Katherine Mansfield

(14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923 / Wellington)

To God the Father


To the little, pitiful God I make my prayer,
The God with the long grey beard
And flowing robe fastened with a hempen girdle
Who sits nodding and muttering on the all-too-big throne
of Heaven.
What a long, long time, dear God, since you set the
stars in their places,
Girded the earth with the sea, and invented the day and
night.
And longer the time since you looked through the blue
window of Heaven
To see your children at play in a garden....
Now we are all stronger than you and wiser and more
arrogant,
In swift procession we pass you by.
"Who is that marionette nodding and muttering
On the all-too-big throne of Heaven?
Come down from your place, Grey Beard,
We have had enough of your play-acting!"

It is centuries since I believed in you,
But to-day my need of you has come back.
I want no rose-coloured future,
No books of learning, no protestations and denials--
I am sick of this ugly scramble,
I am tired of being pulled about--
O God, I want to sit on your knees
On the all-too-big throne of Heaven,
And fall asleep with my hands tangled in your grey
beard.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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