Mine? – a poem by Mike Sherburn

Mine? – a reflection on the world around me

The world is not mine.
I did not call it into being,
or design its hillsides.
It was not me who decided that birds should fly
or that springtime lambs should gambol.
My voice did not spread the oceans
my fingers did not spread the rambling moorlands
make streams and rivers as fountains of life
or call glaciers to trace their paths through the mountains.
The world is not mine.

And so the people are not mine.
They owe me nothing,
they are not toy soldiers or tea-party dollies
Their follies are not my entertainments
It is not for them to fit my situations or create my solutions
My confusion is not their problem.
For I did not form them or shape them,
make them creative or surly, burly or effervescent.
They bring life to my life or not,
but the people are not mine.

My fear I feel, the seal of anxiety on the letter I write myself,
that fear is mine.
I am afraid. I have strayed from contentment. I am worried.
I am off my own map of regular living.
In these moments, I struggle to be forgiving.
My misgivings are on display. My dismay is broadcasting.
It takes an effort to offer thanksgiving – there is heaviness in my heart.
I know the strain on my spirit. I feel I am reaching my limit.
I have reached the end of my rope and I need another.
I rage at the world and cradle it, too…
The fear and frustrations of girls and boys whose futures feel frought
as exams are cancelled, their years to come feeling mishandled and scrambled.
My anger peaks at the selfishness and my heart bleeds for the fear
of those who are storing up more than their cupboards can clasp.
The lack of clear picture, the restrictions and vague lectures
leave us with blurry vision.

So where can I go?
To the one whose promise has never been of ease.
To the one whose compassion will never cease.
To the one who can no more be controlled on channeled than the breeze.
To the one who lived through hardship, exclusion, confusion and pain.
To the one who brings rain and sunshine on all.
He gets my call: my first shout and my last cry.
It’s him. It’s Jesus.

And he’d better listen. He had better hear me. Because he has promised.
And he will.
He is saviour, he is friend;
He is justice, he is comfort;
He is hope, he is promise.
And he is love.
He is mine.

(Mike Sherburn, Watchet, 20 March 2020)