Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Madiba


The dry grass bends in the scorching heat
But the human beings won’t stay neat
And the hidden drums thud a quickening beat
And the drumbeats cry of freedom!

Their sorrow speaks in a thousand tears
Of the pain they’ve borne for too many years
The black man’s torture and the white man’s fears
And the drumbeats cry of freedom.

They lock a man in a dark, dark place
They name his words as a deep disgrace
For they cannot bear to see his face,
And the drumbeats cry of freedom.

But who is prisoner, who is free
Where racism holds sovereignty
And hatred holds the mastery?
And the drumbeats cry of freedom?

Forgiveness comes at a costly price
But peace must make the sacrifice
Truth isn’t easy and it isn’t nice
And the drumbeats cry of freedom.

The man who conquers his heart’s rage
Is the man who steps up to the stage
For he’s walked the darkness and he’s paid the wage
And the drumbeats cry of freedom.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Barefoot Girls


This world is not quite safe for barefoot girls
Who long to wander in the dew-wet grass
And feel the flowing-skirted touch of life
Roam ankle-deep through seasons as they pass.

But, oh, there are sharp stones beneath my feet,
And thorns and thistles snapping at my heels,
And all the world would say shod is more sweet.

Must we wear armour in this untamed place?
Must I defend my steps with hard firm shoes?
Why can I not go dancing into light,
Twirling and whirling barefoot when I choose?

Only in Eden were such footsteps safe;
Yet I await that day of running free
When there is not a single shoe to see.

I will be dancer, He will be my dance.
I will be singer, He will be my song
I will step boldly on unfading grass
And all the wondering world will dance along.


Blessed are those who love


Blessed are those who love; the ones whose hands
Are opened wide, to give and to receive,
Who live embracing mercy every day,
Walking the wondrousness that they believe.

Blessed are those who love; who face their fear
And reach across the valleys of their dread
To touch another’s soul with gentleness
And speak the words of peace and grace instead.

Blessed are those who love; who turn aside
From every thought of envy’s dark dismay
And rather choose to cheer another’s joy,
And cast the self’s idolatry away.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Memoriam 11.11.2018


Stand here and pray for peace, while soft-voiced ghosts
Speak of a century of agony
In tones that must compel our deeper prayers,
They bore their part and suffered; they are we.

Stop the loud thunders, listen to their words,
And be ashamed of every careless thought,
The swift scapegoating of all otherness:
Have we learned nothing that their pain has taught?

Have we learned nothing down the long slow years?
Have we not learned that every man bleeds red?
While politicians arc their platitudes
Let us be ones that pray for peace instead.

Let us be peace in every day its breath,
Let us be quick to listen, slow to speak,
And reach out hands to give and bless and heal,
And grow an olive leaf for this dove’s beak.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

She called me sister


You, who have suffered unthinkable things
From my race and my people;
The loss of your children and language,
The loss of your land and your culture,
The loss of hope
When greedy hands, white hands,
Snatched what they desired;
You, who have walked the path of Job,
Through loss and pain,
Loss and pain,
Loss and pain,
And darkness over the deeps;
You who were robbed,
By my kindred and my people,
The race by which I gain:
You called me sister!

This is the hospitality of Christ,
And to you I give my tears.


Thursday, November 01, 2018

All Things New


Your people are broken, your people are aching,
Fragmented, confused underneath sin and death;
But you are our Father, who loves us forever,
And all the dry bones come to life at your breath.

Our tears become rivers of blood, burn like acid,
Corroding the heart and despairing the soul;
But you, our Redeemer have bought us, will keep us,
Your body was broken that we might be whole.

We flail in our weakness, collapse in the shadows,
Heart broken and helpless, know not what to do;
O Spirit of God, who gives life to the dying,
Look down on creation and make all things new.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Jacarandas


As spring breathes towards summer,
They come.
Hinting, hinting, at dreams of bluest purple,
They come.
Sweeping the skyline, lovely as a promise,
They come.

They are the punctuation
Between bottlebrush and Christmas bush;
Dancing with the golden brown of silky oaks,
And the bright mirage of flame trees,
They come,
And we smile at their coming.

Sing, flowers, sing!
Sing of the quiet places,
The shadowed and secluded,
The rest that summer needs,
Refreshment of the weary:
Twilight at noonday
In your gentle, purple haze.

Each year returning
You bless our bright Novembers,
We lift our eyes from scurry
And pause in our great hurry
As you grace our teeming city
With your flowers and your fronds