Jackie Tevlin, a Margaret Beaufort Institute student submitted this lovely poem after attending Sophia Study Day in November 2020 led by Dominic White OP. Thank you, Jackie!
Who is Sophia?
And where is she now?
i. Leaf green prancing playfully in the early Summer breeze
Sighs wistfully with a longing for today to be still
Be held by O! Creator God of the unseasonal falling
Let us revere Your Majesty in this sense of place
It is not Autumn’s season yet
It is not the turning of the page
And it is not time for us to die.
ii. A rose – cardinal red – greets me
On the view fully prayerful window ledge
And I sigh, in gratitude at the kindly thought
This is all-in-all for me.
Blush-pink petals unfurl revealing pure intent
Fragrance of blessed memories still to be
Onward into our, with words, cobalt now pictures
Sinking us into a tranquil inky pool
Of indigo-violet, viridian, revelation
iii Ochre egg-shaped like marble - St Ignatius’ noble dome
Hair cascading mane-like – out of control;
A forest fire of dry bracken
The colour of a meridian line transecting
Our country with incendiary flames
Of burnished gold
And interlinking O’s. The egg
A womb [rather than a tomb]
With a view – the new birth .
iv. Who is Sophia?
Why does she sleep-walk through our dreams
Lacing the aquamarine night
Bright - with lemon yellow sherbet,
Dabs of sparkling effervescent Angel-light.
Nurture me my Lady of Compassion
And the violet twilight eyes –
And I will return the compliment.
Complement my sight and seeking
And I will, I promise
You safely to a wooden oak
Front door –by Saint Michael’s holy
Sword, I will, I promise
So long as I pick up the gunmetal grey
Hefty iron key.
v. When was your rugged terracotta
Earth invaded so? Burnt umber man!
And by whom? Who was your enemy?
Gauls? Goths or Vandals or faceless Viking
Warriors in steel helmets still
Now at Sutton Hoo? In warship and deathship
Angry demanding deities
Without reprieve or loss of face.
vi. Who is Sophia?
Did the vines flourish along the chalk-white wall
And did the olive figs multiply?
Does it all now seem to be so much
Stale bread and sour vinegar wine?
Shall we grovel in the concrete dust
In the parched worn out colours
Of dry heat – shall we sweat and know the bitter taste
Of grim, dull, jet-black, defeat.
vii. Face to face with our Redeemer
God is the only way to have a conversation;
Eyeball to eyeball – if you dare to
Risk an unpredictable tomato red temper .
It is best not to annoy with insincerity
And flaccid thoughts and indifferent
Dingo dun-coloured deeds.
Promises are made
And kept in sweetheart lockets.
And Sophia looses down her
Pearl pins from her braided hair
And reaches out the joy of perpetual
And we kneel in the tears
Of resurrected joy
And kiss the feet of God.
Jacqueline M. Tevlin
St Beuno’s Retreat Centre
5th July 2012-07-06