Poetry

holocaust-ruth-clotworthy

Song of Silence

All around drifts dirty snow, yet we know it’s not but ashes.
Standing under shifting skies, I can almost hear their cries.
And as my torment carols on, sings my soul its silent song.
There was no bread or hope for life; just endless lines split left and right.
My arms were emptied-hands denied, my pleas in vain as were my cries.
One last time the gates were opened, glistening canvas of snow unbroken.
See my footsteps painted red, and mantles green that hide our dead.
One more breath, live one more day- but far behind still drifts that grey.
Lie down- embrace this bed of glass, sweet sleep enchant- release at last.
See my lament, my silent song,
On frozen lips this winter dawn.
All around drifts dirty snow, but I know that it’s only ashes.
I will never touch their faces, yet they brush mine,
One last time.

Note:

What is a Lament Song? Typically, a lament is a song of despair and hopelessness. The nature of the lament screams out for God to take action, but the question is- will he? Many biblical lament Psalms, like Psalm 89, have no resolution, and neither does this poem. The woman’s memories become a silent lament to God. Voicing the great question of the Holocaust- where was God? 

 

 

Children of the Sun

Children of the Sun

Children of the Sun

Golden, gaily tipped and spun,

Moving in harmony with the sky,

Faces uplifted to receive,

The Sun’s essence in utter ecstasy.

 

Yet should any choose to turn,

Obstinate, and light to spurn. 

Their nature lost in shadow’s thrall,

No longer can they be called,

Children of the Sun.

Note:

My enchantment with Karl Rahner’s anthropology inspired this poem. Karl Rahner defined human nature as openness to the infinite, mysterious horizon of God. Unfortunately, we can never quite reach God; yet, to forsake this openness to God’s essence is to forsake our identity. Think of the sunflower- it is defined by its nature. It follows the sun through the sky, stretching up to meet its light yet never quite able to reach. If the sunflower simply gave up, stopped tracing the sun’s path across the sky, it would no longer be a sunflower. Yet, unlike the sunflower, there is one whose human nature was able, on our behalf, to finally join with God’s essence and light: Jesus Christ. 

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