Vicar of large things in a small parish

14 Apr 2022 | Church | 0 comments

I was vicar of large things in a small parish.

Small-minded I will not say;

there were depths in some of them I shrank back from,

wells that the word ‘God’ fell into and died away,

and for all I know is still falling.

Who goes for water to such must prepare for a long wait.

Their eyes looked at me and were the remains of flowers on an old grave.

I was there, I felt,

to blow on ashes that were too long cold.

Often, when I thought they were about to unbar me,

the draught out of their empty places came whistling,

so that I wrapped myself in the heavier clothing of my calling,

speaking of light and love

in the thickening shadows of their kitchens.


R.S. Thomas (1913-2000), The Echoes Return Slowly, 1988.

Notes from the Compiler


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