No Man’s LAND

I am afraid
To be still,
To cease and desist,
To become a craft becalmed.
Stillness is vacancy,
A chasm carved across the civic noise.
As still as death,
As silent as the grave.

In stillness I am robbed of agency,
Rendered mute,
Dispatched to Coventry.
Sent off-stage,
Unseen, unheard,
I am stripped of the capacity
To control
The chaos that I sense
Is conquering me.

Deprived of action
And distraction,
I am powerless to craft creation
In my image.

And yet,
And yet,
I need this silence,
This space between conflicting worlds,
This no-man’s land uncoupling
Redemption from revenge.

This unexpected interruption
Of movement and matter
Tells me I matter.
This silence
Is a shouted yes
To my existence.

History spins around me
Yet I am still:
Still here,
Still breathing,
Still pulsing with hope.
Still, alive.

Gerard Kelly is a writer and missionary based in Normandy, France. He is the author of the novel The Boy Who Loved Rain, the poetry collection Spoken Worship and the online prayer-thread @twitturgies.