Poem: Which Alters Not

Because of love

I long to see the day your heart

will claim again

the sacred beat of precious life

you did not chase away;

And live all you once dreamed to live

but chose instead to hide beneath

the wrong belief

that you were not fit for

such sacred duty.

Because God gave eyes to love

to see the treacherous lie

that wove in you the wrongly held belief,

and faith to see what lay beneath

and hope to see the day of your

longed for liberation.

No tempest rude or stormy tantrum,

no wound still healing from the battle,

can break the ground

or loose the mighty firm foundations

of a love, of such a love

born of generations.

And so my dearest darling,

whenever comes the day that the chains

that bind you up, break apart

fly away

It will be the day I saw in you

so very long ago

I’ll always love you

Never doubt you

truly then

truly still.

Poem: To Simply Love

To love you

To simply love you

To rest my hand upon your cheek

Tender with all the love you seek;

To love you

To simply love you

Not to argue if you are worth it

But to pour upon you all the love you’re worth;

Conflicted, my dearest darling

Feeling unworthy of the work you are called for

Knowing all the joy that it would bring too

Knowing all the love it would bring you;

Oh but to love you

To simply love you

And rest my kiss upon your cheek,

Tender, with all the love you seek..

“All My Favourite People Are Broken” – Over The Rhine

Sometimes you find, quite by accident, a poem or verse or song that says the very thing you had wanted to say, but somehow all the words were too much of a jumble in your head to be able to say them.

This one such song. You can listen to here.

All my favourite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just want to hold you and let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other, try to rise above
We are not afraid to admit we are all still beginners
We are all late bloomers when it comes to love

All my favourite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Awful believers, sceptical dreamers, step forward
You can stay right here, you don’t have to go

– Over the Rhine “All My Favourite People”

Be blessed.

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Poem: Meditations on 1 Corinthians 13 – pt 3: Endurance

I would walk a mountain’s path

However deep, or cold, or long;

I would write the finest sonnet

– or the sweetest song,

If that was what love called me so to do.

I endure, and oft surprised

By all my love would give to you.

 

A young man’s lifetime I have given

An old man’s lifetime stored inside;

And all between, and in the meanwhile,

 – smiles, and whispers nuzzling pride;

Shared work, vibrant embraces – but, my love, till then

Endurance that would scale the highest mountain,

or would write the sweetest love song by it’s pen.

Poem: Meditations on 1 Corinthians 13, pt 2 – Hope

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Like a crocus, hidden deep

Buried beneath cold hard ground,

A bulb beneath crumbling earth

Feeling the chill regress,

The earth – thaws.

Reaching, seeking, yearning for light;

For hope is not insensible

It is rooted, fed, nurtured

 – sleeping, but instinctive to life

to it’s call: sunlight, bright

rain, cool breezes, heat and warmth

the yearning to embrace, and grow

Brightly, fully into

Life.

Hope, of freedom.

Hope, of joy.

Hope, of flowering

Hope,

of love.

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Christmas reflection: In the Bleak Midwinter

It always seems just that little more unjust when a terrible tragedy occurs near to Christmas; it seems to bite that little bit deeper that when – as we are being told that this is the season to be jolly, to gather with our family and friends and give thanks – some sorrow dims the bright colourful lights we surround ourselves with.

Any day that a loved done is ripped from us unjustly, prematurely – is  a day that is burnt in to the heart like a brand, whether it is a bright summers day with the skylarks dipping in and out of the blue skies and summer bugs; or a grey midwinter whose only previous duty had been to provide at least enough daylight to get the chores of the day done.

But the enticing presents we are encouraged to buy, that extra rich food we want to treat ourselves and our loved ones to, the constant reminder that this is the time we give special thought to those dearest to us – this is also the season that for those whose grief is fresh and raw; those whose hearts are still heavy with a grief they cannot shake; those whose lives are left discarded and forgotten.. these enticing gifts, colourful lights and glittering decorations serve to throw light on the deepest and darkest of sorrows.

