This is Poem #11 in my series of poem responses to the Big Questions posed by philosophers, scientists, theologians, even village cranks, to help celebrate National Poetry Month (NaPoMo, April 2013). Do We Need A God? Why is there a Need to be Good?---Simon Blackburn
HIS WAILING WALL
Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant --- Tacitus*
Either way, distance finds melooking up or down this cliff,
an unlikely sanctuary I escape
into aching for scarce solitude.
How can one be alone amongthe darting seagulls? Or silent
with lost memories jarred by
blasts of breaking waves below?
Here, gods revel in their havenof whistling winds and clouds,
down there fishermen cackle,
chewing sargasso, guzzling gin,
while their thrown nets fill upwith flotsam floating around
moss-gowned boulders staring
at the sky like dark green eyes.
Is it this vast and empty spacebetween that scares me now,
when I should be murmuring
secrets to messenger winds?
I would scream unbearablepain, holler down bitter anger;
I must share muffled grief,
loosen taut shackles of despair.
Either way, I find wailing wallsin air, water, rocks, and wind;
like Job I weep for peace, hope
to gently fall in the cup of palms
waiting to catch my carrionnow carved out of a shattered
world of faithlessness and fear,
unable to hold on to life or love.
On this piece of jutting rock,have I not found the little place
where I could reach His Hand
quickly were I to fall, either way?
---ALBERT B. CASUGA
Simon Blackburn is a philsophy professor at the University of Cambridge in England. His essays "Why Be Good?" (pp. 94 etseq) and "Do We Need God?" (pp. 159 etseq), are included in the The Big Questions, Philosophy, 2009, Quercus Publishing Plc, London, UK.