My Poetry

ANOTHER PARTY, 
ANOTHER PODIUM

You speak, Adam

And your voice jars on my soul.

Boom on boom,

Crescendo to crescendo,

Your culture chat grits me

And turns to slush my shiny social smile.

 

I'm trying to love you.

My every fibre cringes under cruel control.

Boom on boom

Forget it, Adam

But still you feed us with your learned despair.

I agonise.

 

The picture darkens.

Beloved angst, washed down with Brecht,

Envelops me.

Leaded eyes

But you shine

And sketch eternal theories with your cigarette.

 

You're fired up, Adam

But say, who hears your existential exposition?

Artistic muse,

Gymnastic truths

Collide and blow to pieces in mid-air.

They fall, we drink them fizzing in our beer.

 

And I'm so tired.

A blistering party piece to set me shaking.

Bring a bottle

Bring a friend

And let the boy in the baggy suit give you all the answers                                                                                 

Fresh in this morning.

 

 

Julie M. Peace           

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 1987

 

 

 

DELIVERER

 

When I had read too much,

Learned too much,

Traded my unknowing for the minds of other men.

Supped in their eating houses,

Sipped at their answers to a world of questions

I had never thought to ask,

Trampled the fruit of philosophical presumption

And dredged its bitter yield;

 

When I stood naked,

Stripped of my innocence,

Drunk on unwanted knowledge,

Sick with my enlightenment,

Staggering to stand in a world

Which reeled, chaotic on its twisted axis,

I cried to you.

 

Not nobly, but imploring.

Reduced to the cogito ergo sum

In my disintegration.

Desperate for Your existence,

Ungrounded in my own reality;

Stung by the serpent

In the sorry garden of my child heart,

Gorged on the forbidden tree,

Shrivelled from my banquet -

I cried, as one dying.

 

If my question had returned to me,

My meagre invitation, borne on wistful currents,

Had hovered like a leaf destined for the ground,

I would have tumbled headlong, like a dead man,

Into the chasm of absurdity,

Choked on my vain imaginations,

Sucked to the bone by the great lie.

 

Little did I know that You had birthed the question,

Framed the invitation,

Looked for my return as a brooding father

Yearning to hold a missing child.

You mapped my every movement, bottled all my tears,

Felt the pain of every sin,

Yet I was deaf to hear Your broken heart

Beating to recover me.

 

As I sunk into madness,

Beating my self with little fists of doubt and desolation,

You silently observed.

Great powerful God,

You let me die just long enough

And, in my drowning moments,

Held my head just high enough

To let me call Your name.

 

When at last I whispered it,

Reaching down, You seized me,

Breathed in my spirit, brought me back to life.

What mighty angelic roar accompanies the Deliverer,

Riding out from heaven,

Slashing the sordid veils of otherness

To let me see,

You are the Lord

And there is no other.

 

 

Julie M. Peace      

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 2002

 

For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

I Corinthians 1:19-21 (NIV)

 

 

 

HOMEWARD BOUND

 

Driving home, early hours,

On ice-rimmed roads shining black like frozen oil,

We cut the lights and are reduced

To the comforting glow of dashboard dials,

Guiding us, like a space pod,

Through the white glory

Of a thousand snowbound hills and fields

Glittering under a single veil,

Radiant as a bride

Held by the lingering kiss of a bright full moon.

 

Spread beneath his gaze,

Mile upon mile of glistening simplicity,

She catches his luminescence and casts it back,

Resplendent in self giving.

A mutual offering, each exultant in the other's loveliness,

They play their consummation in silhouette and light,

Unaware that we are watching.

 

I long to enter in;

To fly through every mile of sky

And satiate my heart and eyes,

And brush each tree, each hedge, each blade of grass

With the gentle fingers of my mind,

Until the longing goes.

 

Yet I perceive that this is only shadow;

A shimmering tableau, sketched by its Creator

To lift the heads of His beloved.

Stirring the yearnings of a bride-to-be;

Piercing the heavy layers of earthliness

Calling her spirit to be free.

 

Julie M. Peace 

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 2006

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Hope you've enjoyed this small selection of my poetry. All

 the photos were taken by my husband, Alan. The picture

used for 'Another Party, Another Podium' is an image of a

piece of artwork done by our son, Aaron, during his time at

 secondary school. The picture used for 'The Rescue' is a

detail taken from a mural painted by my dad. The original

painting hangs in Christ Church, Bridlington.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

BENEDICTION 

 

He has waited for this day.

Sometimes he wondered if he'd ever make it through;

Those days when weariness began to steal resolve.

But here it is,

The child he cradles in his arms, just five days old.

Ten decades separate their births, but

Blood and gene and history have forged this chain.

 

He hardly dares to breathe.

Reverential tenderness envelops the encounter,

As frail responds to frail.

