“Dawnward Orientation: Ode to Camp Allen 2010”

Malcolm Guite & Sheila Swartz
Malcolm Guite & Sheila Swartz

Sheila Swartz, our alumna at this year’s Southwest Regional Retreat and Writers Workshop, has sent us a poem inspired by Malcolm Guite’s last talk at Camp Allen:

“Dawnward Orientation: Ode to Camp Allen 2010”

A secret inconsolable
A joy as yet untold
A world so small (but precious)
That Julian could hold

A truth – not always comforting
Sufficient nonetheless
God’s megaphone of pain hath wrought
The gladness of the best

“What fools these lowly mortals be!”
Oppressed by fleshly debt
Lowly? Foolish? Yes, but no
Mere mortals have we met

With weak desires for the least
We clamour “Westward, ho!”
Until we hear Christ’s greater yes
When we deserve a no

Awaiting transformation
At the wardrobe (Heaven’s gate)
We travel as a pilgrim crushed
‘Neath Glory’s welcome Weight

Farewell to all the shadows
That danced in Plato’s cave
Farewell to Shadowlands! We dance
On Aslan’s empty grave

Annihilated pain
All fear and doubt are gone
Unhindered, incorruptible
He sets our course for dawn

4 thoughts on ““Dawnward Orientation: Ode to Camp Allen 2010”

  1. wendy

    Sheila, Thank you so much for sharing your poem. It really encouraged me today. You are so talented and now you can add being a poet to your list.

  2. Cheryl M

    Wonderful! Bravo Sheila! Wish I could have said it so quickly, or half so well.

  3. Sheila, this is marvelous! I especially love the last line. Gives me chills!! I’ve got some beautiful images of you at the conference that will be on their way to you this morning. Keep writing and stay in touch!

  4. Thanks for this Sheila it gets to the heart of “the weight of glory” and I especially love the lines “farewell to all the shadows/that danced in Plato’s cave!”

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