Peter Owen-Jones has a book still currently on the shelves, entitled Psalm, by O Books, 2005, ISBN 1903816912
This is a beautiful compelling translation of just 11 of the ancient psalms which he has ‘recast’ into a contemporary idiom. The Psalms are a human experience of a relationship of Love between us and God, and with each other. Of darkness and light, of fear and wonder, of longing and awe.
He believes “Those of us who attempt to wedge the Divine experience into words always fall short. We can never really do it, at best we can only show you the light from the diamond not the diamond itself.” The Psalms have inspired lyrics for song writers and poets throughout the ages, here are a few of my contemporary favourites by Pete Owen-Jones.
They have a beauty in their own right.
I am here once more with the horizon/Asking for answers, help even./You find me again and I see/Stars and days waiting for me to arrive./You, the unceasing shepherd of the sleeping,/Never seem surprised to see me,/You have always been awake to the world./I wipe the sky from my eyes/And see your shadow beside me in the sun,/The hand that brings me back from the moon,/Taking the bullets coming through the glass of/My room,/Forever beginning,/Forever ending./Forever becoming.
The first half of Psalm 4
You can hear my inner voice./I know you fathered goodness/and released me from another darkness./And then I began to understand/how limitless I grew,/how I already knew this prayer./And the rest of you,/Your heads bowed before magazines,/Paying your own tribute to human being,/So you shoot to nail me with those nails you/believed./But I have felt Divine love./I have been heard./I have spoken without needing words.
You have found me yearning/Now there is nothing else I need./In your hands lies my seed of grass/Earthed in your still image./My soul breathes again, here on the highway/I will write your name.
My Psalm of longing
For when death comes, He will not apologise/He will be all-powerful and strong and sure/Though before I am taken from my world……
In my quietness, I want to lay skin to skin with you beneath the stars./In my gentleness I want to awake with you soul to soul/In my soulfulness, I want to swim naked with you in the moonlight./In my stillness, I want to breathe you in and breathe God back into you./In my softness I want to kiss your eyelids whilst you are sleeping./
With all of my care my Beloved, I want to gently touch you, to soften your hurting, to awaken your spirit, to warm your life./Without any reason I want to cradle your life in my Love, and breathe trust and closeness, and faith in Love, back into your life./With all of my tenderness, I want to bless you with me, as I have been blessed with you./With The Holy Spirit, I want us to share promises and vows of eternity./For when Love is eternal, life is eternal./God is Love./
Only then with all my peace, will I truly know eternal life./For with my heart and soul I Love my dearest./Beyond my soul. I Love only you./And should my very prayer come true./When death comes, I will not apologise./I will be all-humble, all-powerful, all-strong and sure….Knowing God blesses True Love forever more.
And lastly, Psalm inspired lyrics from U2.
Have ‘A Beautiful Day’