This is inspired by a mixture of recent mealtime conversations in our new home, a podcast about "God Our Mother", a church service during people who were feeling pretty desperate for things in their live to change knelt while one of the leaders read a prayer for them, Remembrance Day... Just life from the past week really.
I read that some people are using the word Godde instead of God to emphasize the feminine side of the Divine, so that's how you should read the poem. The title is inspired by a line from the podcast during which Christena Cleveland, a social psychologist and theologian, talks about the Black Madonna.
Our Godde who is not afraid of the dark
Her arm is a pattern of overlapping crescent moons
Even though her nails look too short to make a mark
I’ll kneel in the grit for you
Take marks in my knees for you
Kneel in the grit
Would I though?
I didn’t even look for a white poppy
I wore no poppy at all
Frozen by shoulds and overwhelm
I know I hate war
So would I fight for you?
The tops of bowed heads
Heavy over bent knees
Waiting on longago promises
Desperate midnight messages
Clutching at snapping straws
Slipping further from the light
But our Godde is not afraid of the dark
She has descended before us
Her wing catches our fall
She swings a starry cloak around our shoulders
A soft scarf over our head to hide us
On the days we’re too tired and broken to fix our smiles
Whispers of gratitude and exhausted tears rise
decorating heaven’s walls with
reminders to the angels to battle on our behalf
I hate war
But this one’s not man against man, I don’t think
Around you kneelers
(Though you might not see it)
There’s the hankerchief wielders, the cheerleaders, the cleaners, the bring-a-hot-mealers
Willing you to carry on
--- this . is . church .
And any one of them might be kneeling in the dirt too
With their own broken hearts or strangling fears
But we offer up each other
To the embrace of a Godde that knows the taste of dust, and blood
A Godde rejected, ejected, abandoned and ended - outside the city walls.
A Godde who is not afraid of the dark
A Godde who doesn’t give up on us