{Tue 13 February 2007}   Psalm 42 Revisited
Psalm 42 Revisited

“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.”

My soul writhes
over dust-dry land,
sucking promises
from air long dead;
with longing,

My thirst bursts
through aching earth,

Desolation wilts
as desire swirls
into nostrils
and ears,
sweeps me aside
into eddies of abandon,
plucks me back
into the choking

Dormant soil burns
my groping skin,
through claws that gasp
for your eluding

I am drowning
in the lack of you.
Your great
engulfs me,
twists my grasping tongue
till blood flows;
I swallow
my own life-stream
which mirages yours,
O image-maker of whom no image can satisfy.

The above poem responds to: Psalm 42

hi Tia. i finally got round to reading this offering, as promised, and found much i relate to.

how many of us were seeking G-d out in the mountains and the wild places of south africa and beyond during the ’80’s? i was one of them and i suspect you were too. i still carry a sense of having been let down, of G-d playing games of hide and seek, but with no resolution.

i’ve looked at buddhism & a number of other philosophers & figures but always get drawn back to the figure of Christ – not the poster boy of fundamentalist, patriarchal christianity, but rather the figure that eludes and yet ghosts the scriptures.

st francis once said: “what you are looking for is what is looking”. i sense a great truth – some would say heresy – in that. francis was in tune with nature and the feminine and yet lived within orthodoxy. i’m not sure i could live with that kind of tension.

does G-d look back but we see Him/Her not?

i don’t know.

thanks for your words.

Tia says:

hi Ruzl and thanks for taking the time to look at this poem and to respond to it.

I share your attraction to the “figure of Christ”, but I do see it as a “figure”, an inspiring metaphor of the kind of transformation that we each need to go through in order to express the best of ourselves. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in the existence of an exceptional person 2000 years ago, or in the value of his teaching, his ministry and his example.

Re living with the tension – our realities in the West, at present, are rather different from Francis’ context. He probably had no choice but to live within orthodoxy, for many reasons that wouldn’t apply now.

does G-d look at all, would be my question!

[…] resolves in faith was read by Liz and then challenged by a response poem from Tia Azulay, ‘Psalm 42 Revisited‘, which evokes a sense of longing, thirst and […]

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