Crossing places

Rope bridge
Image by ahisgett via Flickr

Back from retreat. Reflecting still on the ramifications of chaos theory, entropy of closed systems, and the ‘strange attractor‘ in evolutionary transition. So much sync with the Christian story! Ably led by Margaret Silf.

Here’s something I wrote on “crossing places”

My rope bridge came to mind even before it was mentioned
I hate even thinking about it
yet consider it I must for it has come to the rescue many a time before today.
As a child I played with rope
trying it this way and that
little realising that I was learning its swing, its knots,
and breaking suppleness into the stiffness of newness.
In the headiness of youth I one day swung it wide
and some divine being caught the end and tied it.
I crossed many gorges and rivers, taking companions with me.
Then there was the night someone in panic threatened to bomb my bridge.
“Career” he called it.
I said he could do what he liked with my career,
but only God could remove my rope, my vocation.
Another from unconfronted pain
set white ants loose on the wooden trestles.
Others sought to shore up the timbers
even when I pointed to the rope.
The timbers failed
but my rope was in place
and we all made it to the other side
where new beginnings beckoned.
The rope is always there – in my rucksack
– right now way down underneath the other things.
I have to unpack everything before pulling it out, neatly coiled
ready to be stretched out, tied to something,
and the loose end thrown across to – what?
I have to trust again that some angel on the hidden side will hold it,
and catch me as I practice my clumsy aerial acrobatics.
God I hate heights!
But with the resources of wit and wisdom honed by previous use
I swing like Charlotte on her web
not knowing where the rope is attached
for it disappears into the mist.
I simply trust that the angel is not a demon
that the destination heralds a new beginning
and not a final ending.



Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

6 thoughts on “Crossing places

  1. I see so little poetry in an average year that I forget how powerful a medium it is. Tendrils of meaning which I can’t quite grasp with both hands, but don’t need to; an excuse to use meaningful language often left out of sentences to avoid sounding pompous; words building an image and drawing me in. I’m going to stop before this starts to look like poetry!

    Thanks again for sharing, Dennis. It’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Greg, my reply several days ago seems to have disappeared into the ether. So a belated acknowledgement of your kind comments. Yes, economy of time truncates communication. Yet to see a poem in SMS 🙂


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