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David Mitchell

After Aquinas

Evil is an absence:
The absence of good.
One cannot say that good is the absence of evil,
Any more than that light is the absence of darkness.
For darkness is the absence of light
And is utterly subsumed by it
As evil is by good.

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Light or Dark

Light is hard to find
Light is always on my mind

Light is something I cant talk to
Light is something I cant go to

Now dark is my best friend
Dark is now my comfort

Dark has made me who I am
Dark has made me its slave

Now that the light is gone dark is my master

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The poet, walking over hill

The poet, walking over hill,
Beside fastflowing streams,
Finds that his soul is lifted up
To form poetic dreams,

And, reading nature's epic book,
Whose rivers are its reams,
He finds that she with beauteous things
And inspiration teems.

(Branton, Thursday,6th April,2006.)

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In Defensione Sui

When a poet writes the words
floating in a sea of hopelessness and despair
he does not mean
that he goes around
with a big black raincloud over his head
he intends to convey
to his readers if he has any
and to himself if he has not
that we all despair at times
but does not intend them to think
that he is in a permanent state
of desiring to kill himself
and waiting for death to come
he does mean
that when the poem came to him
he was in a room with a large number of people in it
which he found conducive to poetic thoughts
and he could not hear what people were saying
because of the noise
but he did not immediately write it down

[...] Read more

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To the Mother of God

O Mary, deign to look on me with pity,
A weak and troubled sinner gone astray,
Help me to reach your Son's celestial city
Where His Light shines in endless tireless day.

Pray for me, Tower of Ivory,
Pray for me, House of Gold,
Pray for me, Cause of All Our Joy,
And lead me to joys untold.

I see you, Mary, with your Infant Son,
The God whom all my sins have crucified;
I shudder at the evil I have done,
And know that there is nowhere I can hide.

Pray to your Son for me, Morning Star,
Pray for me, Mystic Rose,
Pray for me, though I have wandered far
From the grace your Son bestows.

[...] Read more

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I write these lines upon a sheet of paper

I write these lines upon a sheet of paper
That someone made from what was once a forest
Without much thought (as I suspect) for nature:
Does this not fill my heart with guilty sorrow?
Or is its lifeblood more akin to water
That runs in rivers under cloud and sunshine?

Why am I so affected by the sunshine?
All that I do - whether I read the paper,
Or, being thirsty, drink a glass of water,
Or walk amid the tall trees of the forest,
If there's no sun, my mind is fill'd with sorrow,
And if it shines, gladness is in my nature.

But gladness is not always in the nature
Of all terrestrial things, whether the sunshine
Dispels from my own mind some part of sorrow
For many men and creatures, as the paper
I read informs me, live within a forest
Of woe, and some have not a dropp of water.

[...] Read more

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