October – ‘Now hell is here’: Poetry as a response to current events

The Reverend Dr Andrew Pratt is well-known for his hymns, but he also paints, takes beautiful photographs and writes poetry. Much of his work is reactive, responding to news items that are often shocking. This poem, written after the terrible events in Israel and Gaza, gives words at a time when we may be finding them hard. It could be used as an introduction to lament or intercessory prayer, or for focusing our own thoughts at a time of international crisis.

Now hell is here, and words are cheap,

a bloodied sheet, a shattered bed…
as women, men and children weep,
while prayer is silent, felt not said.


With seeds of vengeance sown not sought,
while roots in hearts of flesh, not stone,
bring carnage traced with quiet thought
as guilt will fester none will own.


And distantly, in muffled sighs,
of deep regret and dark despair
we wring our hands and harbour lies,
dare not admit the blame we share.


© Andrew Pratt 17/10/2023
We are grateful to Dr Pratt for giving us permission to publish this poem on our website. You can
find more of his work on his blog: https://hymnsandbooksblog.uk

Essential information required for your profile. Click okay to complete.