wordsout by godfrey rust
The sailing of the ark  < 34 of 45


These poems should have been about the cross,
but who could do that? We, who wait here

in its long shadow, trying to look up
and unable, knowing that to gaze directly at it

will burn out the pupils of our self-esteem? It is not
finished: that face (R S Thomas said it) is "staring

as over twenty centuries it has stared,
from unfathomable darkness into unfathomable light",

while we between both look on, helpless
like children in Dickens, bewildered heirs

to some great estate, watching
the tragic tale unfold, knowing

our future joy depends on this transaction
in whose genesis we are somehow implicated.

“staring as over twenty centuries...” From R S Thomas’ sequence “Crucifixion” from the book Counterpoint.

children in Dickens I was thinking specifically of the “wards in Jarndyce” in Bleak House.