Sunday, 23 December 2007

Too Much

The bird's call to each other
The branches are bare
The frosty night governs the land
The birds twitter and then there is silence

The ancient poet said, 'let silence take you to the core of life'
What there can be melted down and remade?
Lies liquised and traded in
Love solidified and given out with the instruction:
'You must end the search for happiness'

Too much to stop
Too much to want to see the signpost pointing away from home
Too much water under the bridge not to be carried along by the past's dark tide
Too much agony, too much destiny
Too much talk to hear the still small centre that hides the reactor that locates the power

Centre of the earth
Centre of my soul

There is too much to know

Saturday, 8 December 2007

I have proclaimed truth's river but have not always been able to swim in it

I tried to hear the voice of love in the midst of the world's empty spinning.
I tried to listen to the only one who can save - the only one mighty enough to deliver from deep darkness.
God of heaven came down and walked through the haze of sinfulness,
The cloud of sorrowfulness, upon the shards of forgetfulness, and reached the edges of me.
Some will call, open-handed, shame-faced, contrite, whilst others will remain tight shut.
Those who do not open their eyes unto vain shallow tidings and cover themselves with truthful writings - they are the ones who will be blessed!
The Lord has taken the beating, the whipping, the driving pain of nails through flesh and bone.
He does not need silence, empty chatter or pretense.
He does not need the deep shaft of injustice reaching down into his earth.
I say, "When will the dark corners be exposed by the ruthless search-light from on high?
So many cowering figures to unfold, and my heart's story yet to be told."
I have proclaimed truth's river but have not always been able to swim in it.
Lord, will you not destroy the giants of corruption tramping through the mazes of indifference?
Concrete and steel columns that seem immovable will crack from within and crumble upon the heads of the poor.
Swirling patches of darkness, like typhoons will rush down and catch men up, along with the things that they have made.
And I remain fixed in a closed space surveying my hands and the landscape for new signs of life.
Lord, there is enemy who comes only to rob, kill and destroy.
Broken vessels strewn the earth.
Lord, when will you lead the heavenly host out?
When will the gate swing wide and prosperity shout?
Lord, you stand on the edge of victory's dawn, as so many hearts are failing.
My eyes are dimming.
The ravages of sin have made so much of the earth uninhabitable.
Yet it is still lived in.
Lord of hosts, this is your home.

(based on Psalm 40, written using the Psalm Readings technique)

Monday, 26 November 2007

Cool of the Day

I didn’t know where you were,
So suddenly departed from your routine.
Was it always in your mind
To wander so far from our meeting place?
I didn’t know what to do.
How long was I to wait?
What was I to think?
I thought our love was real.
Strolling through leafy garden glades,
Smiling and talking, gazing upon bounty’s home.

Why did you hide when you heard my footsteps
Approaching amid the rustling branches?
The leaves you covered yourself with are withering.
My darling, when the sun goes down
You will not be able to find your way home.
All this beauty now casts a shadow.
I am fading from your memory,
And soon you will no longer know who you are.
Fading light touches my face tonight,
The first of many evenings in alone.

But before you go take these clothes,
Sewn from skins that speak of a sacrifice
Many years from now.
A sign, my dearest love,
Of how I would allow myself to be hunted down.
When you stepped out from behind that tree
I knew I would hang on another
In the cool of a different day,
Through the longest of nights.
But, right now, I don’t want you to be cold.

Friday, 2 November 2007


It’s so cold here in Winterval.
Shop lights glow revealing treasures within,
Calling across empty hearts where sorrow hides.
‘There’s more, always more.
Come inside.’

It’s so silent here in Winterval.
Like the little match girl freezing in the last flicker of dawn
We wait to be found.
No star in the night, no chorus of angels,
No word spoken, no not a sound.

It’s so dark here in Winterval.
They took down every sign.
No welcoming inn to rest a while, no sweet wine to savour.
Made like barren women, never to give birth, always to strive,
Like men, forever to journey, but never to arrive.

It’s so sad here in Winterval.
With no reason to give gifts
We lie wrapped in a joyless world, so meek, so mild.
Nothing to remember, no story to tell.
No Christ to worship and adore, just an inner child.

Friday, 21 September 2007


Were you a boy who played in trees,
Ran down dusty lanes so as not to be late for tea?

I hide and am hungry.
I dare not run far for a mine may greet me before mother.

You live behind such high gates,
Whilst a slow death march into terror's marsh is our fate.

Did you dream as a boy,
And wake needing a father's hand on your shoulder?

I can no longer remember the features of my father's face.
Your image fills my every waking moment.

I am so small.
Your power is a fast-flowing river full of bodies.

What do you recall tonight,
As the wind blows through the dry grasses?

I wanted to be a doctor,
A ship's captain, an explorer, a pilot...

