Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Silent city

Silent city
all bound in black and green
dark and twisting streets
never veering
always steering
straight for home
Towering skyscrapers reach
high into the dust-filled sky
reaching ever upwards, high
But never finding their metallic roof
the dome that holds their cries inside
their whispers quiet as dead men's lies
all ears and yet all held aloof.

Look closer still and small cars burst
and race their worth
along those highways
created, birthed
on silicone dreams
and electric whims
They race along
faster than a thought
for each a message, vital held
must make delivery or else hold up
the very city's vital breath
and maybe bring an unseen process
to untimely death.

This silent city calmly sleeps
beneath its metal canopy
beneath the dusty hiding space
within the darkness of my desk
awaiting, silent as the night
a finger's press to bring to life.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

We lift up one voice

New poem which came out of sung worship this morning at Westpoint. We all lift up one voice, each one from a different place and life, but we lift up one voice together; and God hears it. Every time.

We lift up one voice

To you we lift up one voice
One bold, strong and confident voice
One weak, cold and hesitant voice
One tear-racked, heart-felt voice
One hurting, dry and empty voice
One shuddering and faltering voice,
One joyful, light and airy voice
One deadened, mute and word-lost voice
One freshened, bright-eyed, wonderous voice
One calm, knowing and assured voice
One hardened, slow and doubting voice
One honest, sad, defeated voice
One fresh reminded, grace-touched voice
One world-forgetting, son-seeing voice
One dark-dispersed hope restored voice
One past-forgotten, adopted voice
One voice that shouts
One voice that whispers
One voice that cries
One voice that silently mouths
Together, we lift up one voice
Because he hears
Because he listens
Because he cares
Because we are His

Friday, August 22, 2014

New poem: Evening stars

New poem: Evening stars

Evening stars up there tonight
Winking in your twinkling light
For by shapes in clever ways
Night by night, up there you stay
Constellations ages old,
Galaxies so vast and bold,
Uncharted cosmos, deepest space,
Up I look and see your face
Some nights the clouds drift over you
A downy quilt which hides from view
Your comforting and quieting light
Hides your beauty from my sight
But though I can't see you sometimes,
I just remember, then remind
This mind that so quickly forgets
Those evening stars are patient yet
For when the clouds are blown away
Those evening stars will fresh display
Their dark and shadow piercing light
Refocusing my clouded sight
Evening stars, my night time friends,
Help me see when day's light ends.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Tumnus and the wolves

The wind blew so cold
through the light, dusty snow
small, frosty shapes settled
on fingers and toes
I came to a lamp post
the strangest of sights
And underneath it stood a man
in the warm, mellow light

And his eyes
they were dark and they were kind
With two horns
atop his head
he beckoned me come with him
to share a cup of tea

Together we walked
through the deepening snow
He held a pile of presents trussed up
with brown paper and bows
Before long we came
to a cave in ground
but not so much a cave
as a home underground

And his eyes
they were dark and they were kind
with two horns atop his head
he beckoned me inside
to share his warm and light

He settled her down
at a chair near the fire
busying himself with the kettle
she couldn't help but admire
the way that he kept
this simplest of homes
scarves and plants brought to life
the cold, hard stone

And his eyes
they were dark and they were kind
with two horns atop his head
he beckoned me to sit
and drink by the fire's light

He drew out a flute
a curious thing
And with music he wove
the most beautiful things
Long-past tales he spun
through each musical note
And my mind longed to drift
on his song like a lazy, bobbing boat

And the song
it was joy and woe combined
lulling sleep through silken words
spun in music through the mind
and she drank it, every note

Her eyes flickered open
the window was dark
In a curious turn
he lay still as a statue in the park
He shared then a secret
a terrible truth
And together they ran from his door
while the two of them
still had youth

And the sound
was of wolves upon the night
footfalls far of yet so near
sounds howling of met their ears
As they pounded through the night

They paused at the lamp post
to help catch their breath
It was then she knew
he'd chosen her life over his death
He pointed to finger
to the way she had come
And with a final glance back
she fled to the trees to lead her home

And his eyes
they were dark and they were kind
with two horns atop his head
he waved to me once more
as the lantern's pale light fled


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Poem: Behind the porcelain smile

New poem: Behind the porcelain smile

Reading statuses from a few girls I am very fond of prompted this poem.  I know the porcelain smiles you wear and how you hurt.  This poem is to remind you that you are not that smile, you are more than your hurt.  You are the beautiful young ladies you are growing to become and you are loved.

