Λόγος (Logos)

by Peter Lilly

‘Because He is the beginning… wherever He is, the world begins again.’
Malcolm Guite

Changes permeate even the sameness,
But some definitions are evasive.
Some words wander, even as they’re spoken.
A phonetic journey, though not aimless.
Destinations are subtly abrasive
To a mind whose caravan is broken,
Standing knee deep in hard and dry concrete,
Who must pull the legs from off the meanings
To have a static concept to possess.
But language is living if we don’t kill it,
We enter its meandering leanings
As we speak, and gain eternal access
To the λόγος of life, pure change to entice.
Heraclitus steps in the same river twice. 

Author’s Note: Λόγος, (logos) the Greek word for ‘word’ and a whole lot more including ‘reason’ ‘wisdom’ ‘speech’ and ‘account’, first given specific philosophical treatment in the writings of Heraclitus, and used to introduce something mysteriously new about Jesus in the famous prologue to John’s gospel. The connection between Heraclitus, John’s gospel and Logos are explored in a sermon by the poet and priest Malcolm Guite.

For the Malcolm Guite sermon on the prologue to John’s Gospel: https://archive.org/details/podcast_malcolms-podcast_the-word-world-talk_1000414626676 The quote in the epigraph happens at 1 hour and 1 minute.


Peter Lilly is a British Poet who grew up in Gloucester before spending eight years in London studying theology and working with the homeless. He now lives in the South of France with his wife and son, where he concentrates on writing, teaching English, and creative expressions of church. His work has been published in a number of journals including Macrina Magazine, Across the Margin, Radix Magazine, and the 2018 Anthology ‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying.’

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