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Poems to ponder

by Joanna Tulloch (unless otherwise attributed)

Hands is a booklet by Sister Joanna Moore and Joanna Tulloch with pictures of the Sister's beautiful Stations of the Cross, consisting of wood carvings of Jesus's and others' hands at the time of the Passion, with poems for each one by Joanna Tulloch. It is out of print at the moment, but you can view it as a pdf here.

Download 'Cries from the Crisis, Poems from the Covid-19 Pandemic'

More poems:

Launde Abbey

Sometimes I do wonder
what the world will become
if we keep flying down
the road to extinction.

Will the climate make
the earth uninhabitable
or will we all suddenly
realize that there isn't
enough food and water left
to go round?

Will the bees
and other pollinators
cease to be, or will we
choke to death in the
fumes from our vehicles?

All of this is possible
and might come to pass.
Or maybe we will
wake up to our own madness.

Perhaps at last we will work
together with God to forge
a new future, one of
truth, love, and peace.

Sometimes I do wonder.

Launde Abbey

What better sound
to fill the silence
than the whisper
of birdsong – starting
soft, a feather on the ear,
and swelling out
into a glorious chorus?

What better than to sit,
just to sit, and be lulled –
drowned in the rush
of this tuneful river?
Even returning to my room
there are birds all around,
and the sheep bring
a new sound, low and plaintive –
the calling of the mothers,
or high cries of the lambs
seeking comfort.
Truly the air is heavy
with the sounds of life.

Covid Remembrance

A year filled with the unfamiliar,
with masks and distancing,
self-isolation and loneliness;
but above all, for so many,
with death and bereavement.

A year ago I wondered
what we would tell our children
and our children's children
about this time of passion,
of suffering love playing itself out
on television and in crowded homes.
But children have experienced it all
for themselves – the loneliness
and anxiety have affected them
as much as anyone, perhaps more.

Yet it has also been a year of finding
new ways to love, new signs of hope.
We are more united than before
in realms of mystery and giving,
standing together though far apart.
Let us not forget that truth
when things go back to 'normal',
if indeed they do. Let us make
our new normal richer, fuller of
compassion, remembering the death
of the one who was lifted up
for our sakes, and from that height
of glory drew all people to himself.

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