Karol Wojtyla: Polish Pope

Date added: 29/05/2020



A poem written on the day of his funeral


In St Peter's Square,
Presidents and Prime Ministers,
Princes and people gather.

A simple cypress-wood coffin
Is surmounted by the gospel book.
He said he lived his life
Under the word of God.

The ruffling wind of the Spirit
Bears witness, turning its pages.


A previous Pope,
John the Twenty-Third,
The great caretaker,
In surprising wisdom
Opened the windows of the office.
The rushing wind of the Spirit
Blew piles of paper in the air,
Upturning, updating, unfolding
The Church.


John Paul the Second,
The great survivor
Of Nazi invasion and
Communist constriction.
The poet and playwright,
Priest and professor:
Polish Pope.


In theology:
Restressing of tradition,
Regression of liberation,
Redressing of primacy.


In politics:
Solidity of Petrine rock,
Solidarity of Polish stock,
Stumbling of Soviet bloc.


Karol Wojtyla,
More alive than ever,
Witness to the watching world.


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published on Fulcrum April 2005, also on Spiritual Journeys.