Behind the porcelain smile

She wore it so well
that smile
stretched from ear to ear
sometimes just from the corner of one lip
curling up in a graceful arc
a smile which said
"Everything's ok."
"I'm ok."
But underneath the veneer
the cracks lay wide and raw
cracks which spoke
and cried out loudly
in an often strangled cry
chocked back by hours
of trying to be strong,
"Everything's not ok."
"I'm not ok."
The smile became her mask
hiding who she was
behind who they expected her to be
Just another girl
Surely everything's ok?

But a few saw past
the porcelain smile
Looked underneath
the cracked veneer
to the fragile, caring girl underneath,
to the broken spirit
overlooked by so many,
misunderstood by so many,
ignored by so many,
but cared for by a special few.
And more than just seeing
they knew her
they understood her
they loved her,
Showed her she didn't need
to wear her porcelain smile
that who she was
was greater than what others thought
that she could take off the mask
and be who she really was
That despite what others might think
or say
or do
That she was loved
That she was known
That she belonged
With a special few
Who knew her
Who understood her
Who accepted and loved her
The real her
underneath the porcelain smile.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who am I? (An end of term teacher's poem)

Who am I?

The classroom is emptying
Chairs all stacked
Memories of the year
Fly out the door
To waiting, open arms
All those I've given to
Little pieces of me which will grow
And become part of who they are
But who am I?
Am I mounds of presents 
Sitting on the side
Eagerly offered by grateful hands?
Am I heart-felt cards
With personal messages
Written in thanks for all that's been done?
Am I hugs and handshakes
From thankful parents
Pleased with how their child has grown?
So easily, this can be me
At the end of term
I can be all these things
And nothing more
A sum of what's given back
After a year of giving out
But I am not the presents received
I am not measured in cards
Nor by the thanks I may
Or may not be given
If I received not 1 card
Not a preset
Nor one word of thanks
Yet, I have done my best
I have finished the race
Of this year
And my Farher's resounding,
Booming voice cries out
Among the silent moments
On the edge of the holidays
Because of Jesus,
Well done, my good and faithful servant
This is who I am
My Father's son
Let that be sufficient for me

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The brain that never slept

The brain that never slept

Often it woke
deep in the night
when dreams' shadows
flit around
Wide awake
it sat alone
with only its thoughts
for company
Its body slept on
Ignorant of the thoughts
that rocked the mental pathways
surged along dusty corridors
while the silent city slept
one lone car raced its streets
tearing up the darkness
in dazzling silence
shining light into dim alleyways
and setting the highways alive
here was the pulse of the city
burning the darkness up
and though night tried to enfold it
darkness tried to calm it
it would not sleep
it could not sleep
for how could it
when so much needed to be thought
needed to be examined
needed to be known
The body lay still
its chest gently rising and falling.
Like the rocking of a baby
or the swinging of a pendulum
it kept time for sleep
held in its sway;
but not that brain.
This brain could not sleep
would not sleep;
and this brain is mine.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As it's the end of term

A wee poem for all my teaching friends to lighten your spirits in the home stretch of the summer term!

New poem: As it's the end of term

Today I woke and rose to shine
the coffee brewed up bang on time
I quite enjoyed my quiet time
then end of term kicked in.

You know what, this is what I'll do,
we'll hire a bus and drive to you
spend all the day seeing what you do
as it's the end of term.

We'll visit beaches near and far
go lay on sun beds in a spa
then race the fastest racing cars
as it's the end of term.

We'll turn the grounds into a zoo
race ponies out on Dartmoor too
then kick back with a firey brew
as it's the end of term.

We'll order pizza during school
watch film all day til our mouths drool
then dive into a swimming a pool
as it's the end of term.

We'll race up and down the corridors
on piggy back, slamming all the doors
then collapse in heaps upon the floors
as it's the end of term.

