Father Michael Bassano, a Binghamton native who is serving in South Sudan, emailed the Sun recently with his latest poem.

A Maryknoll missionary, Father Bassano is the Catholic chaplain in the United Nations Protection of Civilians (POC) camp outside the town of Malakal in the northeastern part of South Sudan, which has endured a civil war.

The situation in the country, he said, “is uncertain as the opposition leader does not wish to join the transitional government on Nov. 12. … It looks like we are moving towards a time of uncertainty as to what will happen. We hope and pray for peace in South Sudan.”

Father Bassano also wrote: “Enclosed is another poem that reflects how we are cradled in God’s arms, especially the people of South Sudan who long for peace.”


Beautiful little child
Caressed in Mother’s arms
Lovely sweet affection
Protection from Life’s harms

Securely embraced
Knowing She is there
Smiling and pleased
Resting without care

Remembering those moments
Of long, long ago
Where peace prevailed
And kindness did show

Time does fly
As years go by
Wondering still
And asking ‘why?’

Lessons not learned
From war and greed
People struggling to live
From bondage freed

Change the world
By your presence here
Making a difference
Conquering all fear

Cradled in God’s arms
Immanent yet transcendent above
Wrapping me gently
In your safe mantle of love

(based on Isaiah 40:11/Psalms 131)
Mike Bassano, Oct. 8, 2019

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