St. John of the Cross and the Bird – a poem by Kath Higgens

St. John of the Cross and the Bird


There was a solitary bird,
a non-descript brown little job,
unnoticed by everybody,
sitting high on a pole,
her head to the wind.

The Beloved said to her,
“Little brown bird, why are you alone?”
And she replied,
“Beloved, I am here only for you.”

And the Beloved spoke to her again:
“What is your song? Where is your voice?”
And the solitary bird replied,
“I cannot find my voice.
Beloved, can you give me something to say?”
And the Beloved said,
“I hear your silence,
I hear your solitude,
I hear your longing and your desires.”

And the little bird asked,
“My Beloved, is it enough?”
And the Beloved said,
“As you breathe the air,
as you balance on the post,
as you face into the wind,
as you long only for me,
this is your voice that I hear.
Be satisfied. Be fulfilled.
There is enough noise in the world,
and it cannot drown out your silence.”

Kath Higgens originally from UK worked for many years in the field of Bible Translation in Central Africa, before retiring to a contemplative life-style in South Africa. Though poetry has long been a passion, she has come late to writing her own.

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