We'll play wet play games all day long
then spontaneously burst into song
and reflect how none of this is wrong
as it's the end of term.

The kids will love it, you will see,
all I've suggested in my glee,
is just for teachers, you and me (!)
as it's the end of term.

In truth, we'll turn up in 2 hours,
after shaves and hasty showers,
give our timetables a glower
as it's the end of term

and teach our children 'til half three
(then mark until the daylight flees)
but it's not long 'til we'll be free
it's almost end of term.

So, hang in there, my teaching friends,
we know this last hard slog will end,
then lay those books down,
but until then,
let's do 'the end of term.'


Sunday, June 22, 2014

I believe in you

As people who work with children, we have a great responsibility. At many points, they will freeze like a rabbit in the headlights believing sincerely that they cannot do this, whatever it is. In those moments, we have a choice. Either we let the child continue as they are tell them to chalk it down to experience. Or, we come alongside them, look them in the eye, tell them we believe in them offer to help them do it. This poem is about the long term impact this has on our children.

I believe in you

If the world walked by
Without a care
He'd have simply sat and stared
But one said they believed
This was not who he was
He was not simply ok
He was not just the sum of experience
Product of what had shaped him
Friends, family, life
He could be better
One had said to him
Long ago behind a wooden desk
While life swirled his ears
Dragging him down by the ankles
Swallowing him whole
One said he believed
That if he tried
He could succeed
That if he aimed for more
His hands would be full
That he was made for more
A purpose greater
Than the cards that life had dealt him
The world had walked on by
But this one had stopped
Each day he'd paused
And through this young man's storm
He spoke a ray of sunshine
Which parted the clouds
And showed him a glimpse
Of something far greater
"I believe in you"
We're his simple words
No more, but never any less
And these words rang in his ears
Like a gong in an empty dojo
Or waves breaking upon a deserted beach
These words sunk in deep
Deeper than he'd thought
For one day many years later
When all he thought he'd heard was long forgotten
Those words rang clear once again
"I believe in you"
An in that vital money
He chose greater than he thought he could
He aimed for more
He stepped out to take a risk
And to his surprise he walked above the waves
He wandered free through raging fires
He reached up to that far off mountain
He reached with more than his strength
With new strength he had been given
Long ago
Through the one who stopped
And with 4 words
Showed they cared
And he succeeded
All because long ago
Far ago in time and experience
One had said to him each day
"I believe in you."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Sunshine and the Rain

She loved the sunshine
The way it played on the waves
How it brightened everything
Adding new highlights to colours
It's warming light
Transforming a grey and dismal day

But the rain
The rain always came
Dark storm clouds would hide
Her precious sunlight
And darkness reigned
Each raindrop saturated,
Filled with sun-subduing shadow
And in the rain
She forgot the sunlight
Its light seemed far away
She could not feel it's warmth
She could only see the shadows
Cast on all that once shined bright
And inside, the light grew dim
Storm clouds gathered inside her soul
As the rain hammered down around her

But something changed
For the sunlight would not be held back
Through the dark, frosted glass bowl of the heavens
Broke a shard of sunlight
A ray of brightest day shone through
And in the rain, the light was transformed
It became more beautiful
More vivid
Deeper and more stunning than before
Beneath the shroud of the storm
The light was transformed within the rain
Darkest droplets were lit up
And split into a million colours
Their shadows chased away
The light which had seemed so beautiful
Was transformed within the storm
And so beautiful was the sight
That tears flowed fierce and free
Down her rain-drenched face
Each teardrop holding
A shining facet of the light's transformed ray
For in the rain
And deep within the storm
The light was shown in all its prismatic splendour
Greater and more beautiful
And she wept,
Knowing greater beauty than ever before

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The sound that beauty made

A poem born out of playing piano this evening.

