Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Poetry: Floating

I wrote this poem a little while ago and meant to post it, but time slipped away and I never did.  But I went looking for it because it speaks well to how I am feeling right now.  There's lots of things going on, and I can't carry any of it, so I'll just have to let myself be carried.


To trust the wave, to brave the deep,
Requires that not one toe still touches sand,
For if I claim unto myself some pow’r
Of push or pull, then all I’ll do is stand
And never move beyond the place I am.

To let it lift, that gift of force
That’s caught amidst the war of Earth and Moon,
To let it carry me to where it will,
For good or ill, arriving late or soon,
Will bring me to my destiny, or doom.

I want to know, to go, to leave
Myself behind upon the shore of fear,
And, traveling thus, transfigured by the sea,
Be my true me, an object held so dear
In waters over which the Spirit
Hovers near.


  1. Hullo Josh,

    Today at Mass the first reading was taken from the first book of John, chapter four (at least where I attended). One of my favourite verses from that chapter is 18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear [...]." Coincidentally, as I was reading your poem last night, that verse came to mind. This is completely relevant because it seems to be "that gift of force" is Love Himself.

    Thank you for posting this poem :)

  2. Emily, sorry I did not publish your comment sooner! Thank you for reading the poem!

    I adore 1 John almost as much as I adore the Gospel of John. One of these days I'm going to write a post about how 1 John 1 corresponds with the Prologue of the Gospel of John...

    Anyway, I'm going to guess that Tolkien isn't the only awesome British dude you read. I associate "Love Himself" with Lewis before anyone else, and that bit of the poem comes from his Space Trilogy and from St. Augustine. So gravity is the physical force at play with regard to the tides, and St. Augustine said, "My weight is my love," so God's love must be like gravity itself, since gravity gives everything weight and it is by virtue of God's love that we participate in love to any degree.

    In the Space Trilogy (I cannot recall which book), it is revealed that the moon is the boundary at which Satan's power stops and the point from which the angelic invasion of earth will begin. I won't say any more since I don't know if you have read it (Perelandra, the middle one, is far and away my favorite), but it is a minor spoiler, so I did not ruin the plot! Anyway, the gravitational war between Earth and Moon is an oblique allusion to the Space Trilogy. At least in my head it is.

  3. No worries about publishing sooner. It's just two cents!

    Yes, you are totally correct on your guess about Lewis. Two of my good friends were on my case to begin reading (I was putting it off) Tolkien and C.S. Lewis only recently! George MacDonald and Fr. Owen Francis Dudley were also suggested. They don't read quite the same as what I am used to reading :D Alas, I am a little slow to start on the Christian classics.

    Wow, that is a wonderful explanation about Love! It does look like I will be adding the Space Trilogy to my reading list... Though I appreciate that you only gave me the minor spoiler. Your head is probably right but I will let you know :)


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