Spirituality of Love #4 – ‘Love’ by Sebastian Moore

a snapshot of material presented at solace ‘tuesday stuff’ may-june 2012

see spirituality of love #1 (20 June) for more details

spirituality of love #4:  

happy love relationships negotiate the space between you and me with freedom and grace 

There is a line in this prayer that I kind of think is heresy, but all in all I think it is an extraordinary piece.  I’m afraid I have to give it a strong language and sexual references warning though – so don’t read on if you need your prayer tamed!

LOVE by Sebastian Moore

Christ! I’m ready now –
ready to get lost in the evangel of people’s bodies
accuracy of the flesh
kiss of truth
we cannot say what we are
we can only be to each other
touch each other with truth
and a miss is as good as a mile.

When I was a kid
that is yesterday
I kept myself within bounds
and sowed the dream out of bounds
the pleasure of the flesh without the bone
and thus was straddled between two childhoods
of the law and of the flesh
straddled, castrated, unmoving
unable to embrace
for the dreamed-of-lips were without truth
and truth without flesh
and I nowhere.

When suddenly is the new power
to bone the flesh from far-off galaxies
and quiver each to each
in the inerrant star-dance of people true to each other
and true to me who hardly know myself
the child who paddled in the still pools of the flesh
soft flesh soft light the still forbidden poison
as I laugh now at the forbidden nowhere.

O the wretched rag-bag of the unresolved
containing ‘I love you’ and ‘people are important’
and the absurd Law which filled the one with guilt and tried to bone the other
while the whole thing collapsed in a heap of shapeless me.
Now I am shaped to you and you
and we give each other the bloody obvious kiss
written in light years of the beginning.

Now we begin to love
and old God groans like a teacher who has laboured
from the beginning a lesson that was too obvious for the class
‘At last you’ve understood? You don’t say!
I gave you a law when the semen splashed off the vaginal wall into galaxies of direct speech
and you made the futile roundabout, the rules
in which it was impossible to say what you meant or what anything meant
and so I gave you my bloody obvious Christ
and still you kept your clothes on and went round and round
Him: honestly I was almost prepared to junk him and try again,
anything to get that one thing from you
to sing each other’s names
in the ribbed glory of my eternal making.’

‘I love you’ we said in the old world
and forgot the world, clinging to me and you,
but now the world invades
crushes the ancient sentence into a word
that is you me him
the universe has caught up with us and caught us up
into the word flesh crash –
Christ! how I love you.

In Sebastian Moore & Kevin Maguire, The Experience of Prayer (London; Darton, Longman &  Todd; 1969)

You may or may not have noticed that Sebastian Moore is a reddresstheology favourite.  Here’s some others of his poems:

wisdom

this, the call

if I could just be one, no longer two

in the body

and one of his theology monographs:

let this mind be in you


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