The sound that beauty made

I had forgotten the sound that beauty made
The soul within a song
It's sound was an echo
Lost in the storm
Notes swallowed whole
In the wind's wild fury
But memories traced across manuscript paper
That familiar touch returned
With delicacy and hesitance
I pressed down gently
Leaping up at the touch of the note
Another finger joined and then another
Two hands playing together
In glorious harmony
This was magic
Beautiful and coarse
Smooth and rough
New and old
Woven in rich, sumptuous strands
A tapestry for the ears
An epic for the mind
Ebbing and flowing
Pitching and diving
Soaring and racing
Here was beauty
Melody was its name
Rhythm its creaking hull
And I the willing captain
Steering her through the storm
Though sometimes I could have sworn
I was merely a passenger
Watching the ship steer her own course
Buoyed upon music's vast and tremulous ocean
Coursing over my ears
Beauty flowed through my fingers
Soaking me up in its love and fire
Its firey passion overwhelming me
Throwing me, embracing me,
Reassuring me, leading me through

Here was my expression,
Here was my my voice,
My thoughts and wishes
Hopes and dreams
Made real
My whisper become a word
And that word grew in power
Until my fingers became the melody
My body lost within its rhythms

Yes, I had forgotten the sound that beauty made
But here
In this moment
My voice was heard
The sweet sound beat upon my very soul
And its tremulous beauty returned
With one foot upon the pedal
Its beauty held sway once more
As together, we rode and weathered the storm


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Paper wings

She sees the world in black and white
Colour drained from every sight
Love has lost its rosy tint
Life not even a hint
Of racing winds and soaring clouds
all she'd hoped for

'cos she can't fly on paper wings
held down by storms
and other things
as soon as lightning cracks her sky
and thunder fills her ears
she begins to fall

Paper wings weren't made to fly
He sits his desk job, life flies by
Wanting just a single chance
To see his body sing and dance
But legs like lead don't let you move
His wings can't lift him up

'cos he can't fly on paper wings
held down by storms
and other things
as soon as lightning cracks his sky
and thunder fills his ears
he begins to fall

Yet paper wings weren't meant for us
We're made to fly like eagles, us
With wings of gold I want to see
Raised above my frailty
We're made for better
made to soar
Above the storms that rage and roar

No, I can't fly on paper wings
my storms pull down
through many things
but though lightning cracks across my sky
the thunder fills my ears
and I begin to fall
you give me golden wings to fly
and above all this I soar


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Curtain call

Seeing posts about am dram and theatre production rehearsals brings back a sense of nostalgia. The parts are picked, the lines learned (well, you think so...) scenery is constructed, coffee and biscuits consumed until finally that first night draws round. It's time for the curtain call!

Curtain call

Quietness descends on the packed out hall
Chairs squeak in anticipation
As the house lights go down
Full beams light up the curtain
Like searchlights seeking their target
All eyes are trained on those velvet drapes
The wall between reality and imagination
Stands with hands poised on ropes
Ready to throw them back
And draw willing minds
And hungry imaginations
Into this make believe world
Actors gather in the wings
Some nervously
Others self assuredly
All feel the tide of anticipation
Straining against it's dam
It's come to this
The time has come
Every minute has prepared
Whispered lines echo
Like lost words
In a dusty museum
Silent signals are given
and shadows creep
Into their well walked places
As they don their alter ego
The mask comes down
As they are themselves no more
They are stage makeup,
Ragged threads,
Another person altogether
They are the character
And as the music starts,
The hands poised upon ropes
Begin their arduous task
As the veil is torn aside
And with a collective breath,
The line between reality and imagination
Is blurred
For they are now one
And tonight they shall dance together

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chartwell House

We went to Winston Churchill's home, Chartwell House today. Something very peaceful about the grounds. This poem came while walking.

Chartwell house

The plants were lounging in their beds

Beads of dew hung to every leaf

Clear globes upon each tip

A world of light contained within

Loose blooms danced like butterflies

Fluttering in the damp, white light

Ancient oaks stood resplendent

Their arms moving gently

In the chilly breeze

Great grass carpets rolled out

Beneath the shade of hazel boughs

Neatly trimmed

Like a child's first hair cut

I breathed them in

Their clean, green air

Their colour bathed light

Tiled steps led routes

And I wandered

Down stony paths

And hidden trails

And here I found my mind

Wandered wide and far

On snowy clouds

And dampened air

Thoughts turned to dreams

And dreams grew wings

To soar among the towering trees

And quiet, faded memories

As I, with all my daily worries

Here, found peace

Among Chartwell House's

Grandeur, life and beauty

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The eternal question

Watching Doctor Who tonight slightly freaked me out.  The story involved a haunted house where the Doctor and Clara could sense someone watching them.  It wasn't until the end of the episode that you found out who/what it was but it reminded me how that sense of someone watching you or a niggling question can consume you.  It can seem to override everything else at times, dulling yourself to whatever else is going on.  A particular question asks itself to all of us.  The eternal question.

