Poetry by John Kirkwood 2000 To Main Page

Love ... Faith ... Early Work ... The Environment ... Odds & Ends


Goodby cruel world,
You world of woe
Whose sadness drowned a universe of hope
In a salty sea of tears.
Whose deaf and senseless ears
Have heard a thousand times
Those words of resignation sighed
By lips resigned to death.
Hark, the dawn illuminates
A different light on those familiar words.
Listen now, cruel world.
It is not I who leaves, but you.
Goodby cruel world,
Of monetary madness
Designed to slyly
Masquerade as a medium of hope.
Of lender's lies and leans
To bleed to death the poor.
A digital disaster.
A monumental morass
Of military mummery
And murderous desire.
Goodby cruel world.
I watch you go, not meekly
But with every tooth and claw
Crimson with the bloody butchery
Of warfare fought, father fighting son.
Lives laid low to fuel the fires
Of consummate destruction.
Dead dismembered corpses crumbling in a wind
Blown clean from far celestial shores.
Hurried on by prophecy of better times to come.
Goodby cruel world.
I'll miss you not at all.
Six thousand years of bitterness
Are yielding to dawn.
Peace to you my friend, and love .
Put your hand in His
And walk with joy,
Into a bright new world.

J Kirkwood 1998

Jehovah and the Precipice

"Come with me my child,
To walk this glade that I have made;
To stay with me a while in this wide garden
Created just for you.
Take these trees, I molded them
To just the shape and hue that pleases me,
And look, the yonder cliff that drops so steeply
Into the dark abyss. I made it too.
Now come with me, my child,
To feel the thrill I put in you. . .
We'll steep our senses in the beauty I have made.
The two of us will walk the brink
In awe of such a splendor rare.
What? You did not note the crumbling stone
where I had made it so?
You fell and now are lying injured far below?
You foolish wicked child.
Though I made the wind to blow
That set your balance off,
The fault is yours. And such a painful sin.
I stand aloof from such a judgment flaw
And set the punishment for you."
My friend and fellow traveler on this earth,
Is this the GOD you see?
Is this the love that set the starry firmament alight?
Is this the GOD that created every mote
From fragmentary atoms to the universe?
Who pondered it and said that it was good?
The GOD who sheds a tear when sparrows fall
And notes the hairs upon your head when one is lost?
I see a different heart;
Compassionate with all that it creates.
A GOD of love so touched by our infirmities,
So pained by all that cuts or harms his handiwork,
That, in knowing all, He set His forces working to our good
And created all to nurture and sustain.
So when we walk with GOD in gardens fair
Or creep, of need, along the precipice,
We place our hand in His, and He,
In tears that danger comes to us,
Prepares the path for each of us to pass.
Perchance we see the crumbling stone
And say to GOD "I see none else to tread"
Perhaps the foothold with a fracture fails
And we to depths, despair and damage do descend.
We feel a healing hand to lean upon.
We find a heart compassionate and warm
That wills us to be well and whole.
A heart that willingly declares
"I am the cause of footsteps gone awry."
"That higher path, from which you fell, led on to doom.
This lower way, though dark and painful it may be,
Is strewn with gems and gold of wisdom gained.
Look there, they gleam and glow with every step.
You are my precious and my joy.
I made you, formed you with my hands and intellect.
Every hurt you feel is magnified in me,
For I, your GOD, created all that is."
Lift up your eyes, my fellow traveler,
And see your GOD with tears for two.

When Heaven Frowns

There comes a time
In God's Creation
When Heaven frowns
On every nation.
Kings will groan
And countries crumble
Oceans leap
And mountains rumble;
The neighbor's rebellion
The people's resistance
Completely erased
Smeared from existence.
But -- Quiet, wait.
A voice doth say:
Peace. Be still.
Come my way.
Oh joyous moment!
All heaven sings!
And earth with tearful
Laughter rings.
Dry your tears
And go his way
Through the crisp, clear morning
To the glorious day.

Who am I to say or think
This way I plot is best?
To set it out and follow it
Apart from all the rest.
Who Am I to aim my life.
To plot each dash and turn,
To say that I have found today
A better way to learn.
Why say I to learned men
"Thanks, I'll take it now."?
Then take the wheel and steer the ship
With troubled eyes and brow.
I can't answer things like these,
But criics are agreed
I'll wander off the earth's own rim
If them I do not heed.

I stand alone,
A crowd around me,
But I am alone.
Who can fathom
What the Lord has given me to muse?
Where is one who contemplates
The thoughts I know?
It's lonely here,
As some lost planet
Black and gaunt against the winkless night.
I look from face to foreign face and ask;
Where is one who comprehends
Or understands what circumstance
Can thrill my inner soul?
Is this one ?
Perhaps he shares my thoughts
And seeks the real meaning of
The universe.
Ah, you -- you there!
What say you
Of the power of the pleiades ?
How do the masters fare a
Century hence?
A blank and doleful countenance retreats
Hopeful he may meet a body less bizarre.
My hand and heart
Reach out for some returning touch.
My mind and soul search for a love,
Search for a power to communicate,
Search for a heart
To beat as one with mine.
Thus a lonely heart beats faster
With a dream of thoughts to come
And a lonely mind
Pursues eternity.


Our King

In the temples of the darkness
Hear the word and heed the call.
We can sing and march together.
There is freedom for us all.
He is resolutely stamping
Out the kingdoms large and small.
Our King is marching on.
By the fires in the mountains
You can see the marchers come.
There are tiny babes and children
But old crutches are for some.
You may sing the joyful marches,
You may choose to only hum.
Our light is shining on.
When we reach the journey's finish
We will see our Lord returned.
We will reap the blessed bounty
That the meek of earth have earned.
We will see the land and people
Of the word that we have learned.
Our march is pressing on.


How to be a Christian
Amidst a throng and crowd?
How to be most certain
But certainly not proud?
How to be as gentle
As any soft caress
In telling mighty words of truth
To others in distress?
How to tell my brother
I have a little light.
And yet be very humble
In knowing I am right.
How to answer questions
Such as those above
Comes each day, if I have faith,
From God's unending love.

Ship of life


Oh wonder vessel,
Ship of life,
Master of the sea.
Made from dusty
For eternity.
Fill your sails
With cool winds
That are the breath of life.
Breathe the stormy
That stem from human strife.
Learn from each
Intended good
That sank with toll of bell.
Learn that dark and
Crushing storms
May teach a lesson well.
Taste the tears
And bitter grief
The salty blood of man.
Drink! The cup of
Dregs is yours.
Eke from it what you can.
Hear its cries,
Oh vessel bold,
Listen to the sea
Whisper plans
Of paradise
Held in sanctity.
See the dawn
of happiness
beyond your wildest dream.
There is no mind
no heart, no soul
His love cannot redeem.
Yes, and softly pray.
Oh stately one,
Master of the sea.
Pray that God
May plot your course
For eternity.