Monday, 3 July 2017

Where now? by Clare Weiner aka Mari Howard

Yes, we are looking through the gate, into a beautiful garden! Some of us will recognise this - it's the new gate into the Walled Garden at Scargill ...

We've just returned from another wonderful ACW Weekend with Adrian and Bridget, plus Andy Knowles (who I've never met before, but is a seasoned Christian Writer among other things). It was amazing! Everyone is longing to be back! We're all missing each other already! Scargill is truly magical ... in every good way, and it;s a home from home that's better than home ...

Yeah. It is.

And this year ...we travelled North two days after the dreadful fire in the Grenfell Tower ... and only weeks from the Manchester and London atrocities ... and then, this writing challenge was offered: one of the subjects was The Elephant in the Room ... The place, the people, the atmosphere, was perfect, even 'heavenly' ... we were all so privileged ... do we realise this often enough? And that it's even a privilege to know Jesus Christ and to be confident to pray ...

And a poem took over from the thought that I might write about the elephant which is now 'being different' especially in ways that you can't hide - like disability, and, especially, 'where you are from' (which, of course, you may not be ...). And I wrote this. Not beautiful. Not praiseful. Not perfect. But heartfelt.

And then, (because I forgot I had no copy anywhere else) I tore it up - but there is Sellotape to bind up wounds in torn up paper - so here it is:

Scargill, summer 2017    

Yes - I am sorry for Theresa May,
A woman unused to poverty
Of education, plenty, and protection…
Thrown to the lions of desperation,
And howling wolves of Why? and of Betrayal!
To be the face of those whose rule is hard…
Hard as Pilate, requested by the respectable party
And urged on by a mob…

The elephant in the room has trampled all over everything -
And left her standing - the men have run away…

Now in the quiet after the flames of horror and thick darkness,
Now after the slashing of knives, and the blowing apart,
Now what price admiration for those who pick up pieces,
Who strive to mend, console, and care,
Destruction carved forever through their eyes, into very souls ?

Now in this peace of green and ​hills and sky,
About to write about our daughter’s Chinese eyes and harmony of races,
A poem comes running, blowing on the wind,
Asking to be given voice and substance -
And God incarnate asks again
Feed, feed my sheep -
Dives, remember Lazarus,
Forgetting 'how it’s done’, rewrite love,
Let faith, grace, humility become
Incarnate once again,
And in ingenious ways.

So, who goes into the garden, how, and whose garden is it? Is life like a garden? Do these themes connect? I believe they do ... 

'Thy Kingdom Come ...' - Scargill is a foretaste of something far too many people hardly know about ...

Clare Weiner writes fiction under her 'pen name' (or rather middle names!) of Mari Howard, with themes from the complexity  of contemporary life, and of listening to each other even when we don't agree. So far she has chosen to be an Indie Author in order to have the freedom to include a close look at Christianity while aiming for  a mainstream readership.

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