‘Mother, I Thank You’ and Other Poems

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Paul Hermanby Paul Herman

Author’s note: Here are three of my poems. The first is about the preciousness and grace of mother’s love. The second, about the central person or savior that brings God’s love to us and awakens that love for others in us. The third is about the parental heart — our parental heart reaching out for all God’s lost children.

Mother, I Thank You

Mother, I thank you

For the wind isn’t hollow

And the air isn’t dry

And the world isn’t over

And I didn’t die

A gentle breeze blows and tears fill the sky with your heart of compassion

My God am I…

To live with you present in the depths of my soul

Thank you dear mother, my one and my all

 

Mother, I thank you

’Cause you can’t turn away

When you know that I’m hurting yet I’ve nothing to say

For the mistakes that I’ve made and the pain that I caused

Still my life didn’t end

It just paused…

 

And yes, I can feel you deep in my soul

In a land that is barren

In a land that is old

The sadness arises

But I know that you’re there

If you weren’t close by

It would be fear

You have given me comfort

But the pain wasn’t real

What is real — what lasts….is the love that you’ve shown…

That which remains

When the shadows are gone

When the whispering wind breaks out in a smile

And I know that you’ve been by my side all the while

 

Home

There’s an emptiness in our hearts

And a soft voice dimmed by the wreckage of our souls

Calling us home

 

Despite the threat of more suffering

It exposes itself to us

Even though we’ve sided with the enemy

 

Because of love’s irrepressible impulse

To seek the object of its love

With the heart of a parent

It’s endured our betrayal and abandonment

 

Alone and misunderstood

 

And yet there were times

When someone with compassion, did understand

And stood in Your stead

Sharing Your fate

 

They, who became the hope of our salvation

And the light of our life

Committed themselves

 

And so, we’ve learned

That our salvation and Yours, rests, with our realizing

The preciousness of Your love

And sharing the responsibility of giving it to others

 

Finding people longing for love is easy

But reaching them

Reaching them, trembling in their frightful situation

Is not

To get there, we need to know what they’ve been through

 

But love is patient

 

The screams which may have been ours once have many faces

And when we’ve learned how to live through it all

Forgiving You, ourselves and others

We become like You

And begin our most important mission

 

To bring Your children home

 

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A Soul Arises

Great sadness arises from the soul like waves swelling from the heart of the ocean, eventually breaking on a lonely coastline. With its last bit of strength reaching out toward that insatiable hope of love requited it sinks into the sand in solitude and pain.

A parent’s love can be a sad, sad story.

A child’s love unable to surface without being smashed by the violent seas and whipped by ferocious winds, retreats as far from the insanity as possible. Its heart hardened and after eons of time, has eroded into the crumbling sand that sleeps with all of the children covering vast stretches on distant shores.

A meeting takes place when the parental tears of the great waves are shed on the distant shores.

Pain reaches the core of their being reminding them of their suffocation.

A question arises: Can the love of the parent bring life to the dead soul of its child?

We hope so. We are, of course, both a parent and a child and if we as the parent awaken, that other tender and precious part of ourselves can also begin to blink its eyes and breathe new life. First the parent appears and then the child. And as a parent we need to discover how to make that distant shore where we have both arrived, into a quiet and gentle place with soft winds, clear skies and a beautiful, blue ocean embracing it all.♦


Paul Herman joined the Unification Church in New York in 1973. He and his family moved to Iceland in 1998 and have been doing their mission there.

3 thoughts on “‘Mother, I Thank You’ and Other Poems

  1. Paul,

    Your voice speaks eloquently of the decades-long journey so many of us have shared, and continue to share. I hope you have a consistent and steady writing practice, as you have much to contribute in a body of work.

    “…an emptiness in our hearts …a soft voice dimmed by the wreckage of our souls
    Calling us home”

    “…Even though we’ve sided with the enemy”

    So it was Iceland that took you. Now I know where Paul Herman ended up. I visited there once and it is high on my list of places where I want to make an extended stay. Thank you for writing and submitting your poetry to this forum.

  2. In reply to the boy’s mercy and in respect for his determination, the weasel’s eyes told of its life and gave up its secrets.

    Thank you Larry for the precious gift you gave to me and my family and I am sure to many, many others. And when you come, I will welcome you in Iceland.

  3. Thank you, Paul. Something within me resonates with your poetry, especially the one about mother, since my mother always was such a noble person in her simplicity. Your poem describes something I saw in her.

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