With knotty, parchment hands

He gently strokes the tiny limbs ...

 

 

And he is running, laughing at the open sky,

Pure blue, like a satin roll tossed into the unknown,

Pages of an unread book

Beckoning deliciously to his child's enquiring heart.

He is racing, grubby-kneed, jostling friends

Through cornfields flanked by poppies,

Humble prophets which salute these living, laughing heroes,

Nodding their heads in an innocent breeze.

 

And he is racing, feet clam-cold, jostling friends

Through cornfields, blackened, charred,

Thick with the stench of gas and smoke of smouldering men.

He is running, wild-eyed at the open sky -

Ochre-grey, like the skin of a metal drum

Rammed into the chattering teeth of a faceless gunner

Beckoning deliriously to his mad man's heart.

 

And now, gnarled fingers trace the tiny ears and brows,

Couched in the sleep of blank experience;

Soft baby breath the only utterance.

But in his mind still ring

The chilling screams of countless sons -

And one, some mother's baby, just ahead,

Who, shot like a punch card,

Danced like a frenzied puppet in the mustard sky;

Dropped at his feet,

Hugging the bullets that would have taken him.

Then he himself is lying,

Face slapped down in sucking mud,

Limb blown away,

Life oozing silent from the shredded groin ...

 

With dim, damp eyes, the old man bows

And puts a patriarchal hand upon the infant head.

Utters a loving blessing for his progeny,

Safe in his loins through trench and amputation

And a thousand horrors.

Millenium child dreaming under an open sky,

Pure gold, spread like the canopy of a father's prayer,

Pages of an unread book, beckoning.

 

                                                            

                                                             Julie M. Peace      

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 2000

 

 

 

SNOW THOUGHTS

 

Soft, white silence,

Throbbing in my head and through an icy sky,

Echoes to the edge of the world.

Paralysed world.

Stark, lifeless world,

Entombed in a tangible hush

As if waiting.

 

And I walk and move ...

Each sound is taken up and absorbed into the softness

As though I were not there.

And the absence of all noise and heat and colour

Forces me

Face to face

With His beauty.

 

Bowed and still, my soul whispers

Speak, Lord.

 

His voice has spoken;

Whiteness, whiteness.

Weaving together uplands, lowlands, tree and bramble,

Under the same pure covering

They have not chosen.

 

And then I know with Him there is no great or small among men,

Only eternity etched into each man's soul,

To whom He gently gives the power to decide.

 

 

Julie M. Peace         

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 1985

 

 

 

 

 THE RESCUE

 

Like drowning men, thrashing in an unforgiving sea,

We clutch at straws and rail against our sentence

As though we really could turn back its tide.

 

It turns a little.

Hospitals and health spas,

Cosmetic jobs and gyms and pills

All do their stuff

To buy us precious time.

 

And so we break and mend,

And mend and break, and mend,

Only to break again.

Or surface, gasping gratefully,

Only to drown and surface countless times

Before we take that final, stuttering gulp

Into the Inevitable.

 

Clasping the rigging in our fierce and mortal storm,

We need to be reminded of the One

Whose breaking and mending

Mended all of us ...

If we should choose to be repaired.

Whose feet, long-pierced in the heart of God,

Trod the dark waters;

Whose voice stilled the waves and bade the wind be calm.

Whose lifeblood turned the tide

And bought us what we could not buy ourselves -

Safe passage home.

 

 

Julie M. Peace     

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 2012

 

 

 

LAMENT FOR THE UNREDEEMED

 

I watched her shuffling, slump-backed,

Along an early morning street,

Humping on frail shoulders a sack of choices

Intertwined with life's mixed hand-me-outs

Hardened to a shell.

 

For she was old, and life had seemed capricious.

 

Her sloughened eyes met mine, then turned away.

 

 

 

Well-togged she was against the dank December air;

 

Muffled head-to-foot in hat, coat, gloves and boots,

 

And yet, I feared,

 

Hopelessly naked against that longer winter

 

Towards which she padded helplessly.

 

 

 

I wanted to shout out,

 

'Someone died for you! 

 

His heart was broken for your misery,

 

There’s time, still time –

 

Eternity’s not quite at the door ...'                

 

But looking in those eyes,

 

I sensed that hope was long-since dead for her,

 

Perhaps rejected.

 

Time, in its relentless stride,

 

Was daily pushing her towards her end,

 

And she would shamble on,

 

The slightest challenge forcing her,

 

Like some alerted mollusc,

 

Back under her armour.

 

 

 

I saw the tragic in the ordinary that day.

 

I grieved ... 


Not for her transgressions


Nor her troubles


Nor her woes,                      

 

But for the wasted fact

 

That all her sins were paid for

 

And she would never know.


   

 Julie M. Peace  

 

Copyright © Julie Maria Peace 2008