20 november 2013

#183. Heretics…

All congregate;
all murmur an Amen
to the prayers. The preacher
deviates within narrowing
parameters. They were born
in sight of the one church;
they have to lie in its shadow.
Man has to believe
something. May as well invest
in this creed as in that.
Parthenogenesis ! the door was flung
open to proliferation:
Nicaea, Chalcedon. The divine
blood dried in the libraries;
but the pages formicated
with the contradictory words.
The preacher scales unbelievable
heights by the bones of the martyrs.
What would his listeners
die for? Are they selective
like me, knowing that among
a myriad disciplines each one
has its orthodoxy from which
the words flow? Alas, we are heretics
all, and the one we subscribe to
is not love any more than the kingdom
for the sake of which we
are fools in the kingdom of heaven.

R.S. Thomas

  • Thomas, R.S., 2004: Collected Later Poems 1988–2000. Trowbridge: Bloodaxe Books. S. 233. (Ur No Truce With the Furies, 1995)

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