Where nothing is broken

Two related poems by Brenda Desborough

The Valley

Here, nothing is broken
The land is whole
Listen to the ancient rhythms
Of nature's round
Singing in stately harmony

Here, nothing is broken
The earth is clean
And life renews itself
In tree and flower

Here, nothing is broken
The gentle paths
Wind through undulating hills
And lazy streams
Gurgle happily

Here, nothing is broken
There are no shards
Of hurt or pain
Screaming to be fixed
Just the wind whispering

Here, nothing is broken
For this is a cathedral of trees
Roofed with branches
Carpeted with bluebells
The choir, birdsong

Here nothing is broken
Just a valley full of warmth and heart
A sacred place
Where humans come
To heal themselves

The Chapel

Here, nothing is broken
For this is not a mighty temple
Full of awe and fear
But God's humble home

Here, nothing is broken
It's a friendly space
Where strangers are welcomed
And the singing cheerful

Here, nothing is broken
No crumbling spires or ancient naves
No hallowed halls or hollow ceremony
Just a simple chapel, clean, well kept

Here, nothing is broken
For when things go wrong
Humour, skill and common sense
Solve problems in time for a cup of tea

Here, nothing is broken
For love runs through it all
Like letters in a stick of rock
Touching everyone

Here, nothing is broken
It's a human place
Where you can be yourself
And even God wears carpet slippers



Brenda explains the inspiration behind these two poems

"I belong to an informal poetry group and in early May we were invited to take part in a silent poetry walk along a deep valley of ancient landscape in the Ashdown Forest. It was a place of natural beauty, virtually untouched for centuries, and in private ownership. I believe the land registry classifies it as "unimproved land". The first poem was written on that walk.

"The second simply appeared in my mind a couple of weeks later, during a service in Pett Chapel when Lynda Johnson, the visiting preacher, made a comment that Pett Chapel was so relaxed and easy going she felt she should be wearing carpet slippers! Strange as it might seem, I found myself linking these two quite different locations together and asked myself what it might be that they both had in common. For me it was a feeling of peaceful, unbroken continuity. I hope the poems reflect this."

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