The Sermon on the Plain – a poem

A poem by Graham Norman. For more environmentally themed poetry, all contributed by members of the Green Christian community, see the dedicated arts section of the website. Visual arts are also represented, and the image above is taken from a piece titled ‘climate crisis: ice and sun’, by George Dow.

for Greta Thunberg

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
It is there. Outside the window, down that path to the woods
where the dragonfly darts in the damp glade. It is yours.


Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Content with locusts and wild honey, fresh water and bread
fear, emptiness gone, you are salted with love.

Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh
with the future’s children as they play in the sunlight,
your sorrow a cloud, a passing shadow.


Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
Because you are cause and consequence of sin,
Woman and Man cast out from the Garden.
Yet you will rejoice, you will leap for joy,
dance jigs in the kingdom of heaven.

But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort,
which was no more than short life on this planet
and possessions you cannot take with you.


Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry
and search for locusts and honey, saliva and dry bread
Salted by fear – and you shall have only our love.


Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep
for the past you have lost, as if from dementia,
for a future of demons. Let us pray for your souls
.

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
For prophecy is simple. It is speaking the truth
hid from our hearts, uncovered by children.

by Graham Norman

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