The air crumbled and broke on me.

The Moor

It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God was there made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In movement of the wind over grass.

There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart’s passions – that was praise
Enough; and the mind’s cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.

–R.S. Thomas

6 thoughts on “The air crumbled and broke on me.

  1. How cool! I’m reading “imagine. a vision for Christians in the arts” and R.S. Thomas was mentioned. I like this poem very much. And I’m not always a big poetry fan. 🙂


  2. I love this poem! Thank you. I am going to try to learn it by heart, so I can say it when I step out into the garden. But I think I shall change tenses; e.g., “It is like a church to me . . .” I’ll make a new title too, like “The Backyard”–except if I ever get to see a moor again, of course I’ll say it all as Mr. Thomas did.


  3. SO beautiful!! What images, and what an ending! Our ladies’ Bible study yesterday was about quiet — the silent waiting for God. Elisabeth Elliot said that silence is a form of worship. I think she had experienced Mr. Thomas’s church. Thank you!


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