Diwali & ‘Light of the World’

Diwali, festival of lights, warm traditions, customs bright
Rangoli, pretty coloured rice, family joy and pungent spice
See the lamplight glowing there, firework whistle, crisp night air,
Tasty food in ‘thali’ dish, neighbour’s greeting, loving wish
Yet, can any lamp or spark, chase away an inner dark?
Secret things I wish to hide, what on them can turn the tide?
Is there lasting light to shine, in this troubled heart of mine?
I heard a rumour, precious pearl, one known as ‘Light of the World’
Now I seek this inner light, and long to see, with purer sight.

November gloom, autumnal air
Marks festivity bright and rare
Ambient scenes, exquisite sights
Diwali, festival of lights.

Flickering candle, lamplight glow
Cosy homely warm tableau
Tasty food in ‘thali’ dish
Family greeting, loving wish.

What could be more apt and right
Than such a reverie of light?
Still, is there yet richer art
A balm to soothe a troubled heart?

Every lamp and firework spark
Soon will be snuffed out, go dark
Show me light that will not cease
To this frayed cracked heart bring peace.

Blind, I seek some inner light
Fumbling, crave a greater sight
Jesus, teacher, ‘Light of the world’
Let light be in me unfurled.   

(produced with Christopher Singh)

Image by bhupendra Singh from Pixabay

Remembrance Pearl of Peace

In annual deep autumnal gloom, of russet red November,
Many of us stop a while, to pause, reflect, remember,
Huddled groups, dark overcoats with splash of poppy red,
Reassuring ritual, of words said and unsaid.

This year coronavirus lends the day a different hue,
Musings on mortality touched with other sadness too,
So if you can, go the extra mile to reach out and remember
Those who may be struggling and fragile this November.

While crimson poppies are the norm, some wear a poppy white,
A broader deep perspective to keep within our sight,
Puzzled people ask me what a white poppy is for:
To honour every person killed or traumatised by war.  

We mark the memory of the fallen, costly sacrifice
Of those who bravely gave their lives, but also mark the price,
The causes and the roots of conflict, issues broad and deep,
And actively pursue the peace, seek to preserve and keep.

In doing so, we emulate the fragile precious art
Of weaving harmony that lasts, a pearl of God’s own heart,
Like him, let all our yearning for such deep ‘shalom’ not cease,
Until, as oceans cover earth, our world is filled with peace.