I wanted to be a teacher, a builder of houses, a writer...
Anything, anything at all, but not, never, ever, a freedom-fighter.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Pure Steel

The flashing blade
Will blind the enemy's eye
For a moment in time

The advantage gained
Sure-footed on the Rock
With a firm grip

Thrust forward the Spirit's sword
The pure steel will not fail
Jesus is Lord

Friday, 14 September 2007


unmet vows are sworn
into the night sky
they gather towards
one bleeding dawn
so many promises broken
as morning scatters holy wars
wholly yours, wholly mine
hurry away my love
the time dies
rest will not kiss you
see the horizon
and not the demise
beauty still marches
truth stands silently
goodness has vanished
but we remain
no more, no more war
some still say it's a just
expression of man's aggression
as his hands drip sores
in the wet garden
the story unfolds
the plot is a forest
in which many are lost
woe-filled worlds collide
the end is an arrow
right through my heart
my love please hide
how will we break
the back of despair
pray and weep with me
for warfare is made
choice is before us
His feet are passing
My man, where are you?
Rest in my shade

Thursday, 13 September 2007

dogs of war

dogs of war are fighting on
our hearts full of pity
for kids with no hands to hold
no feet to run and tell
of nasty dreams and screams
who will turn you in?
you curs of the world
you curse us
barking at the broken dawn
we stare into the night
you lick your silver and gold
have your bloody feast
and god knows what is

Monday, 20 August 2007

mourning has broken

the night has broken
morning has arrived
black bird has spoken
sound of sunlight
praise for war ending
praise for sun rising
praise for life waking
man receives sight

sweet the rain's falling
sunlit my darling
kisses like dewfall
touching my hand
come and remember
our house of sweetness
sprung in completeness
from the first land

mine is the reasoning
mine is the labour
born of the one type
eden expelled
come and forgive us
come and redeem us
need to recover
hand that we held

Saturday, 18 August 2007

The Snowdrop

A tear before falling
Held in fragility
Overcoming the winter
The flower to spring forth first
From the darkness of the earth

A pure promise of spring
Clothed in simplicity
Shivering in the wind
An eldest child longing for many brothers -
For a sudden appearing, a carpet of beauty

From highest heaven He came
Feet planted on rough wood
He died in the deepest of winters
The first born of many brethren
The third day to spring forth

What does this mean?
Praying and pleading
Fallen man upon a frozen earth
So many not seeing the white bud pushing up
Breaking winter’s curse

The first fruits of creation
Asking for others to come and to cover
The earth in beauty beyond all despair
Many brethren, many brethren suddenly appearing
Creation is singing, the melting, the melting’s begun

Saturday, 4 August 2007


the darkened edges
bruised reeds, a smouldering wick
hope springs eternal

hope springs eternal
bruised reeds, a smouldering wick
the darkened edges

underworld return
turning the shadows of night
to glorious light

photo Martin Crep

Monday, 30 July 2007


underfoot stone. walls no longer for defending. a castle.
vantage point. an open gate. enemy within.
bells toll for the faithful. bars full. what the young do not yet know.

the past is a deep river. it runs and runs. mighty waters.
the past begot a child. the present. wants to forget.
the future. a vista of many colours now. not only red.


we need to come clean
sit out in the autumn rain
let enough water seep through
to float sunken dreams

we need to find the silver thread
weave it through ideals
loop it around as many as possible
make a human wall

we need to dam the tide of hunger
shore up against future's greed
hear hammer blows of tyranny
scales of justice creaking in the breeze

we need our need
we need to see evil's dark heart
and be cut to the bone
we need to come home

Thursday, 26 July 2007

The Human Family

Marked for a tribal future
The face of a stranger appears in a dream
And then fades into a forgetting day

What breath, what breeze
Could change our fate?

Clothed in kindred spirits
The face of mother like the sun never to set
Nothing to be seen in the glare

What war, what want
Could change our minds?

Driven by a need so deep
It's never to be named, not to be met
Pushing down, down into dust

What rhetoric, what ritual
Could change our hearts?

Marked. A bloody future
Subsumed by the wounds of a stranger
Scars. Remembrance. The Human Family.

Inspired by the photographic series, The Human Family by Martin Crep

Friday, 20 July 2007


Grown in such inhospitable ground
Petals of pity trembling in battle's breeze
Pity for all that's lost, for all in the grip of blind force
Pity for
every soul torn, for the weight of unrelenting remorse
Distressed soil of for
gotten fields your home

The earth weeping the blood in which your seed is sown
Pick the poppy, make its death your own
Wear it close to your heart, walk on
But do not look for peace
It is the shoes on your feet

Thursday, 19 July 2007


From what was I made?
Dark longing of man
Full-orbed hope of woman
Met in yesterday's pool
Where passion rose
And thought descended
Into the deepest depths

From where did I come?
Above, below, within
Womb within a womb
Travelling, entering, confined
Suspended within the walls
Of blind time

What does this mean?
Fallen between
Male and female
Near or thrown far
Distance measuring existence
Beyond maker, creator

Where will I go?
Breath before death
Blame before shame
Brother against brother
A flood, an ark
A flaming sword piercing
Between the light and dark