Thursday, April 20, 2006

Homage to Vivaldi

I started writing this while Clare and I were in Venice, on our first ever trip to the city, and our first time away from the children. It's impossible not to be inspired by that great city, just as the Maestro's music never fails to inspire.


Signor Vivaldi -
tiring of soggy salt stained rugs
and endless spring tidal pools
glistening on the morning promenade -
hails a gondola, and sets his face
steadfastly towards Mestre and thence
to the warm awakening hills;
to unfolding vineyards and cypress groves
deafening, with early song bird chatter;
the hunters still sleeping off
the last of their nocturnal salutations
to the return of gentler greens
to burnt earth and crag.

In solitude, his heart's a-bubble
and his eye as keen as a marksman
eager for the first light
and coming to pasture of young milkmaids
astonished and ravishing in the crystal clear.
Every sound he captures with daring
and paints nature's resurgence
in swift strokes upon the clean and waiting stave.

Deftly he summons an ensemble
that can capture brightness, the smell of lilac,
fresh grass and melting alpine snows
blackbird, thrush and never-ending sparrow -
A treasure to be cherished for the time
when the mists of the lagoon rise to chill the spirit
and a yet unborn vintage serves as consolation,
and fiddlers fight the draught and their hearers' indifference
to keep their pitch and set the mood
bringing to liberty the immortal moment, long awaited.

JKK 28.2.82

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Going through material written and stored ages ago I found these personal declarations, that I'm not ashamed to own fourteen years on and many worlds of different experience away from where I was at that time, pastoring in the English West Midlands town of Halesowen


I live in a universe
where nothing is seen as permanent
and everything understood as relative
to everything else, and yet
I am not insecure, uncertain
as well I might be -
(to judge by the reactions
of many fellow travellers).

But neither am I complacent,
insulated, or well defended
from the consequences and implications
of a shifting scene
that makes me what I am,
yet does not ultimately determine
who I am, or what I can be.

I dance along a tightrope of trust
in the sovereignty of loving purpose:
- agog with wonder at the baffling notion
of the uncreated source of all -
alone capable of providing
a frame of reference that embraces everything
yet, scandalously, finds embodiment in one man
- whose story calls forth from within its hearers,
(me included),
a sense of what it means to be human, finite,
to have a purpose
in this incomprehensible ocean of truth,
in a way nobody has,
before or since.


Somewhere behind the flats and houses
there is a new moon tinged with mist.
I know, because I saw it briefly
as I was parking the car.

For once, I noticed,
was not so absorbed in the moment's affairs
to see what was there beyond
quietly influencing, nurturing, cherishing
inward thoughts and feelings
whether we admit it or not.

JKK 1.3.92