THE TANGLED WING 2
© J.A. Storey -Taylor 1988
How can I fly, if my wings are broken?
Who is to listen, if my song is unspoken?
For mine is the spirit of a baby bird
Passed almost unseen, but not unheard:
Tiny heart a-flutter, defenceless 'gainst the rain,
Most low of the gutter, held captive there by pain...
My friend, you yearn to know the Three in One:
Holy Father, Holy Ghost and Holy Son.
They are all to be found in the Tangled Wing
And the single, sweet song which Spirit would sing.
Each feather the Burden, each note the Light:
To bring Joy from the Sorrow, the Fight we would Fight...
The calling, the Spirit; the hearing, the Man;
God, the raising in strong, gentle hand.
The fledgling made flesh; the flesh becomes Ghost;
The songster becoming the Lord of Hosts.
The man - the God, bowing Spirit to raise;
And man, the bird of pain and praise...
The journey of Spirit to the Highest Place
Shall ever be borne there by Grace born of Grace.
Home shall be found by he who would seek,
Treading with Love in the Realm of the Meek:
Where to judge and condemn, e'en in God's Name,
Are the Nails and the Crown to the Cross of All Shame...
The Killer, the Captor, the Spoiler - each Man,
Is living his life to the best that he can:
The Harlot, the Pusher, the Pimp and the Thief -
Are living their lives by their highest belief.
How can they believe in Eternal Bliss,
When their Spirit in God was betrayed by a kiss?
Yet whom of the twelve did God love the best,
To give of a burden beyond all the rest?
Whose name is the lowest and tarnished with hate?
Yet of he, the Betrayer, there is no debate:
Without silver of Judas, the bearer of scorn,
Christ could not meet the Cross to be re-born...
The wicked, the wanton, the weak and depraved,
Are there as our Saviours, not to be Saved.
Their lives are God's calling to see God within,
Not label them guilty or box them in sin:
To love and respect them and concede dignity,
Is to touch and be touched by the Trinity...
I cannot remember when I did not sing,
Nor take to soar high on Spirited Wing.
Yet God's greatest gift on the day I was born,
Was to make me of wings which were tangled and torn:
For, flying free, healed and whole, then how could I utter
God's song to call man to the bird in the gutter?
No prayer that I spoke of brought me to meet
My mirror of self on rain-driven street;
To hear above traffic and drop eye to see
There, in the gutter, reflection of me;
To cause to stoop low to raise up to my eye,
Vulnerable, wounded, frail, essence of I.
Yet prayer must have been answered for bird to impart
Such precious lesson to my humble heart.
That the portals to Spirit have but single key:
In life's gift to life of a sweet melody.
But, first, man must hear and then understand
The Language of Love of the bird in the hand...
Am I as the fledgling and you, friend, as I?
Is it God who did bring me to where you would pass by?
Did my song of joy draw you before you realized
I was held in my place by wings paralyzed?
And what prayer from you to accept in your palm,
Pulped, bloodied alar and David's Psalm?
I love you, I thank you and know I am blessed
To have been tenderly lifted and gently caressed.
Yet, too, do I know time comes to decide
To raise friendship higher or lay it aside?
For my self is not mine, nor other's than His,
For God bought my heart with a bitter-sweet kiss...
It was not through the Book nor the church came The Word
But through gutter and rain and one baby bird:
So how can you know, nor yet understand,
That which lays resting within your cupped hand?
This mind, heart and body, impious, unholy,
Are my Triune of Spirit, given freely and wholly...
I offered my life to serve as I could -
For God to teach and direct me as he, not I, would.
He asks no more, and no less, than to be whom we are
And I am what I am - a poetical scar.
I was not chosen: it was a natural choice
To be as the fledgling, a singular voice...
I love you, my friend, but I cannot divide -
By allowing your love to be balm to my pride:
For in safety with you, my Spirit does sleep
And spirited song is reduced to a cheep.
And if I am placed whereby I must choose
Then know it is Man, not God, who must lose...
Your friendship's a jewel which I hold dear and treasure.
My feelings for you are deep, beyond measure.
But a bird was born to sing and fly -
And if I do neither, then my Spirit shall die:
But not so my love, which has no end.
I thank you, I bless you – your grey, feathered friend...