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detail from Francois painting by Bruce Herman

Poem: Ordinary Saints

Malcolm Guite


The ordinary saints, the ones we know,
Our too-familiar family and friends,
When shall we see them? Who can truly show
Whilst still rough-hewn, the God who shapes our ends?
Who will unveil the presence, glimpse the gold
That is and always was our common ground,
Stretch out a finger, feel, along the fold
To find the flaw, to touch and search that wound
From which the light we never noticed fell
Into our lives? Remember how we turned
To look at them, and they looked back? That full-
-eyed love unselved us, and we turned around,
Unready for the wrench and reach of grace.
But one day we will see them face to face.












Francois painting by Bruce Herman Bruce Herman, François, 2014 Artwork used by permission of the artist
The artist Bruce Herman and poet Malcolm Guite, along with composer J.A.C. Redford, are collaborating on a multimedia project called Ordinary Saints. The project, which began with paintings the artist made to work through the unexpected death of both his parents, includes linked poems, paintings, and music that will eventually be presented as a book, and exhibition tour, and public performances.
Contributed By Poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite Malcolm Guite

Malcom Guite is a poet, priest, and lead singer and guitarist for the blues-rock band Mystery Train.

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