A consideration of the pain of change. Joint second in Bard's Hall Poetry Contest, May '20
Author's Note: “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
The house is different now,
no longer a haven from the world
where silence spoke of peace
and quiet worship echoed within
the hallowed words of songs
from long ago, the ancient walls
reflecting familiar voices raised
in greeting God and neighbour.
Few we were but bound in love
and friendship, our nicknames
redolent of character and quirk
so that irascibility was mere fodder
for smiles of recognition. Frail
and flawed as we knew we were,
yet space remained in our hearts
for understanding and grace.
Now the hall is filled with sound,
voices raised in loud rejoicing,
guitar and tambourine packing
the unseen corners with praise,
and strangers in styles unheard of,
colours loud as the music,
voices devouring each muted moment,
so little space remaining
for memory and contemplation.
Oh, I’ll dance with them in wild abandon,
carefree in unexpected joy,
shout aloud my sudden freedom
and sing my praises uninhibited,
I do this, John, you know I do,
but it hurts inside as slips away
something that gave us purpose
and hushed our words with awe
and secret yearning.
It matters not.
I mourn only for what’s lost.
Line Count: 36
Entry for the Bard’s Hall Contest, May 2020 and for Kittiara's Writing Contest, June 2020.
Notes: The founder of the Vineyard Churches, John Wimber, described how he transformed the first little church he joined from a sleepy backwater into a vibrant surging torrent. In the process, he attracted large numbers of disreputable characters into the little church to swell its numbers from the tens to the hundreds and then the thousands.
One day he came upon one of the original members of the church weeping quietly in a corner. On sitting with her and attempting to console her, he was told by the old lady that, although she knew that it was right and good that so many new and youthful members were flocking into the church, indeed that she had prayed for this very revival for decades, she could not help but feel the pain as all the old things were swept away and replaced with the new.