Thursday, September 20, 2018

Birthing dreams

Beyond the futile dream, reality
Breaks through the mist, sword-sharp, and spear-tip bright.
Life with hard edges knocks against the soft
Of hope unfounded on the solid light.

A dream is not enough, unless we wake
Still holding fast, and bear it into day,
And plant it in this bitter, frost-bound earth,
And let the burning sunshine have its way.

And water it with tears, such tears as fall
From the deep sorrow of all that we are,
The toil of laboured hearts, till sweet-winged grace
Purges the stones and rips apart the scar

Of all our digging. Then the fresh-turned earth
Sings a new song, a melody of light;
And dreams become our wings, and raise us up
To shine into a world that’s steeped in night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Prayer for Truth

Oh keep me truth and not a lie
The while I live, the while I die
Upon this sweet and broken earth
Where tears are mingled with our mirth.
Oh light more fierce than any sun,
That beams upon us, one by one,
Give honesty to every breath
For dark untruth is always death.

And when I speak, as speak I must,
May my words rise above this dust;
Truth, like a sheer, transforming flame
Shall burn away the dross and shame.
The deepest truth is charity
In which alone our hope can be.

Monday, September 17, 2018

On Listening to the Agnus Dei

The music swells and fades, the sin goes on,
And who can profit from so dark a thing?
How shall we bear? But he has borne it all,
The Lamb of God who takes our every sin.

And all the world, and all the world he takes,
To bear the world’s vast agony away.
The sin of all the world? How shall we count
Its measure, who have built it every day?

Give us your peace, not ours. Ours is too small:
The peace of butterflies and sunbeams’ dance.
We need your peace, peace that endures all things.
This is our hope, this is our only chance.

The Wind Blows

The wind blows.
Hard and fast, against the shutters of our minds,
The wind blows.
“Holy, Holy …” it whispers
And we shun the dereliction
Of our slow-dissolving dreams.
The wind blows.

The wind blows.
Whirling the dust of our foundations
Into dervish shapes, chanting the walls will fall.
The wind blows,
Hard and fast, shattering, destroying,
The wind blows.

The wind blows.
Roots of our world reversed,
Outcry of angels,
The wind blows.
Wind that we cannot see, cannot name,
Wind we cannot contain,
The wind blows.

The wind blows:
Oh my soul, my soul!
Turned inside out,
Cringing from blazing light.
The wind blows,
Blows us over
Again and again, as fast as we can build,
The wind blows.

The wind blows,
Somersaulting the world
And every breath cries holy!
The wind blows.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Suddenly Spring!

Suddenly Spring! And the blossom trees
Lift up their hands in praise;
The flowers
Sharpen their colours,
 Magpies swoop and sweep
Carolling the morning with their echoed cries.

Suddenly Spring! And the new leaves
Peep from their buds,
Waiting the kiss of sun;
Cockatoos graze
On the seeding grass – little sheep with a comical habit
And feathers white as wool.

Suddenly Spring! Earth moves with subtle mirth,
The air has changed its flavour – mild and warm;
The crested pigeon pecks at his reflection
Like the plastic bird that dips its head in water,
Then flies away, away on whistling wings.

Suddenly Spring! Winter’s cold heart is banished,
The witch is dead, the Lion rules again.
Tremble your gladness – listen to the whisper
Murmuring through the golden, light-laced air,
Oh bend your heart to hear it:
(The promise with us until Kingdom comes)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

For This One Purpose

(one from the archives)

For this one purpose fell the seed;
For this one purpose fell the rain.
(The soil was yielding-soft that clasped
The tree-to-be, the buried grain)

For this one purpose grew the tree
On some far, bare Judean hill.
For this one purpose came the axe
And every stroke the Father’s will.

For this one purpose planks were planed
From the straight trunk; fixed crossbeam-wise.
The apparatus was raised up
A stark, black cross against the skies.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


My one regret
Was the puniness
Of my rebellion.
I did not set my searing star
In a place that strained to reach,
But kept my comfort;
Smiling when I should have shouted,
Wriggling out
Of the challenge set too hard.
Being a daffodil
When I should have been a tree.

Only now I know
That daffodils, too, have courage,
Bringing hope
In the time of shearing wind.
It is better to sing feebly
Than be silent altogether;
And I still can learn to shout!