As part of the run up to the launch on June 14th of my new book of poetry Parable and Paradox, I am going to post here some of the poems you can find in the book. I am starting with a series of five dialogues I have written about the two great commandments, in which I try to explore what it means to love with all the heart, all the soul, all the strength, all the mind. these sonnets take the form of a conversation between the speaker and Christ. I say ‘the speaker’ because although I use the first person in the opening of each of these poems and I certainly speak with my own heart and soul, I hope that the reader too will be able to identify with the opening voice in each sonnet and so also be able to hear Christ replying to them in the second part of each poem.
These five poems will also appear, in a finer recording and with beautiful music, on the new record I am making with Steve Bell and Roy Salmond called Songs and Sonnets. They have started a crowdfunding page to make the recording and procductuion of the CD possible and I would be grateful if you could support it in however small a way. You can find out more and watch a short video by clicking Here. As always you can hear the poem in this post by clicking on the title or the play button. But it will be better still on the record!
So here is the first of the five, reflecting on what it might mean to love with all my heart:
Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
I: With All Your Heart
With all my heart? You know my heart too well,
It’s Yeats’s rag and bone shop. Will it do
To start my loving in that little hell,
Closed on itself and still excluding you?
Could I not offer you some empty room,
Some small apartment full of light and air,
Some portion of my life, above the gloom,
But not this pit of pride, not this despair.
Only your heart will do. Let me begin,
To break the ground and plant a seed that grows
Up through the closing darkness of your sin
Till your unsightly roots brings forth my rose.
For I have learned to make the broken true
Since my heart too was broken once for you.’