Blessed be the starved womb
and the replete womb.
Blessed the slug in the dew
and the butterfly among the ash-cans.
Blessed the mind that brings forth good and bad
and the hand that exonerates it.
Blessed be the adder among its jewels
and the child ignorant of how love must pay.
Blessed the hare who, in a round
world, keeps the tortoise in sight.
Blessed the cross warning: No through road,
and that other Cross with its arms out pointing both ways.
Blessed the woman who is amused
at Adam feeling for his lost rib.
Blessed the clock with its hands over its face
pretending it is midday, when it is midnight.
Blessed be the far side of the Cross and the back
of the mirror, that they are concealed from us.
R.S. Thomas, Benedictus, from “Mass for Hard Times”, Mass for Hard Times (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1992), p. 14.
They set up their decoy
in the Hebrew sunlight. What
for? Did they expect
death to come sooner
to disprove his claim
to be God’s son? Who
can shoot down God?
Darkness arrived at
midday, the shadow
of whose wing? The blood
ticked from the cross, but it was not
their time it kept. It was no
time at all, but the accompaniment
to a face staring,
as over twenty centuries
it has stared, from unfathomable
darkness into unfathomable light.
R.S. Thomas, from “Crucifixion”, Counterpoint (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1990), p. 40.