The eternal question

Do you feel like you're being watched?
That itch on the back of your neck?
A coolness in your back
tiptoeing up and down your spine?
A shadow flits across the doorway
but a shadow in your mind
or a darkness in your eye?
A spot that grows in strength and breadth
spreading across the synapses
dragging its eternal questions...
who are you?
what have you done?
how will it matter?

Invisible eyes wander,
creeping over every inch
as it leaves its mark upon your skin
a whisper accompanies the itch's steps
Are you enough?
A sliver of ice slips inside your heart
Am I enough?
Was it sufficient?
Will it ever be?
An invisible finger wiggles just once in your mind's eye
time's pendulum swings before the spot
as the spot grows wider
black inky tendrils stretch their disapproval
up and down your back
for all you have done can never be enough.
The watcher laughs its hollow laugh
as your once-straight back curves in hunched concern
its power is the lie
and the lie is a question
Aren't you enough?

But a watcher is merely an observer
and a lie can never be truth
for not behind but beside is one
who does not merely watch
and laugh
not one who observes and tricks
with the eternal lie
The one who stands beside
answers the lie
with blinding, glorious, disarming truth
with simplicity so beautiful
the spot which streaked across your synapses
flooding your mind with its inky poison
is stopped in its tracks
shrinks back into the spot it began in
and the spot is gathered within a tear
the watcher can only watch
for his power is in the lie
and the lie's power is broken
as the question is answered
in three simple words:

I am enough

and the tear fell to the floor
for the spot was not more


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The whisper in the wind

We all have storms.  Some are fiercer than others, but what they all have in common is they leave us feeling a shadow of ourselves, out of our depth and often like no-one else can understand or give us hope.  But, in the midst of the storm, the rain and the hopelessness is often a whisper in the wind.  The words of one who gives us hope and offers a hand to pull us up to walk above and through the waves.  We are not taken out of the storm's path but are there in that moment enabled to weather it.

The whisper in the wind

I held my eyes closed
what seemed like an age had passed
I dared not, would not,
I could not open them.
Should I?
As I opened my eyes, they were filled
My mind overtaken by the dark thunder clouds,
the lightning that splintered the sky
the thunder which shook me to my bones
and the wind, whipping the waves
into thundering white horses,
their hooves beating against my chest
pushing me down,
forcing me down
I felt myself sinking
lower and lower
for how could I stand
against the furious might of the storm?
I was just too weak

Then, the wind whispered your name
like a freshly honed knife,
it cut through the storm
the rain howled its pain
the thunder burst all around
the lightning tore through my mind
yet your whisper cut through
like a mother's hush
or dawn's first song
My feet stood waist deep
but they suddenly seemed firm
unshaken by the storm
Yours words lodged in my thoughts,
like sun beams etching their warmth
across my clouded mind
all around me was storm
yet in this moment, I knew
this was not who I was.
I was not confusion
I was not pain
I was not chaos or disarray
I was known by one
I was understood
I was loved.
though every part of me screamed with the storm in disagreement
the whisper spoke peace,
like balm to my aching soul;
its truths were the rock beneath me
its love the strength which helped me stand
its hope the light to my eyes which helped me see
the storm had made me forget,
held me in its powerful sway
and beaten and battered me
as I had let it have its way.
Yet, here as the storm raged on,
growing in powerful, raging ferocity,
the whisper began to hold sway.
In my weakness, it gave me strength.
When I did not know, it showed me he knew
Though I felt lost, it whispered my next step.