When the days are too short, too cold, too dark, too forgotten we may out of guilt cast a glance in their direction, perhaps given a donation or two, and tell ourselves that – for another year – we have done our duty and given thought enough. But then we forget again – we forget that even the warmest day wont make the cardboard box any more comfortable for the homeless person. We forget that the grief of losing a child does not cut less deeply when the decorations have been put away for another year. We try not to remember that poverty, loneliness, illness’, isolation, exclusion, oppression and violence don’t melt away with the ice in the bottom of the drink at the party.

Winter has always been a time of hibernation, a time of death: the days are too short, the wind bites the cheeks and we reach for the light. But in our reaching – for hope, for even the merest flicker of the slightest flame – for the promise of the renewal that will follow, eventually, we grasp only long enough to warm ourselves against it enough to tide us over. We don’t think to pick up the light and carry it – carefully, thoughtfully, generously – so that others can share in its comfort.

Instead we put it down again, or pack it away with that present you don’t really like from the relative you tolerate for the sake of a quiet life.

The Christ child is born – but for the mother who has just miscarried the longed for child, the sight of such a precious and vulnerable blessing may resemble not happiness but grief.

The Christ child is given – but for the homeless person who sees the bright lights coming from the church at night and knows they would not be welcome, there is no generous joy.

The Christ child is incarnate – but for the trans woman who is treated with disdain and suspicion because how she presents her body is viewed with enmity,  there is only a hollow story that serves her only ill.

Sometimes our human hands hold that tender light too roughly – sometimes we even expend a lot of time and energy into stamping out the spark.

And yet the Christ child is born, the Christ child is given, the Christ child is incarnate: the slightest flicker of a flame, a barely smouldering wick, the slenderest and most vulnerable spark, here for the oppressed, the captives, the prisoners, the weak, the sick; those considered the very least by men, yet raised to speak truth to those same men by God.

In the bleak midwinter, keep tenderly the light

And may the peace of Christs Mass, be with you on this night.

 

 

 

Poem: Meditations on 1 Corinthians 13: Patience

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 7

Patience is not compliance – it is not meek, or weak, or mild;

Patience is not always acceptance, but defiance, and tensile steel strong.

Patience gives of itself, but is not a doormat upon which fear can be trodden;

Patience seeks, and probes and prays like a coursing river, foaming and wild.

It aches deep in its bones, in the breath of its soul;

And it weeps when it must though the tears are not told.

Yet it stands, resolute and unbowed, a mountain that does not fall;

And it withstands, undaunted, weathering storms, strong and tall.

Born of deepest love, seeing clearly, its joy carried as choirs sing ;

Nourished by faith and kept cool in the beat of the angels wings.

Patience dreams, keeping open its arms, a candle always alight;

Marking the way, the path, the place, the day, the night

when patience job is done

and love has finally won.

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Sonnet 116: Looking on Tempests, Unshaken

I love Shakespeare’s sonnets. No, I absolutely adore Shakespeare’s sonnet’s.

Should it come as any surprise, I have a romantic streak about a galactic mile wide, and the sonnet’s speak into my very bones. It is in the poets eye that romantic love is seen most clearly, and the troubles that will come: and it is the poets soul that can navigate the turbulence when it comes.

This is my favourite, for reasons of poetry, of abiding love, and of romance.

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Poem: Some Nights – Shakespeare…

There were nights, days when

I had to reach for a sonnet,

written long since;

Some Shakespeare verse or two,

A Barratt-Browning, perhaps

when mine own

Words were so very few,

or tired a little,

of the lonliness.

How do I love thee, let me

count the reasons, dozens

Like dazzling stars,

Glinting brightly against the night

sky, deep and still

waiting for morning,

for sunrise

for daybreak.

Some nights like Alice I fell

into some surreal place,

your smile, like

A Cheshire cat, dazzling bright

whilst from my vision

you fade

  from view

  until..

For as a poet sees, a poet

dreams upon a canvas

waiting to be

Painted with a cottage, door ajar

the smell of fresh baked

bread, sensuous warmth

calling you

home.