Poets in the Pulpit

A friend of mine has died. She had lived a long life but even where there is much to celebrate death remains a time of sadness.

Our last meeting was at Doreen’s hospital bed. We did not have a conversation. I chatted. I read a few passages from the bible. I prayed. Doreen could not speak and only fleetingly did she open her eyes. She acknowledged me and I hoped she heard my voice and felt my care.

As I recalled happier times together I remembered our Poetry Nights. A theme for the evening was chosen and then parish members, together with their family and friends, would be busy digging up poems: Poems they had written; poems from family members; poems from favourite poets. When the evening arrived we would gather in the church for each to read their poem. Sometimes comments were added or responses given. Often the poem would simply speak for itself. Always the reader disclosed something about themselves, simply through the poem, and always the listeners were enriched.

Doreen wrote a poem for one of those evenings. I kept the poem. And now, on the day after her death and on the eve of her funeral, it seems appropriate to put it into print. The Fred and the Alice I knew. Theirs was a parish where members talked as pilgrim together in faith. The longings expressed are Doreen’s but many share those hopes. I’ll leave you to judge its metre and its style.

Oh and just before you read the poem, though those Poetry Nights were a while ago and in a different Parish, St. Michael’s will have a ‘Poets in the Pulpit’ Evening before the year is out!

Now for the poem ……..

I want to see an Angel   by Doreen S

I want to see an Angel

When I am on my own

I want to ask it questions

About the heavenly Throne.

Fred has seen an Angel

And Alice has seen three

I want so much to see one

What is wrong with me?

Of course I’d rather see

The face of Jesus Christ

Perhaps that’s asking far too much

So an Angel would suffice

To see a heavenly being

Would make me feel secure

And sure that God knows of me

Knows I’m trying to be pure.

I’ll say my prayers

And hope that in the end

I’ll come to trust and understand

That Jesus is my friend.