I lifted my eyes and saw his face
shining like bursts of dazzling sunlight
piercing the dark, cloudy landscape
and in the storm, I glimpsed the rainbow
painted across the canopy of the heavens;
and in the roar of the storm,
hope sang a greater, sweeter song.
I lifted my leg, though they felt like slabs of lead
and stepped forward.
One step at a time
the whisper of your name in my ears.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New poem: Kintsukoroi

Today, I learned a new word: Kintsukoroi. It means:

"To repair with gold". The art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been made broken.

This is the poem that came to mind.


"To repair with gold". The art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been made broken.

The pot lay whole on the sideboard

Precious and special

Full of memories, hopes and dreams

Many had touched it, held it, cradled it

Children, adults, visitors, strangers

Many had admired it

Some had love it

Few had hated it

For what it was and what they weren't

Precious and whole

But one day, the perfect was shattered

Perfect pieces flew across the cream white carpet

Peaceful shards dug in deep

And the perfect felt despised

The whole felt shattered,

Its perfection broken,

Its pieces scattered.

No-one walked near

Hands held back

For where is the beauty in brokenness?

Yet one came near

One saw the much loved pot

Saw past the brokenness

Knew the pot it had once been.

Piece by piece, He mended

Tending each crack, one at a time

Splinter by splinter

Piece by piece

And in the cracks He mended the brokenness with beauty

With gold and love He set the pieces in place

Until the pot was whole again

Broken now made whole

Its brokenness inlaid with gold

It's cracks boldly shining

For they made the pot even more beautiful than before


More beautiful for having been broken

And lovingly restored.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dancing with the dark

A wee poem which came to mind as I read a post called, Dancing with the darkness by a friend of Cat's, Tanya Marlow.  I'd urge you to read her post as it is very honest and incredibly helpful for anyone who's facing a darkness in their life.

Dancing with the dark
I looked out the window and there it stood
My darkness
It stared at me
Waved at me
In its eyes, it said "I'm here.
You can close the curtains
But I am still here.
I am not going away."
My fears and trepidations
stared me straight in my eye.
I raised my hand to the curtain
took a bunch of cloth in my hand
This soothing shield
These patterned blinkers
Drowning out the sound of his voice
Blinding me to his presence
Blanketing my thoughts in soft and warming activities
Things which are good and wonderful
Bright and cheerful
But cannot remove the dark
I raise my hand to the other curtain,
ready to slam them across
and block out the sight, the sound, the memory
if only temporarily
to forget.
But then I decided
I would not shy away
I would hide from my dark no more.
I dropped my hands to my side
And flicked on the light
Brightness shone behind me
light flicked around the window pane
I looked at my dark
I stared it square in the eye
And I decided
I shall dance with my darkness
I shall face my fears
Not alone, for the light is with me
He took my hand in a battle-like grip
And I met his forward step.
We danced and spun,
Pirouetted and jived,
Tangoed and street danced,
Threw our bodies around through all he could give
and with the light, I gave as good as I got.
We danced together, the dark and I,
I did not shy away.
And it controlled me no more
but I learned from the light
to let go my control
and find the strength of the light in the darkness
For how could I learn to dance with my enemy
If I did not take the first step?
I chose to embrace that which frightens me most
My enemy
My darkness
And I danced with my darkness
feeling the light at my side
For the darkness has followed me
All of my life
Yet, in that moment
As we danced, the darkness and I,
My fear fell away
The darkness' power was broken.
Exhausted, we collapsed
On my living room floor
My darkness eyed me,
And at last, I held its stare,
I slept like a babe
With the light all around
Knowing full well
That the darkness was there.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Bunnies and Jesus

Sometimes I wonder about the Easter bunny
I wonder, have you?

Chocolate for all, often for free
Laid out in secret, hidden cunningly
Underneath trees or hidden in bushes
Watching children searching with giggles and pushes?
Does he spy on the kids to see how they react?
I picture him hiding with binoculars and camouflaged hat
And where does a rabbit get that kind of chocolate?
Does he have a machine like a giant sweet magnet,
To filter the sweetness of things around,
To make all the eggs which soon will be found?
And what about foil and the cardboard for boxes?
I think birds wrap the foil, and they're packaged by foxes!
And how does he get them in place for the day?
Why, an army of wildlife take them away
To the young and the old, to the rich and the poor
The bunny brings chocolate to everyone's door.

