THE PROPHET’S SPEECH (From “Garden To The City”)
(My Belfast paraphrase of a Doug Gay original based in Glasgow…)
I saw a vision – it was Thursday at eleven o’clock in the morning.
I was standing Divis Mountain, looking down over the city
And the cold, blue autumn sky broke open over my head
And the spirit of God breathed on my eyes and my eyes were opened:
I saw Belfast, the holy city coming down out of heaven
Shining like a rare jewel, sparkling like clear water in the eye of the sun
And all the sickness was gone from the city
And there were no suburbs or schemes
No difference between Malone Road, Lenadoon and Tullycarnet.
I saw the Lagan running with the water of life
As bright as crystal
As clear as glass
And the children of Belfast swimming in it.
And the Spirit showed me the tree of life
Growing in Botanic Gardens.
I looked out
And there were no more homeless people dying
There were no women working the streets
There were no junkies up the alley ways
HIV and AIDS were things of the past
There were no more racist attacks
No more attacks on gay people
No more rapists
No more stabbings
No more suicides
No more so called “punishment beatings”
No more Protestant and Catholics
No more sectarian songs and graffiti
No more effigies on bonfires
Because there was no more hate
And I saw women walking safe at nights
And the men were full of passion and gentleness
And none of the children were abused
Because the people’s sex was full of justice and joy.
I saw an old woman throw her head back and laugh like a young girl
And when the sky closed back her laughter rang in my head for days and days
And would not go away.
This is what I saw, looking over Samson and Goliath
Looking up from the city of death
And I knew then that there would be a day of resurrection
And I believe that there will be a day of resurrection.