Before Her

Before her I am Thespis – unflinching, playing my part,
Ignoring every laden ache metered on my heart.
Before her I am Hector – yet Heaven tips the fates
And I am found here languishing – and she, beyond my gates.
Before her I am Caesar, and she the Rubicon
But I shall drown beneath her might while she rushes on.
Before her I am Vulcan – ugly, monstrous – lame
Twisting words and praise for her sweet and splendid name.

But now I am a poor man, bloodied, robbed and vile
And to mourn the truth of it – unseated by a smile.

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Show Me You Are God

Show me you are God,
For I am in the pit
And within these seven walls
There is no place to sit.

Show me you are God,
For there is silence still.
All my friends have turned away
And wish me naught but ill.

Show me you are God,
For I am full of wounds
Wrought by your unseeing eye
Fixed upon my tomb.


I’m sorry I’m not a 100% Christian. I cannot eternally pretend that I am at my 100% and eternally praise God. I’d rather be honest and genuine here and make it clear when I absolutely cannot pursue God. Were we not made from dust? I’m just being honest here. Sometimes I argue and get utterly frustrated with Him — like this. I can almost here people brand me a heretic, but to hell with it. I’m just being honest here.

For I Am flawed

Who beat the brown upon my skin?
Who cleft my teeth and carved my grin?
Who pressed my eyes into my face?
Who stole from me the forms of grace?
Who scored and cut my ugly jaw?
Who strung my throaty croaking caw?
Who struck my scalp with wilting hair?
Who smote me dark and never fair?

Then tell me not, for I am flawed
That “Ye were knit by hands of God.”


Whose Wounds Are These?

Whose wounds are these that I pressed down?
Whose temple bears this thorny crown?
Whose tears fall forth and stir this flood
Of sweat and sin, and my Lord’s blood?

Whose voice was that which trembling cried,
“Behold before me Death has died.”
Which then with final breath began
The restoration of all man?

Who was, who is – and is to be,
Whose name is writ in history;
The King, The Lion, Lord, and Lamb
The one who whispers, “Child, I am.”

– S.S. Bartlett

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy kingdom come,” the old man wept
As beneath the clouds he slept
Upon those streets of stone and steel
Where men before their wealth did kneel

“Thy kingdom come,” the lady sighed
Walking past the boys who cried
And raised their hands to shout a word
Which from her youthful days she’d heard.

“Thy kingdom come,” the mother shook
— Her son filed by without a look
To the rattle of some marching band
Spurring him to far-flung lands.

“Thy kingdom come,” the soldier prayed
As the turret spat and sprayed
And scores of lead soared overhead
To count his friends among the dead

“Thy kingdom come,” the surgeon heaved
Before the iron tool could cleave
The struggling boy upon the bed
All swathed in white and rushing red.

“Thy kingdom come,” the small one said,
Scrambling through those fields of dead
Where murderous men had only sown
Those crimson streams of ill renown

Hear us God, thy kingdom come,
Establish yours — Ours overrun.
Thy kingdom come, ours is lost —
And for what prize and at what cost?

S.S. Bartlett


Note : For many youth in my country  violence, wickedness and war (especially war) have had some sort of a presence and impact in our lives. While war has not affected me directly  I have seen its aftereffects ; beggars, blind men, amputees and orphans. This has no disturbed me, but allowed me to acknowledge the violence men have sown themselves and the discord with which we have overridden our lives. It is for this reason that I believe God’s divinity should transcend our ways and be applied in our lives

 

I Would Not

NOT A PERSONAL POEM. READ NOTE BELOW.


Slit my veins in sleep one night,
I would pass in peace.
That I endure these darkening tides
Is pain that will not cease.
Many eyes have seen me,
But their sight averts mine own
And upon this wretched rock,
This dirt which I call home
They flog me and inflict me
Their words like whips and thorns
So please do slit my veins this night,
I would not see the morn.

Drown me in that lake one day,
I would gargle green
And watch her slowly slip away,
And leave this world unseen.
I have watched in silence
This thing they say is love
And whimpered at the God who made it
For unanswered prayers above.
Whose hands then made me monstrous?
Whose words then slurred my speech?
So drown me in that lake this day
The night is grave and bleak.

Throw me off a cliff one morn
I would meet the stones
Which moan amid the rolling waves
And have them break my bones.
What worldly works could hurt me?
What ill fate twist the heart?
This dead cold space has had its place
For many years now past.
Wailing winter whipped me
And spring still lingers grey
So throw me off that cliff this morn
I would not see the day.

S.S. Bartlett

Note : I must stress that this poem was not written for me, but for people (friends mostly) whom I know deal with bouts of depression and self destruction. I am grateful many took the time to contact me once this poem was published, but it was an exercise and a tribute to my friends.

O Holy Night.

Image

O holy night, We praise thee for thy birth
Sleep thou now quietly baby-king of earth
Thou babe of bliss come from holy skies,
With the coming morrow thou shalt arise.

Thou shalt walk on water, turn it all to wine
Cast out the evil, chase them all to swine
Thou babe of bliss, yet born so low and base
With the coming morrow, thou shalt bruise Caesar’s face

Thou shalt preach and heal and make the darkness light
Yet comes the morrow, and for now goodnight.
Sleep thou gentle babe of bliss
Smile thy smile of glee
For those you love shall kiss thee
And nail thee to the tree.

My faith in God has made me realise that society celebrates Jesus’ birth more than it celebrates the completion of his life’s mission. I was inspired by a particular carol that to carries a similar message, thus I must not be credited for the idea or tone of the poem. The name of the carol escapes me now. 

Tidings- S.S.B., Sri Lanka

Crimson

What pile is this? Dumped –
Red rivers running down,
Against the wire slumped
Adorned with crimson crown.

Did you pray O quiet pile?
Did you say a prayer?
On the bloody battlefield
Angels do not dare.

I pity thee — you butchered youth.
You fought for naught, but lies
And now you gape at the truth,
Accompanied by flies.