wordsout by godfrey rust
The sailing of the ark  < 5 of 45


At thirty-five thousand feet,
wearied of business, I glanced out to see 

the winter sun throw into sharp relief
a barren land of mountains, a fine show

of geology's inhumanity to man.
A drift of cloud had settled on Geneva

like a duvet on a bed—what light or warmth
has the tiny match-flame of our creativity

against all this? Of course he made it,
just as he made the cold terrain of the psyche

or soul, or spirit, call it what you will,
with its unclimbed ridges and deeper valleys,

and some always in shadow, however high
the sun of righteousness rises on healing wings.

Written on a plane journey from Nice to London, looking down at the Alps in the west of Switzerland. Sonnet 5 is preparation for the review in sonnets 6 to 11 of the mismatch between our experience of the world and the soul (“the cold terrain of the psyche, or soul, or spirit”) and the hopes and expectations of evangelical belief.

sun of righteousness rises on healing wings cf Malachi 4:2.