St John's The United Reformed Church in Northwood

Thoughts for these days

Click to below to view/download a reflection from the Manse:

Reflection - March 2021

Click to below to view/download a letter from the Manse:

When idols fall from their plinths - June 2020

This poem comes as a prayer.

LATE MARCH - Richard Schiffman

Again the trees remembered

to make leaves.

In the forest of their recollection

many birds returned singing.

They sang, they sang

because they forgave themselves

the winter, and all that remained still bitter.

Yet it was early spring,

when the days were touch and go,

and a late snow could nip a shoot,

or freeze a fledgling in its nest.

And where would we be then?

But that’s not the point.

Do you think the magpie doesn’t know

that its chicks are at risk,

or the peach trees, their too-frail blossoms,

the new-awakened bees, all that is incipient within us?

We know, but we can’t help ourselves

any more than they can,

any more than the earth can

stop hurtling through the night of its own absence.

Must be something in the sap,

the blood, a force like gravity,

a trick called memory.

You name it. Or leave it nameless

that’s better—

how something returns

and keeps on returning

through a gap,

through a dimensional gate,

through a tear in the veil.

And there it is again.

Another spring.

To woo loss into song.