Prayer is like watching for the Kingfisher.
All you can do is be where he is likely to appear, and Wait.
Often, nothing much happens;
There is space, silence and Expectancy.
No visible sign, only the knowledge that he’s been there and may come again.
Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,
You have been prepared.
But sometimes, when you’ve almost stopped expecting it,
A flash of brightness gives encouragement.
An accomplished poet and writer. Her hobbies of reading, music and especially bird-watching, play an important part in her work as a poet and retreat leader, for which she is much in demand. She taught RE and English at secondary school level for 27 years and was later Welfare Advisor for International Students at the University of Southampton, UK. She has also worked as a local tutor teaching ordinands on the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme through Sarum College, Salisbury, UK.
This poem is taken from the collection Watching for the Kingfisher.
(Additional information about this poet, including date of birth, would be welcomed.)
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Born at Groot Zundert, Netherlands and intially drawing and painting dark realistic scenes, after meeting the Impressionist painters Van Gogh adopted their motifs, bright colours and style of painting. Van Gogh’s life was afflicted with mental trouble. Following a short period of artistic co-operation with the artist Paul Gauguin he cut off an earlobe in a symbolic act of self-mutilation. Van Gogh spent most of his last months in psychiatric care, eventually committing suicide and dying at Auvers sur Oise, France. Van Gogh’s work became a basic influence on the development of the Fauvism and Expressionism and his distinctive paintings sell for millions.