But it's not just a bunny who accomplishes much
Every year around Easter there's one other as such
His ears were not floppy, or his head crowned with flowers,
But he did wear a crown of thorns which were ours
In his hands not a basket all covered with ribbon
Instead was a cross bar with splinters all ridden
He didn't hop here and there in the sun or the chill
But he did take a crossbar up Calvery's Hill
The bunny takes nothing but leaves us a lot
Jesus takes our shame and pays full for the lot
Where the bunny gave chocolate all wrapped up with string
Jesus gave life, the best life in all Spring
The bunny will leave when the eggs are all gone
Jesus will stay til the journey is done.
The chocolate brings happiness for only a day
Jesus gives hope and life, chasing fear far away.

Sometimes I wonder about the Easter bunny
and all the chocolate treats he brings.
But, this Easter, Jesus comes as well
and forgiveness, hope and new life brings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Everyone stood by (A Good Friday poem)

Everyone stood by
And watched as it happened
A man on a cross
Just a regular day
The criminals hung there
Like most weeks, together
Side by side
As justice held sway
Today felt no different
3 men nailed up there
Dignity denied
Guilt laid bare
The men on the side
Common men, locals, thieves
The man in the middle
What a following he leads
Well, led I suppose
After all it's all over
His road to Jerusalem
Ends with him doubled over
The pain and despair
Seemed etched on his face
Like part of him wished
One could stay in his place
Except that look seemed to say
"I have chosen this path
I will not look back
From this hardest of tasks."
This man in the middle
Cried out to his father
I don't blame the man
Nothing could be harder.
But scanning the crowd
No father was there
He looked down instead
On a woman he stared
His voice a hoarse whisper,
"Mother, this is now your son"
The most tender of love
He showed to this one
The afternoon rolled by
Then the central most man
Lifted eyes up to heaven, crying out
"Father, forgive them
Though they don't understand."
He looked on one man
Hanging there on that tree
His eyes spoke forgiveness
That could have been me.
A tear stained my face
Though I couldn't say why
When an ocean of blackness
Rolled on 'cross the sky
With a cry he looked up and then bowed his head
The air went dead still
Like the world took a breath
Then a sound burst up and out
Like a cheetah it leapt
It was like all creation
Had cried out and wept.
They poked him and prodded
He was dead as a stone
I suddenly realised
He died there alone
They lowered the cross bar
His friends took him away
Was this really the end?
Could this God man be dead?
Had his story concluded?
It just seemed too soon.
But that's not the end
In 3 days, look to the tomb.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Look at your neighbour (what do you see?)

A poem which came out of tonight's student celebration in worship. Looking around, what I saw was a crowd of neighbours. No different from me, but sinners wonderfully saved by Jesus.

Look at your neighbour
What do you see?
A different face, clothes?
An alternative me?
Do their eyes match your own?
Is their hair slightly grey?
If so, be careful not to
Mention that to their face
Do their eyes have a sparkle?
Does their smile hide a frown?
How would you describe them,
Or an up or a down?
Do they have it together?
Are they falling apart?
Only they and their Father
Know what's in their heart
Do the things that they do
Or the thoughts that they hide
Make any real difference
To their rightness inside?
Look at your neighbour
Are you surprised?
To your left and right
Are the shamed and despised,
Th shabby and broken,
The sad and depressed,
The ones who have tried as you did
And failed the test,
The fallen and sorry
Fill seats either side
Mixed checked shirts and gillets
Oh my, what a sight.
But, look past the picture
My friends, see the truth
When our Father looks on us
He cries, "I choose you!"
The humble and broken, my children,
I call them my own
If you look on my dear son
And call him your own
These brothers and sisters
Who sit to your sides
Have known tears and joy, love and pain
But most, they know me
I call them and you
Inheritors, my precious ones
For Jesus paid for you.
His blood makes you mine
So look at your neighbour,
I am you and you are me
Being changed to his image
Rejection forgiven,
At his side, a space
Brothers and sisters
Sinners, the shameful
Saved by grace.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Forgetful child

