Evensong - Lighten our darkness …
The swirling waters of the great river leave behind
the bustle of the noon-tide port, the scream of sirens,
the bellow of hooters and the chaos of the Quay.
It moves silent and calm now into the roseate West
where the tired sun sinks lazily into a darkening sea.
In the Minster the evening candles have been lit,
their shadows dancing like grasses in the wind,
spread across the old stone altar in the chapel
where the red light hangs, a perpetual reminder
that this is a place of sanctuary and of prayer.
Beside the estuary and across the vast expanse
of mud and marsh and sand, pink footed geese fly
home to their roost, while the curlew’s haunting cry
faintly echoes the bell’s summons to Evensong,
there to reflect on the day and pray for tomorrow.
“Lighten our darkness we beseech thee O Lord”
The ancient chapel stirs, the old words reverberate
and gather darkly in the rafters high above,
tiny candle flames leap suddenly upwards,
haloes of light in darkness, an answer to prayer.
The sky above the estuary is filled with the dusky
mist of evening, a lamb stranded on the Sea Bank
calls for its mother but only the Barn Owl hoots
in reply as it swoops over the salt marsh on its way
to its fishing ground at the edge of the wide river.
Tomorrow the sun will rise into the eastern sky,
the world be remade as it has been daily since those
first bright days of creation, but tonight, far away
across the marsh, a lone blackbird still sings and Irejoice that our evensong of praise is never done.