Friday, February 15, 2019

I am a Broken Pot

I am a broken pot.
You pour your water in.
And straightway it leaks out,
And yet it washes sin:
A broken vessel I,
A cymbal made of tin.

I am a scattered seed
That falls on troubled ground:
The strange dark winds of life
Have turned me all around.
Yet, since your grace rains down,
Some root, some foothold found.

I am a sheep confused.
I go my baa-ing way,
Deaf to the shepherd’s voice,
Unwittingly I stray.
Yet, in some unmarked field,
Yourself became my way.

I am the parable
Of every undone thing:
I have no voice of praise
Till you teach me to sing;
Yet, in your lightest word,
I find my everything.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

You Heard My Cry

You heard my cry and answered me
In the dry salvages
Where dust chokes all my utterance,
When I remember all my throbbing life
Is only dust,
To dust it shall return,
You answered me.

You heard my cry and answered me
In the lonely reaches,
In the dark of desolation,
Where the owl’s cry haunts
And the bat’s flit wears grotesqueness
In the crumbling ruins of my fear
You answered me.

You heard my cry and answered me
Under the shadow of doubt
And the voices calling questions
Till I wonder if I even have a name.
Swirled in the vortex of uncertainty,
Multiform in map-lessness
You answered me.

You heard my cry and answered me
Loving the unlovely
Always and everywhere
The only song I know,
Played in ten thousand melodies
To harmonise as one
You answered me
And gave to me yourself.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

This Dance

We will dance this dance together
Till our hearts beat to one time,
As we brush against each other
And our fingers intertwine;
Then the music calls us outward,
And we turn and twirl away,
Turning back towards each other
At the ending of the day.

This was never in our planning
All these steps we are compelled
Yet they come from deep within us
From our hidden selves upwelled;
There’s a song that won’t be silenced,
There’s a hush that must be heard,
There’s a power in the whisper
Of the heart-defining word.

So I bring to you this courage,
Torn and tattered though it be
All the grace that I can gather
From the ragged shreds of me.
They will weave and they will waver
For a wind is blowing through
Lending strength that feels like flying
As I stumble back to you.

For all love is nine-tenths courage
In the daring to let go
Of our fortressed self-protection,
The defences that we know:
To step out into the wildness
Of the music and the wind
And this dance the only compass
To the mercy we must find.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

For a Friend in Pain

Weave, mercy, weave your comfort round her frame
Soften the agony that burns like flame.

Let her be held in gentleness and peace
Until the torments of her body cease.

Unwind the ropes of pain that twist and snare
Until a gentle freedom meets her there.

Soften the harshness of mortality
Fill her with peace and gladness, whole and free.

Let her know rest, the gentle gift of grace,
Held in your arms through all that she must face.

Keep her within your mercy, safe, entire
This is my prayer for her, this my desire.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

On Reading "Educated"

They have bent their world to their words,
And fear, not love, is their binding;
They have harried the might-have-beens,
Self-righteously ever fault-finding
The shadows becoming their homes,
Their cause and their folly self-blinding.

I know not the God that they serve,
Heart-bitter, and hands toil-bleeding.
They see not his light or love
Only wrath and dark prophecy heeding;
In spiralling anger and dread
They seek what they think they are needing.

The earth is the Lord’s, oh yes!
The sun and the rain are his giving.
Their righteousness cannot attain
The peace of his boundless forgiving,
Caught in self-spun webs of deceit,
They have not begun really living.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Do not wrap me

Do not wrap me in moonshine,
I prefer
The swift, sharp stillness of the stars,
Cold as diamonds,
Cutting past the fluff.

Let me taste salt on my breath,
And a true wind blowing
Steady and sure and strong
Pinning me hard,
Against the inescapable.
Denial is bondage.

Let me smile at children (yes!)
And weep at beauty.
Let me laugh with the skipping clouds.
Let me find comfort
In the small things and the ordinary
(Grace notes for my dancing.)

But do not refuse me
The sound of the trumpets’ blaring,
The crushing weight of truth,
The silence at the heart of revelation,
The place where self is seen

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


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.