The Gravel Path

The stairways and chambers of life
go up and down in and out and all around the gravel path that is our life.
No two moments the same nor a recreation of the burning flame
that lights a heart in dark of night with joy or sorrow or fear that the ‘morrow’ might come again the same or different with ease or blaze
in a solemn gaze; lost amid the maze of confusion that trolls our mind.

What do we find at the end? A closed door locked or unlocked like some
nightmare in a pointless sleep pointless to have awakened and recalled.

The gravel path uniformed and neat like those
we meet in bars or street, sour or sweet, passive or fool,
pessimist or tool; like a ship from a fleet that sank in the deep
amid cries from the deck in a sea of black like playing cards the heart will lose and the soul of its crew still play the game but what of the price
to drop the dice and swim with no shore in sight; the game’s only won by doing
what’s right!

Yesterday on this gravel path I walked carrying a poster of a dead hunger striker from 1981; I stood on the middle of our Belfast road halting traffic to make them remember with his picture held to my heart; and now today with my prayer book in hand Chapel bound I go to read His word into the sound of silence. And, like the thief on the cross next to Him I ask the question: Do I sink or swim?

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