Refusing the spiritual bypass..poem by RS Thomas

Facing terrible truths, roses have thorns,  people can be murderous, cruel, indiscriminately monstrous. And beauty is still present in the violent, selfish world. At the same time. Roses don’t shed their thorns before they flower.

Here is a poem by RS Thomas in which he wonders about the many faceted nature of the God he loves (he was a Christian vicar),  and resists the sentimentality of a limited view of divinity.



I praise you because

You are artist and scientist

in one. When I am somewhat

fearful of your power,

your ability to work miracles

with a set square, I hear

you murmuring to yourself

in a notation Beethoven

dreamed of but never achieved.

You run off your scales of

rainwater,  and sea water, play

the chords of the morning

and evening light, sculpture

with shadow, join together leaf

by leaf, when spring

comes, the stanzas of

an immense poem. You speak

all languages and none,

answering our most complex

prayers with the simplicity

of a flower, confronting us

when we would domesticate you

to our uses, with the rioting

viruses under our lens.


RS Thomas



One Reply to “Refusing the spiritual bypass..poem by RS Thomas”

  1. If anyone reading this likes RS Thomas then you might be interested in twitter @RSThomaspoet and share RS Thomas poems, quotes, events, info, Q&A etc…

    Liked by 1 person

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