‘Genesis’ by Joe Sheerin

Make more cats said Mrs God
Not toads rats spiders snakes.
Make more swans not vultures
Hawks buzzards eagles kites
But come in for your tea first.

At the bottom of Eden in a potting shed
He quickly kneaded a clay cat and swan
Blew on them and shut the door tight.

They ate ambrosia and honey from gold
Plates. Afterwards he helped with the washing up.

Finding a white neck speckled with blood
And a cat badly winged and given up
For dead she asked, is this your idea of a joke?

He went quiet and distant
The way gods do and wondered if they
Would ever make a go of it, she
Being such a perfectionist.


4th March 2020

I kind of like this poem because it talks of the imperfection of creation. God created free will, and free will does not always manifest itself in a good way. He gave volition to individuals from the humblest of beings to the species considered to occupy the top slot, humanity. Mrs God asks God to make more gentle, beautiful creatures.  We would all like to deal with gentle, beautiful creatures of our own kind but the reality is that we are often disappointed and get hurt.

God in his wisdom gave us the wit, the free will, to adapt and fall in with the mystery of life as best we can. This can manifest in many ways, one being tribal protectionism which often serves to stand in the way of good relations. Keeping God in our sight can be a trusted staff when needed as in the advice in Psalm 16:8:

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

In the case of the cat and the swan, out of the sight of God they turn upon each other, doing themselves mortal harm. When we lose sight of God, his spiritual wisdom, we too can turn upon each other. The harm we do is not always mortal, but it can cut like a knife to our very soul. Looking to the Lord in our daily lives helps us deal better with our fellow humans.

Looking to God in Lent, and throughout our daily lives, keeping God on our side, is a way to strengthen our responses when challenged, to respond in more positive ways that do not lead to conflict. Perfection may not be achieved but resolution may mean we can all sit down and have ambrosia and honey for tea.

David Risley


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