Sophia’s Lament

Sophia. The true unity in the true trinity, from Scivias by Hildegard von Bingen according to the Ruppertsberger Codex (around 1180) - 2
Hildegard von Bingen, Three Persons (detail), c. 1152. Published in Sara Salvadori, Hildegard von Bingen: A Journey into the Images (Milano: Skira, 2019), 26.

Are you so blind
as not to see
the outcomes of
a reckless, grasping
lust for more?

Are you so deaf
as not to hear
the cries of woe
from nature’s victims
of relentless greed?

Are you so dumb
as not to speak
the prescient words
that bigger barns
will fail to satisfy?

Yet once you ate
Wisdom’s fruit
to help discern
how you should live
in Eden’s paradise.

Gaia now waits,
brooding her revenge,
mourning barren lands,
exhausted mines
sucked dry by you.

Release your soul
and question why
you toil in pain,
addicted to gorging
nature’s bounteous crop.

Hide not from God,
come to me …
see gifts of love
gracefully clothe
the body of Shalom.

Hovering above chaos
with creative light,
fuelled by goodness,
overcome by none,
I’m dancing my lament.

Inspired by Genesis 1.1–5, Genesis 3, Luke 12.13–21, John 1.1–5, and Romans 8:22.

The wisdom proverb See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil tells of those who, like the three monkeys, turn aside when confronted by evil.

What St John says about ‘the Word of God’ was said about Sophia in the Jewish tradition.  Like the Word, Lady Wisdom was present with God before Creation. Just as the Word was with God and was God, so Sophia was. And when John writes that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus, he could just as well have said that Sophia became flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus, the Wisdom of God incarnate. Sophia now hovers over the chaos of bushfires and pandemics.


Chris Dalton is a retired public affairs analyst, with a passion for public theology, particularly with regard to the environment. Author of Reimagining Land in Australia: From Terra Nullius to Beloved Companion, he finds poetry a rewarding way to explore ‘wicked’ problems. He lives on Bunurong/Boonwurrung and Yuin Lands.

5 thoughts on “Sophia’s Lament

  1. Hi Chris, Thanks for your poetic lament. It is good to ‘hear’ from you again. When I read ‘Reimagining Land in Australia: From Terra Nullius to Beloved Companion’, it touch my heart in a deep place: motivating me to lead a session for the faith community my wife & I belong to. Shalom, Alan Mathews. I, too, live and play on Boonwurrung land

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s