Friday, February 19, 2010

Anglican Poetry Contest - Second Place Winner

The Second Place winner of Anglican Beach Party's 2009 Anglican Poetry Contest is Virginia Crosswhite Hyde. Two of her poems appear below.


Behold the girl madonna-yet-to-be,
Not Raphaelite, no halo on her hair,
No willing curve of arms that wait to bear
The unknown child who comes relentlessly.
No, rather, she is angry with the life
She shares with the fierce alien within,
The maggot in her flesh that would have been
Her own loved image--if she were a wife.

How pensively she stands, how pale and young:
She does not rave, she does not even cry.
Her brain thuds heavily, "To die! To die!"
Yet even her child will not arrive unsung.
Some hour her love will throb like blood to greet
The unknown atom pulsing in the womb
And, as her flesh cocoons him from dark doom,
Her heartbeat will be music, sad and sweet.

And this will be her child's first lullaby,
Far sweeter than the rest she may construe:
"There's no one else who can take care of you,
Not even your own ego, only I."
She will stand like a candle, and her soul
Will shed a warm, protective aureole.
"No other one, no other one, no other.
Just I myself can live to be your mother."


At dusk He came upon the slope
Above green-tiered Jerusalem;
He came in grief of flagging hope
        For beautiful Jerusalem.
Men would die on of death within
When He had offered life to them;
With stern, pure eyes He saw the sin
       Of green, white-walled Jerusalem.

Her whitest stones would not remain
       In future, sacked Jerusalem;
Travailing girls would die in vain,
And driven men would die in war,
And they would give their lives in vain,
Both he who killed and she who bore.
       "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Jerusalem!"

Eternal angels whispered peace
       Unto the Son of God,
But oh, the eyes of Son of Man
Were turned away from them
To green and white (where lights increase)

Where men would live in tragic pain
And men would die in tragic pain--
Ah, His great tenderness for them,
       For women and for men.
Their sorrows had no number;
His sorrows had no number.
       "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Jerusalem!"