Broken Praise (Sixth Sunday of Easter)

On Sundays, I base my poems on the set readings for the day in the Anglican Liturgical calendar. One of today’s readings is Psalm 98, a very joyful psalm and one that can, perhaps, be hard to say with all integrity when not joyful oneself. Here is my approach to the problem. I hope, as with all the writings here, that it can be a source of comfort and consolation, as writing it has been to me.

Broken Praise (Sixth Sunday of Easter)
Sing for joy, you who are not joyful;
Strike your instruments in song;
Open hands of desperate clutching,
Open your sore hearts and praise.
Lift the dead-strings of your heart;
Let them tune again to praise.
Let your memory recall
All the good that’s gone before,
Though in your mind there is no tune
Of remembered joys or peace,
Though you have misplaced the key
To the rusty chest of memories,
Though your bones have ossified
And your joints refuse to bend,
Though your voice crackles and cracks
And your throat denies all song,
Praise! There is no other answer.
Though it feels like an open wound
Anointed with the oil of pain,
Praise – for He is good – and you,
Far though it is from you right now,
Will praise again. This is the truth.
And when you cannot praise at all,
Sit beside the rivers and
The seas, the mountains; let them praise.
And hear the songs of joyful earth
Celebrating what you can’t.
Let that soundtrack be your praise,
And wash your brokenness in grace.

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