.

Should he leave or should he go? 
Cum dubito desisto.

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Waving Goodbye

at the end of a day

Photo by Monique Laats on Pexels.com

Waving Goodbye

 

Tomorrow threatens not to come

And so I grab at life Today

That ever was Man’s threnody

Through Doubt and Hope to make our way.

And when in truth all light has passed

And Darkness fills the Void with Fear

I realise with certainty

That then, at last, my God is near.

Those who remain to carry on

Carry the Labyrinth’s thread on high,

So human life is held in thrall

Forever set to wave Goodbye.

 

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