Come my forgetful child, come
Look upon my pierced son
Look upon his nail-scarred hands
Think upon Heaven's renewed lands
Listen to the words he spoke
Open wide your eyes and look
To see the truth of Heaven's son
The Father's first and most beloved one
Stands there before the Father's feet
Each day he earnestly intercedes
That He who sent the rescuer
Might look on you with tender grace
Yes, look my child and clearly know
The love he has continually flows
From a Father's tender heart
Onto your poorly, sick and soiled heart
And changes you, each day some more
To know the good he has in store
When one day soon he takes you from these foreign shores
From all the pain and sorrow you feel
And brings you gently then to kneel
In light and life and holy wonder
Before the me who all of darkness sundered
And you know then as now in part
The true goodness of your Father's heart
Yes, look my forgetful child and know
The love I have for you will show
The most when you admit your sin
And feel my peace in you, deep within
So know your sin, but more my grace
Let my peace reign in guilt's place
For it holds no long-lasting sway
In hearts that choose to love my name
If you are mine, you're mine indeed
Jesus stands before me to intercede
Each sinful stain you had is gone
Washed clean by sweet Immanuel's blood
So stand up straight, dear soul rejoice
For the day you made me your own choice
Was the day that sin lost all it's power
Ruins, what remains of that strong tower
Though you oft forget, remember now
When Jesus died for you, he made you new
So stand up straight as God's child now
Each day being more renewed.
The Father loves you through his son
The perfect, true and lovely one
So you are pure and white as snow
Rise, my child and in my grace, go.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

My grace is sufficient for you

A wee poem that came out of being reminded this morning that God's grace is sufficient for me. Continual failure that I am, His grace continues each day to be sufficient for me!

The waves they are crashing
the storm seems so strong
but my grace is sufficient for you.
The power to change this
seems far from your hands
but my grace is sufficient for you.

When others feel strong
yet your arms feel so weak
then, my grace is sufficient for you.
When your voice seems to fail you
and no words will speak
my grace is sufficient for you

The enemy temps you
sometimes you give in
still, my grace is sufficient for you.
When his vilest of lies
creeps under your skin
yet, my grace is sufficient for you.

When you think that you sin's
an un-passable wall
know my grace is sufficient for you
Look up and step over
for you are forgiven
my grace is sufficient for you.

The blood that my son shed
for you on the cross
says my grace is sufficient for you
and one day when you stand before me,
I'll say,
"My grace is sufficient for you."

So don't doubt the love
that I have for you, child,
for my grace is sufficient for you.
One day, you'll join me
but during this race
know my grace is sufficient, you see?

So, one day you'll stand
before my eternal throne
and say, "His grace is sufficient for me!"
Sufficient for me!
Sufficient for me!
The grace of my God is sufficient for me!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

I walk through the isles
of my local shops
the shelves all adorned with
their flowers and chocs.

Promises made
of a happier day
if their produce I'd buy
and the money I'd save.

The joy that I'd bring
with a large bunch of colour,
a box of delight
or that diamond ring.

I peruse all their wares
for the bestest of gifts,
and a meal that will bring
a smile to their lips

A basket full up
I walk to the checkout
glad in the knowledge
that I'm now sorted out.

But, wait.
Will she love me
if all that I bring
are choccies and roses?
a new diamond ring?

Will our relationship grow
if a flower I offer
or a card that I share
for the love that I proffer?

In truth, these are tokens
of my true affection
of the love that I hold
for this most lovely of people

Though only a day
in a commercial year
which some say just boosts
shops' revenue, which is clear

I choose to surprise
the one that I love
not with costliest gifts
but an expression of love

A card which I've made
a gift she'll adore
(well, hopefully, I add
if not, the receipt waits in store!)

Above all, the desire
to surprise and delight
she is my best,
my crown's shining light.

Yet, without this love,
who are where would I be?
I can't love my wife
as my heart's cold, you see

If it weren't for my father
who gave up his son,
the most costly gift
for this selfish one

The son modelled love
as I hope each day to show
when he died on a cross
for the ones he loved so

For you and for me
his loved poured rose-red
His gift was his life
as his arms lay outspread

This Valentine's day,
let your love show most
as Jesus' did for you
as he died on that post.