The Word's Out
I listen for Your word
and hear nothing
In the quiet of my room
the only noise
is the thump of my own heart
and angry voices arguing in my head
You can’t say I don’t give you a chance.
Sometimes I may say nothing
for as long as five minutes.
Your silence is still deafening.
But then I open a book
and out tumbles Your voice.
And when I try to shut that up
I find You can get a word in anywhere.
I hear You on the Ten O’Clock News
saying “What have you done
With the world I gave you?”
I hear You in the tabloids
saying “Whoever is without sin cast the first stone.”
With the first burst of spring flowers You say “Look – no hands!”
With the most extraordinary sunset You say “Look, just relax.”
The shrunken face of hunger
is You saying “Feed me”.
The beggar on the street
is You saying “House me”.
The dreaded diagnosis
is You saying “Heal me”.
The valium prescription
is You saying “Free me”.
The redundancy notice
is You saying “Value me”.
The scream of the torture victim
is You saying “Father, forgive”.
The priest staring down
the barrel of a gun
is You saying “Love casts out all fear”.
When I am late and hurrying
You are the face on the clock
saying “I am the beginning and the end”.
When I am greedy
You are the face on the banknote
saying “Treasure is in heaven”.
When I am proud
You drop banana-skins in front of me
saying “Don’t look down”.
When I am lonely
You are the stillness of the house
saying “I am with you, always”.
And when I am grieving
You are the voice at the graveside
saying “I am the resurrection and the Life”.
I listen for your word
and hear nothing.
You make so much noise
I can hardly hear anything else.
Reproduced from ‘Welcome to the Real World’ by Godfrey Rust
Photo from Flickr by Shreyans Bhansali