by 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your writings are deeply touching!
A parent’s love is so powerful!
The comment that moved me in 1977 to join the Unification Church was Reverend Moon’s description of God’s broken heart! I was struggling as I am now to understand how a living God could let the world go so wrong in so many ways.
The idea that God was suffering with the condition of the world with our suffering has only faded but never left me completely!
I fear that the world now is on the brink of plunging into darkness! I hope, I’m only seeing one perspective and that actually we are close to a breakthrough to the other side where we will see clearly!