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!

Friday, August 17, 2018


The hour of blossom:
Clings to the bough,
Till any breeze
Spreading wide,
The promise that is Spring.

And we,
Lift up our eyes;
For beauty
Has visited again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How long, O Lord?

Dark waves turn all to waste
As they have done before;
Despair leaves a thick taste
And pain is at the door.

Injustice slinks around
And snatches here and there:
A paw-print on the ground,
A cold stench in the air.

No matter what we try,
A sense of helplessness;
With no tears left to cry,
For tears are powerless.

Can prayers reach past the clouds,
The skies that hem us in?
Our words fold in like shrouds,
Our breath begins to spin …

A world of futile pain,
A heartless, bitter place
Where loss comes after gain
And laughter seems misplaced.

Yet, patient on his throne
The King of Heaven waits
Still caring for his own
Still bringing in his saints.

Still waiting through the night
Until the stars shall flee:
The coming of the light,
His bright eternity.

And, till that day shall rise
When justice is complete,
Birds still sing in the skies,
Grass still grows round our feet.

And grace, his precious grace,
Through every rainbow glows;
And there is still a place
Where mercy ever flows.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Today I weep for the children

Today I weep for the children,
The captives of human bitterness,
Too young for any crime;
Sundered, caged, denied,
Ripped from all human decency
And pointing to our guilt.

Today I weep for the children,
Pawns of the politics of hate,
The playthings of our greed,
Objects of lust,
The torn and the broken,
The trampled least-of-these.

Today I weep for the children,
The victims of our systems
Detritus of a throw-away society,
Conveniently out of sight,
Abandoned to the predators
And crucified again.

Today I weep for the children
Desperately seeking
For the words they don’t yet have
To name their dreadful sorrow,
To remind us
What was said about a millstone and the sea.