Thursday, October 03, 2013

Reflections from retirement

I woke up early, thinking about the few poems I'd written, even fewer in recent years, and then began to wonder if I'd posted anything here since I retired three and a half years ago. So I got up and checked, and as a result here's the handful I've written since then, sitting in my study overlooking the gardens of neighbouring houses. The only thing lacking in my quiet corner is a landscape to view. 
I don't know if it's linked, but I have occupied myself with taking photographs in my travels, mostly landscape, and journalling my life in retirement instead  Here are three poems written in Advent 2011 and one in Holy Week 2012

Advent Townscape 

Cloud unbroken lies heavy
beneath the nearest hilltop

draining colour from bricks
and tiles – red or darkest blue

reducing our horizon
to the work of human hands
as far as the eye can see.

The sun visits without
casting shadows to bless us
with perspective or movement

even rain is reluctant to fall
wind to blow refreshment upon us.

Time, it seems, stands still.

Days like this call for endurance
a search for the light within.
JKK 29.11.11

Advent Question

Waiting, waiting, what do we wait for under leaden skies?
Rain and wind whipped darkness encroaching, moon hiding,
street lamps struggling against shadow
that blots out landscape, melts horizons,
leaving us empty, shivering and cold.

Time to turn inward
To that other darkness
where unknowing dwells
present beyond forgetting,
detected by longing
for the invisible radiance of love
that lights the soul and warms the spirit.

The One who comes
is already nearer to us
Than we are to ourselves –
but dare we look?
JKK 13.12.11

Advent Noon

There is no hiding from the sun
beneath the cold-clear sky
in these fleeting days of waiting
whenever cloud takes leave of absence.

It skirts the horizon of hills and housetops
transfixing our earthly gaze
halting us with intimations
of glory we cannot comprehend.

In such moments when we cannot see our way
we are arrested, not by darkness
but blinded by the very substance
of which matter is made -
pointing beyond itself

wherever unknowing may be
darkness and light are both alike to thee.
JKK, O Sapientia 2011


A Spring moon starts to blossom in cloudy skies.
With each expectant night draws near again
the day-light of redemption's song
while crowds unheeding find distraction
and take comfort in fleeting leisure.

In the chaos of so much forgetting,
of lessons unlearned or refused,
our commonality crumbles into fragments
experience, a jumble of sensations.
Anxiety reigns, confusion and despair
stain the fabric of so many lives.
Yet life giving protest persists, resists.

People of the Covenants – old and new -
prepare to remember who they are
and what they were made to become.
Such a hard learning to keep in mind -
looking beyond to understand
the painful meaning that heals and frees,
makes all things new and crowns with wholeness
those who dare the darkness trusting
and refuse to let it swallow them.

JKK 14.03.12

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