Poetry of the margins

An unknown land

I am being driven forward

Into an unknown land.

The pass grows steeper,

The air colder and sharper.

A wind from my unknown goal

Stirs the strings

Of expectation.

Still the question:

Shall I ever get there?

There where life resounds,

A clear pure note

In the silence.

(Dag Hammarskjöld: Markings)

Tired and Lonely


And lonely,

So tired

The heart aches.

Meltwater trickles

Down the rocks,

The fingers are numb,

The knees tremble.

It is now,

Now, that you must not give in.

On the path of the others

Are resting places,

Places in the sun

Where they can meet.

But this

Is your path

And it is now,

Now, that you must not fail.


If you can,


But do not complain.

The way chose you —

And you must be thankful.

(Dag Hammarskjold: Markings)

All that is gold does not glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

(J.R.R.Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings)

Prayer of Abandonment


I abandon myself into your hands;

do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you

with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord,

and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands,

without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father.

(Charles de Foucauld)

Room in the Inn

Into this world, this demented Inn,

in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,

Christ comes uninvited.

But because he cannot be at home in it,

because he is out of place in it,

and yet he must be in it,

his place is with the others for whom

there is no room.

His place is with those who do not belong,

who are rejected by power, because

they are regarded as weak;

those who are discredited,

who are denied the status of persons;

Who are tortured, bombed and exterminated.

With those for whom there is no room

Christ is present in this world.

He is mysteriously present in all those

for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst.

It is in these that He hides himself,

for whom there is no room.

(Thomas Merton)

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost:)

In me there is darkness

In me there is darkness,

But with You there is light;

I am lonely, but You do not leave me;

I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;

I am restless, but with You there is peace.

In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience;

I do not understand Your ways,

But You know the way for me.

Lord Jesus Christ,

You were poor

And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.

You know all people’s troubles;

You abide with me

When everyone fails me;

You remember and seek me;

It is Your will that I should know You

And turn to You.

Lord, I hear Your call and follow;

Help me.

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Letters and Papers from Prison)

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.