A poem written in Juba, South Sudan, last Saturday meditating on the significance of the River Nile
Meandering in South Sudan
From southern equatorial mountains,
and eastern ancient highlands,
to northern Mediterranean Sea,
through four nations, till recently,
and now through five,
the Nile passes without passport.
She flows onwards and downwards,
with gravity and delight,
imperturbably, irresistibly, ineluctably,
with gesticulating grace.
Last week, in blazing dusty Malakal,
I stood on the east bank, near thin cattle,
gazing at the setting sun,
reflected in the river
touching the west bank,
undeveloped for millennial miles and years.
This evening, in hot and green Juba,
I sit on the west bank, near portly cows,
looking east at lush trees,
across the drifting river,
meditating through millennia.
Among the bulrushes of Egypt,
a baby is hidden for safety,
and discovered by royalty,
for raising and releasing of Israel.
Near the banks of the Nile,
a baby is saved from Israel,
for refuge, return and royalty:
‘Out of Egypt have I called my Son.’
Graham Kings, Juba, South Sudan
23 February 2013
The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings is Hon Assistant Bishop and World Mission Adviser, Diocese of Southwark, and SCR Member, St Chad’s College, Durham. He has been theological secretary of Fulcrum since its founding.