The Word

Portrait of Saint Augustine of Hippo receiving the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Philippe de Champaigne, 17th century
I look to you.
I look to you.
I look to you.

My words rise and fall,
pressured by weights too heavy.

When words fail
I look to you.
Let your word carry what I can't.

Your word pierces soul and spirit,
judging thoughts of the heart.
My words rise and fall.
Let your word carry what I can't.

Your word is alive and active,
turning darkness to light.
Your word is alive and active,
creating things not yet seen.

Wandering Heart

Conversion of Saint Augustine, Fra Angelico, 1430
O wandering heart of mine,
I trace your tracks up this hill
but I do not see where you go.
Day and night you wander,
paying little heed to burnout.
Across all entrances and exits
you dash simultaneously,
drifting unreservedly.
I trace your movements 
but only find traces 
of questions you leave behind.
I cannot understand your tracks,
they are unimaginably complex.
I cannot number your steers,
they are infinite in number.
You disperse in prideful splendour
to flounder in collective shatter.
Your pride-filled ways mislead,
moving but going nowhere precise.
Your words are multi-minded,
yet you push to enforce your will.
You wail with outbursts of desire,
yet, en route your solo dash, 
you desire nothing ultimately meaningful.

Eternal New Day

Eternity in our Hearts, by Charis Psallo
To turn my hurt to life.
I sit and contemplate.
Could it be, a reason for every hurt,
every mixed conflict,
moment of pain,
sorrow and disillusionment,
is eternal glory?
Eternal glory that outweighs hurt
and transforms to life?

I pause and contemplate.
I try to fix my eyes on what is eternal 
but struggle.

Lord, 
be a banner over me
and take me to the place you want me.
Like a leaf that falls and dillydallies mid-air,
I too dream to land on gentle waters, 
that purify the soul
and unravel a renewed horizon 
of hope onto a new day.

On ‘Coincedence’

Still of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994). Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Why did this happen?
This happens, that happened.
I don't understand why that happened.
I would be fooling myself,
speaking out of utter arrogance 
if I claimed to understand why it did.
If my choice was mildly out of place,
I would be in a different place now.
A different place may produce a different outcome,
a different outcome may produce a different life.
What if I made a different choice?
In my pursuit of truth, I stumble upon 
a realisation of human finitude.
I don't get to make all choices 
so I don't get to see all things.
I don't get to see all things
so I don't get to know all things.
I feel humbled as I return where I started.
I'll no longer ask why it happened,
I'll simply acknowledge that it did.

On Desire

Sandro Botticelli: fresco of St. Augustine
St. Augustine, fresco by Sandro Botticelli, 1480; in the Church of Ognissanti, Florence.
PicturesNow/UIG/age fotostock
I wonder what it is about desire
that swivels within layers of layers.
I unfold and unfold but I find more layers.
I contemplate upon these layers 
but I find unfolding questions.
Were I to put into words what I see,
I would remain stuck in a standstill.
Yet desire ravages on the inside,
yearning to be expressed.
I lay me down in silence 
and stillness of thought.
I hold onto what I do not see.
I say to myself,
I will wait for you.

The ‘what if’ factor

Powerful moment in history, is now. 
The 'what if' factor is the lifesaver
I wish to write on,
in a humble attempt to express
its power and influence 
in everyday affairs.

Powerful moment in history, is now,
as I step out to interact with those
I attempt to avoid but cannot do without.
What if, I was wrong to avoid them in the first place? 
I now contemplate as I am shown
something too magnificent to express in words,
by those I attempted to avoid.

By Emmanuel Johnson

The nature of days

These days,
I see things take a turn here
and another there.
The straight path which once was 
creates ever-forming interlinks
I now try to make sense of.
I am conflicted.
My observation of its nature keeps me 
perplexed, as I see same and others 
hide beneath the same mask.
In the final analysis,
I realise a dedication
to get to the root of this,
and prevailing situations,
which obstruct my search,
as I continually seek meaning.

By Emmanuel Johnson

The path of the just

Faithful and trustworthy saying, 
resounded in me,
speeding past the tunnels of time 
to find me right where I am. 
Faithful and trustworthy saying, 
ingrained in me,
with all majestic hope and expectation 
from the ones who love me dearly, 
with all their heart and might,
that one day, maybe
just maybe,
it shall turn out
to be my saving grace.
How faithful,
how trustworthy,
is the path of the shining light, 
ever true,
that shines brighter and brighter, 
unto the perfect day.
Abide by it, my child.

By Emmanuel Johnson

Colours

The blend is right,
caught midway through emotions. 
Lay hold of the flash
in all its beauty and radiance.
Its textures so soothing,
feeling so warming.
A beauty to behold,
a comforter in despair.
And now, the rhythm is right,
the passage is clear.
All of God's children shall
vibe in harmony.

By Emmanuel Johnson

Letter to I Am

Father of the heavenly lights,
I begin sincerely on a note of piety;
expressing my gratitude for these
situations and beings I find myself
surrounded by everyday.
I realise the soothing embrace of your grace upon my face 
everyday, and as I let your light soak in me, I acknowledge your 
tender loving-kindness on the inside and out.
Purify my heart as I yonder on, these uncertain days, upholding 
the very hope you have planted in my soul.
I ask that you abide with me, and grant me
the grace to live as you have instructed.
So help me, giver of all things good.
Amen.

By Emmanuel Johnson