This is my “antidote” to a poem by R. D. Laing that I once loved very much, because it spoke of my own loss and longing. In Laing’s original he spoke of “ashes and lemon peel”: all that remains of fire and bitterness. In my version, these become fire and a cherry tree.
I wrote it shortly after I “saw the light” and gave my life to God. It still rings true to me today.
My face is split in two.
Cracked eyes and dry white lips
Express my damp emotions,
As lonely beads of pain caress my shallow name –
Yet somewhere in my heart
A wonderous fire burns.
A joyful song,
Its hands so lovingly reach out
And touch our meaningless fear.
Its conforting smile so meaningfully gives
The redemption we sorely craved.
In my heard is a fire and a cherry tree.
Am I so far away?
I have lost myself in my God –
You cannot reach me there,
But when you love the Truth
As you love me…
You will live.