Tag Archives: poetry

Holy Sonnet 19

Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one:
Inconstancy unnaturally hath begot
A constant habit; that when I would not
I change in vows, and in devotion.

As humorous is my contrition
As my profane love, and as soon forgot:
As riddingly distempered, cold and hot,
As praying, as mute, an infinite, as none.

I durst not view heaven yesterday; and today
In prayers, and flattering speeches I court God:
Tomorrow I quake with true fear of his rod.
So my devout fits come and go away

Like a fantastic ague: save that here
Those are my best days, when I shake with fear.

John Donne


Some days I feel like my life is this poem.
Some days I feel like it’s not.
I guess that means my life is this poem?

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Knowing God’s World

Our church has been running a very intense series of sermons on “Knowing God’s World”. I do not use the word “intense” lightly. We have covered a whole host of issues: life, death, relationships, sex – so far it’s been all through the lens of Genesis and the story of creation and over the next few weeks we will be getting into the other key texts in the bible that shed light on how Christians understand the world we live in. The sermons have been long and have always followed up by extensive questions, so every week our service has run overtime!

Last night was possibly the most confronting sermon so far. It was on God’s provision for his world (looking mainly at Psalm 104 and Matthew 6), which got us into the controversial question of “how is a good God in control when evil things are happening?” Andrew, our minister, handled the whole topic very well, and gave me a very helpful framework for understanding and better articulating my own thoughts (see my old post Scrubs and Suffering). I know and know of many people who have been burnt by Christians (I’m sure this includes me!) giving unsatisfying and even hurtful answers to the question of suffering. I’m hoping that this sharpening of ideas helps me to stop doing that.

The most powerful moment so far however, was not last night’s sermon but the week before. It was the story of Adam and Eve, humanity’s first rebellion. By the end of the sermon I felt drained thinking about the waste and weight of sin. And then we watched this video, which retold the story with such painfully beautiful poetry that I felt empty in my stomach.

The recordings of the sermons will eventually be up on the church website if anyone is interested in hearing them. I’ll post up a link when they are available.

Primary School Poem Time

Ode to casual Friday:

My shoes hug my feet up to my ankles.
My feet feel fine.
A long walk through Harris Park today, but my feet feel fine.
A long walk to the river today, but my feet feel fine!

A look of disdain from a lady in high heels –
but it’s casual Friday!
It’s OK,
There’s a guy over there in runners and jeans.
He’s talking to his boss, and she’s OK.
His name is Darren.
It must be OK!

Here comes Maria with a box for coins
A small price to pay for the freedom of my feet.

Something has rekindled my deep appreciation for John Donne and Relient K. They have very good words (although I can’t see Relient K being remembered over the next 5 centuries).

Man. I am blown away by it all.

I caught the bus home with Ryan today. I wasn’t thinking and got off a stop early, but the walk wasn’t that much longer. In retrospect, the bus trip was heaps like the old days of catching the 480 with Chris (except the extra 10 minutes to get between uni and Petersham). Back in the day, I used to catch the 483 to sit with Chris. He would tell me things he was learning and teach me what he was learning from confirmation and talk with me about my family and our friends. The amount I learnt from those conversations, I can’t place any value on. And today was another 483 trip to chat to a wise person and learn as much as I could before Ashfield.

There is a routine that happens when I get home. It goes like this:
key in door, turn key, walk through door, go to room, turn on light, dump bag, throw keys somewhere (they will be lost tomorrow morning), open computer, press silver power button, turn on lamp, close curtains.
All of this happens within a minute. It worries me that turning on the computer is so important, especially seeing as I don’t generally use it for very much.

Finally:

Wilt thou love God as he thee?
then digest, my soul, this wholesome meditation:

How God the Spirit,
by angels waited on in heaven,
doth make his temple in thy breast.

The Father, having begot a Son most blest,
and still begetting (for he ne’er begun),
hath deign’d to choose thee by adoption (has deigned to choose YOU by adoption!)
coheir to his glory and sabbath’s endless rest.

And, as a robb’d man,
which by searching does find his stol’n stuff sold, must lose or buy it again,
The Son of glory came down and was slain,
us whom he had made, and Satan stol’n, to unbind.

‘Twas much that man was made like God before
but, that God should be made like man, much more.

– John Donne

(+ slight stanza modifications to make it easier to follow)

This entry is dedicated to two compositions which have been in my head for a great part of the day. I really should be doing my Geography assessment/english groupwork/history homework/maths studying but I have decided to sacrifice my HSC for the time being.

Exhibit one is a scene from You’ve Got Mail, one of my favourites. Tom Hanks is in the gym with his obligatory black friend, and they’re running on the treadmills watching a news report on the competition between his and Meg Ryan’s businesses.

On the TV
Tom Hanks (on the TV): I sell cheap books, I do, so sue me.
Cut to news reporter
News Reporter: And that, in a nutshell, is the Fox Books philosophy.

Cut to Tom Hanks and Black Friend on treadmills
Black Friend: That’s what you said?
Tom Hanks (Looking very very angry): Yeah, but that’s not all I said!
Black Friend looks bemused
Tom Hanks: I told them how great we were, I showed them the New York writer’s section, I told them you could sit and read all day and no one would bother you! I told them we were a Goddamn piazza! A place in the city where people could mix and mingle and be!
Black Friend: A piazza?
Tom Hanks: I was eloquent! Shit!

Exhibit two is Flynn’s set of Haiku, which he told Mysty and I earlier this week in Biology.

Autumn leaves falling
Crimson on the white pavement
Chainsaw massacre

A chainsaw cutting
Thrashing through bone and sinew
Serenity now

Hope you enjoyed.