Our NEARER community met on Wednesday and we explored how poetry connects with prayer.
We were challenged to respond to different objects placed around the room.
The object that caught my attention was a Fish Cross. It is a cross that when viewed from the front looks perfectly ordinary, however when viewed from the side it looks like a fish.
This is a reference to the fact that the early Christians used the fish as a secret symbol of their faith. The word for fish in greek is ‘icthus’ and this can be used as an acronym – iesus, christos theos huios soter (Jesus, Christ, of God, the Son, Saviour).
As I thought about the fish I suddenly thought of flying fish and this led me into a reflection of how that can be seen as an image of Christians.
I wrote the following poem in response.
The Flying Fish
A fish that swims in company,
In playful relation,
Yet with purposeful intent,
Unlike its peers, is a citizen of two worlds,
Soaring now and then,
To its lower companions lost to sight,
Joining brother birds in glorious flight.
Then re-entering that heavy, liquid world
Warmed by the sun,
Invigorated by the air,
And dazzled by the light.
With a life above and below,
Ambassador between two worlds
That are strangers to each other.
So we who live below.
Immersed in torrent and tide,
Yet from time to time receive grace to know
Escape and soar in warmer, brighter climes,
Likewise must we return to share,
Our second life,
To strengthen, challenge, and implore,
Our low-bound companions,
That all might know and taste life on that more glorious plane,
The son to see, his warmth to share,
The joy to soar.
Stephen John MARCH, Feast of St. Winwaloc, 2017