Lent Ukraine Poem

Lent is with us now, but something else distracts and occupies
Our hearts and minds, another land, where trauma bites, a small child cries
An aerial bombardment, and sharp explosions fill the night
A people underground, too scared to brave the grey of morning light
While supermarket shelves see vital foodstuffs dwindle, fade away
And desperate people seek enough to make it through another day
A place of churches, homes and farms and factories, I little knew
Its history till now, a place the world’s concern is pointed to
A land of plains and golden spires and crosses carries now the scar
Of brutal conflict, while a world looks on in horror from afar,
But now the Lenten season makes me stop and wait and slow and pause
And think, is any simmering conflict down to me, am I the cause?
It urges me to strip back, change tack, take my cross, the desert way
Examine what is flawed or wrong in what I think and do and say
And take a cue from those whose faith sustains them in their hour of need
And let it be for me a flame of hope, of courage fresh, a seed.

For BBC local stations & Premier Christian Radio

Lent longings

What I wonder, here’s the question, will we find in that word ‘Lent’
Is it old and worn and tattered now, and is its meaning spent?
What I wonder can we plunder from this practice, ancient, strange
Is there still treasure in age of leisure, are its riches out of range?
Give up chocolate, fags, the booze, we harbour notions slightly quaint
Do it at all? We’re free to choose, but it still has a pull, though faint
In our times, these troubled climes, perhaps a chance to heed the call
Because it’s not just old, gone cold, but it’s fierce, demands our all…
Nowadays you might think “Oh, ok, I’ll give up something sweet”
Where brave souls once encountered thirst, and worse, like desert heat
Either way the call of Lent still beckons, reckons with each heart
Asking, will I make space, for grace, face my fears, take part
Maybe in that place I’ll find something wondrous waits for me
A sight, a sound, and cords unbound, fresh living, wild and free.

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