I can’t seem to get enough of Malcolm Guite these days. I discovered him because of a sermon I heard him preach. I then listened to many of his teachings and sermons, still not realizing what a gifted poet he was. While listening to a podcast of him being interviewed, I finally caught on to what I had been missing!
There are two poems I have reading again and again. I am sharing them here for a couple of reasons. First, I want to remember when and how I fell in love with this wordsmith. Second, I wonder if there are others that would enjoy discovering this talented man.
by Malcolm Guite
Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air,
Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood
And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.
Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time.
And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are.
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
by Malcolm Guite
Bystanders and bypassers turn away
And wipe his image from their memory
She keeps her station. She is here to stay
And stem the flow. She is the reliquary
Of his last look on her. The bloody sweat
And salt tears of his love are soaking through
The folds of her devotion and the wet
folds of her handkerchief, like the dew
Of morning, like a softening rain of grace.
Because she wiped the grime from off his skin,
And glimpsed the godhead in his human face
Whose hidden image we all bear within,
Through all our veils and shrouds of daily pain
The face of god is shining once again.
I just purchased his book, Waiting on the Word, for this Advent season. If you are also reading this book or would like to join me in reading this book this Advent, please let me know. I would love to have companions on this journey.
Ah – so very good. I hadn’t read the second one. I’ll have to copy both of them down. And yes…planning to read that book for Advent too!