At diverse times, though all before the age of ten,
our priest (ex-monk) explained to me
that temporal happiness can come in only one
of three designs:-
that it can be the darkness of closed eyes,
the shape of praying hands
or it is cruciform.
You have to find, he said, the shape for you.
The shape that God intends for you.
I was confused.
You must not drink before communion, he said.
(This in the vestry early in the morning.)
God sees you drinking tea - and when you drink
what do you also do?
I have a biscuit with it, I observed.
He almost had the vapours there and then.
You break your fast, he said,
You excommunicate yourself.
You break away from God. That is
the meaning of your word: breakfast!
Again, I was confused.
After a long illness he said that he would take me
to a place he knew in Switzerland.
We would stay together in this place
until my health returned.
Alas, my parents would not let me go.
That, too, I found confusing.
It was years before I understood.
Non-conformists are non-believers in disguise
I heard one day. They'll meet hell fire.
Officiating at the war memorial one day,
he walked away when Methodists arrived.
The Bible was a banned book in his view.
You should not read it David, he explained,
you are not trained. It's not a book
for people. The priest will tell them what it says.
This is a late response to Jingle Poetry's prompt to write on Saints, Monks or Meditation.
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