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Catherine Sabeh

Honorable Mention: 2010 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
I'm a part-time Lecturer and student of Philosophy, however poetry is my first love. I pray before I write: the Holy Spirit inspires me to look at my past life in the light of faith and to use it to communicate God's Love and Mercy; for us, His sinful creatures but still His children. This is all I want my work to achieve—that it reminds or informs those as overburdened as I'd once been that they leave their pain and darkness by returning to Him. What else to say about myself? I'm a blessed child of God!

About this Poem:
I wrote this poem after an intense conversion experience. With my eyes opened I was able to see the destructiveness of the world without God in which I'd lived; as a "Christian" in name only, languishing in an existence burdened with pain. At the time of writing Death and Melancholy, this was the theme that mattered most—keeping steadfast and maintaining one's faith in spite of suffering.

Today, suicide is commonplace: because we as a people have—to borrow from St Paul—"disowned" Jesus, the One to take our hands, to guide us and bring us safely through the darkness that often descends on us.  And what happens when alone we lose hope, when we let go of our faith...when in a moment of despair we forget The Cross and succumb to the temptation of death as an end: what happens then to the soul created immortal? By His grace I'm able to explore such questions in verse as opposed to coming to terms with the answers after an irreversible act.

Death and Melancholy

Daydreams of death and melancholy
were thought acceptable when she died
under a red and purple sunset
that descended one evening-tide.
She, despite Love and the clarinet
refused life.  “Where is meaning but
in death?”
“Death speaks so eloquently.”

Two lovers together, side-by-side.
They knew passion: “I died for you,”
he told her; but she, “What good is life
suffering?” On a steamed mirror she drew
hearts like those carved into trees with a knife.
He said: “I died that you might live,
but you count mourners at your graveside.”

She sat on the bath’s edge, wrapped
in a towel and thoughts of English
Summers and those see-saw emotions
that hurt but which she couldn’t distinguish.
Death was calling with such commotion
she forgot he'd said: “Hope withers
when faith is scorned.”
Death had her so rapt:

Peace comes when the heart stops. Yet an absence
of feeling is not peace but hurt
which ceases because breathing does.
Life ends. Suffering stops when you’re inert,
and pain is forever gone. Death does
for you what life has failed to:
It paints you in the style of Renascence.

Daydreams of death and melancholy
were her escape when she functioned
in a black cloud of aloneness amid
frivolity and such sad and roughened
hearts. Alive her soul was atrophied;
but dead she wastes away in a
blaze of remorse—irrevocably.

Copyright ©2010 by Catherine Sabeh