Not, the bejewelled whiteness of water drops
lantern lifted, simply offered on soft stems.
Not, the silken lines of spider threads lifted on the air.
Not, the soft brown brush of
tall-columned trees beneath high clouds.
Not, the noble singing gleam of quartz-cut stone
Not, warm kissing of skin by majestic
sun in blessed blue sky.
Not, clear cold air crisp-entering nostrils.
Not, warm touch of flesh-embrace, blushed skin
None; of these glorious things are you.
Written on retreat at Cold Ash Franciscan community, Nov 2012.
(Note: the poem is an attempt to marry Franciscan and Carmelite traditions. 'Apophatic' theology emphasizes that God is beyond all description - for 'not' cf. John of the Cross's nada. And yet NB the semi-colon on the last line, and the ambiguity of the word 'of'...)