Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting in the Ark

I went to see '2012' at the cinema the other day. It was pretty awful in an entertaining sort of way, as you'd expect from Hollywood, and managed to cheerfully massacre a Noah-and-the-Ark metaphor that was running through the film. I turned to my friend towards the end and said 'For the love of all things good and true, don't let there be a dove with an olive branch at the end of all this'. I'm glad to report that the film managed to stave off such an excessive touch of cheese. Not that it made much difference in the end - the camel's back had already been broken several times over!

This incident however reminded me of a poem which I had written during a quiet day at the end of my term here at Regent's, and I felt the sting of hypocrisy! But since it's on the theme of advent waiting, and picks up on Ark imagery, and the idea of richly waiting for a new world, I thought I'd share it with you.


He holds the fretful bird
Within the ribcage of his hands
Feels its tug and shunt;
Its pinions animated by frustration.
Like a Noah he stands over it, absorbed,
Unyielding, as its leapings lapse
Into spasmodic assertion,
Are loosed into warm wax, soft down.

But the tiny flame still beats under his fingers' curl
Dark eyes askance, watch him lovingly.
They are both waiting now forever,
At the window, and their waiting
Is a splurging fountain of gestation;
A pregnant sprig.

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