PSALM OF OPPRESSION
I wrote this psalm after listening to a talk by the Revd Christa Springe in 1988 about the city of Mainz. The reference is to the story of St Martin, and his statue in the city. But she was also very clear about male dominance in the city politics, as well as the power of religion. She was asking about how we may learn the art of sharing our lives with one another.
- The ancient city is built foursquare and strong:
the cathedral has stood secure for a thousand years;
- Saint Martin's statue looks down, across the city:
here men rule over others, and priests rule them!
- They say, "The unemployed should pull their weight:
if the poor were only more diligent, we'd all be happier."
- But Martin gave half his cloak to a beggar:
he cut his cloth to share with the poor.
- How can we share our fortune with fellow citizens:
can the minority speak loud enough to be heard?
- We protest at the powers in our present world:
the domination of the mighty must be broken.
- The carnival procession dances through the streets:
the jester can state the obvious to the ruling authorities!
- To work together today, we need new systems:
as Jesus broke the rules for the sake of the poor.
- Help us, God, to play the fool:
then we can share what you've given us with each other.