As part of our Sunday Eucharist improvisation in our engagement cycle, we - yes, all of us! - wrote this sestina. Thanks Rachel for leading us in this. Each verse is about one engagement hero: William Wilberforce, St Francis, Jesus, Julian of Norwich, Florence Nightingale, Activists.
Bred from the upper class, a gravelled accent speaking. Against the throes of leaving the souls of nations passed. He changed a lifetime’s mourning to give a chance to the Earth.
He taught us to love the earth, to drink the wine and eat the bread. In this comes change. The mix of life, flower and gravel Held and transformed, skin and soul Love left to us, for us to leave.
He had the courage; his father, his mother, his old faith to leave. Like us, his body, his talk, part of the earth. The people he met he nurtured their soul, Until they broke his body like bread, Then laid it shattered like us in the gravel. So much suffering before, like him, we change.
In loving death-throes she sought to change, Her all-well spirit, hurled, lost in fallen leaves. With famished last-rites, she swallowed Christ’s hard gravel, Her body longing to return to the earth. Then wrapped in passion she saw her lover in the bread Healing all in flesh; the risen kindness in her soul.
As a young girl, she felt a shining in her soul, A call to be a healer, a call to bring change, Breaking the boundaries of man and woman, poor and well-bred. She had a comfortable home, but found the courage to leave. Woman once more co-helper on God’s Earth. A landslide began when she moved her piece of gravel.
They moved us from coils of confusion, to seeing hope in gravel, They taught us to look for wells of change within our souls. For the good of the Earth, for all the peoples of the Earth. From morals to ethics to action to change, From earth to root, to trunk, branch, leaves, From flour and yeast, kneading, warmth to bread.
The rough Earth turns with a gravelled groan. Crumbling crust of bread becomes a perfect soul, eternally changing to reveal fresh new leaves.