Poem: On meeting the poet

It is better that some meet me

written down;

In person I err on

slightly wonky,

apt to wear a frown –

for space is oft repleet

with tumbling of thoughts

that spin around,

and I’m told that lost

in space

i have not grace

(only a frown)

 

It is better that some meet me

written down;

for there are those

whose heart could map,

that lost-in-space

not-worried frown;

 

and those, who might suppose,

whilst briefly

hanging round;

how well I wish thee

is not for me

to quantify;

 

Nor can I guess

why you only briefly

came on by.

 

 

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Poem: Songs of Raggedy Praise

There are Sundays when all I can bring, God

are the cries of a broken heart

a voice that is sore from the weeping

a mind that is flying apart

 

And I wish I could give you something of value

but its all that I have to bring

these songs of raggedy praise 

for my God, who is brother and king

Some of these tears are so bitter to taste

Can I give them to you God, please

I want to give more, but please take them away

for it’s all I have and can give you today

 

Oh I wish I could give you something of value

but its all that I have to bring

these songs of raggedy praise 

for my God, who is brother and king

God takes all these tears, now not bitter to taste

and these raggedy prayers straighten seem;

and the feeling suffice, so much warmer my heart

still raw from the ice, let it not make me hard

 

How I wish I could give you something of value

but its all that I have to bring

these songs of raggedy praise 

for my God, who is brother and king

Poem: cister, sister

You say hello to someone

and they say hello to you

You ask them what their name is

– and they tell you.

Why do you shake your head and say

“No I refuse to use that name,

I think I have a better name for you”.

 

Excuse me whilst I say this

But that’s really very rude,

for I’m sure that you would much dislike

the same thing done to you.

 

 

Now captors language you do speak

and most often too, repeat

when you justify the right

to segregate these ones from you –

“separate but equal” is fake news;

why choose you, now, to disbelieve

that this indeed, was always true?

 

It has always been identity –

seeking dominance and primacy –

that drove us, as it drives us

to the depths of cruel brutality,

White toxic patriarchy with which

we sought equality;

and now the captors tools are gripped,

tight gripped by both our hands –

this is not where we should be,

or where truth stands.

 

Though you would have some of

my sisters be transgressing nasty misters

and some brothers be

some poor unthinking fools to be relieved –

 

I’ll not keep my hand

where this harm be left to stand,

nor seek to keep

that separate state

we seek to leave;

 

No, saviour I am not

and will not be,

but liberations’ maiden I’ll embrace –

and fear not to speak loves name

or show God’s grace.

 

 

 

Poem: Upstanding Up, Standing Upside Down

I looked at it backwards

or perhaps as a mirror would,

though not would I claim to have

perfect my view –

there is too much to see that I

would not see

for me to say that

and to have that

be true;

 

But I am not her who suggests

that her theory is

somehow the only

and, exclusively

true –

I merely suggest

though you think me in jest

that the platform you

stand on is placed

to allow you

to see what you’ve heard

is the only good

view;

 

I merely invite you

– though not to delight you,

or have you drawn in

to some sticky old web –

to consider that we

are unable to see,

this earth in its whole

and the whole of its globe –

not even if one had the

vantage of space –

for your eye would not travel

the whole of its grace.

 

But you could perhaps travel

o’er more of its face.

 

Oh I see you still

claim I am in the wrong

place.

But I did not speak here

to drag you from

that space –

just to invite you,

and perhaps to remind you

that neither should you

claim to see,

what no human eye

could perceive.

Poem: The Woman I Am Is A Feeling Too

 

I’m still learning to name

who I am,

who I’ve been

to recognise self and

name all of me;

all that was odd and

jumbled up

like glob-knot of string

I still carefully unwind,

the revealing it brings;

 

 

I learnt to find self by

the gifts that I got

from hands that were worn

but made tender with love;

and tender hands taught me

that what I was given

was not to store up

in some

quiet private heaven –

Justice to fear won’t give in,

and liberation welcomes all in.

 

And it doesn’t reduce us to things

And it hopes and it loves

and it never gives up

and all of the feeling I bring

is part of the woman I am

and I sing

we are bodies

but we are not things –

stop pinning it down like

a butterfly’s wing,

as if that in itself is all that defines

what makes a butterfly

grow wings

to fly.

 

the poet can speak as she finds –

and weeps,

when justice of feeling is robbed,

and speaks liberation in captors retort;

the cage was undone,

but the chain?

the chain

was hung loose round our necks,

once again.

 

 

 

 

Poem: Meditation on Matthew 25: 31 – 46

Stranger, be not afraid –

come in, come in, the table is laid.

I see thee be weary, please sit yourself down

You are tired, you are thirsty  – come, see now

you can rest from your worries and

your burdens lay down.

 

Stranger be not afraid –

come in, come in the table is laid

I once too arrived here, a stranger like you

Be assured you can lay all worries down too

Find here a place where from sorrows released

Where indeed you are known, and loved – be at peace

Stranger, stranger

Why do you beg, for some crumb of food,

for these meagre dregs? Stranger, begone

for I shall not share; but in my great mercy

I will at least, leave you alone

to beg on the streets.

 

 

Those with most power are not the least

(Though they claim the title –

but God knows, and God see’s)

and though the world tells us – turn the stranger away

God calls you out now: hear God say

When you shared nought with the stranger, you shared nought with me.

 

Poem: The Evidence of My Eyes

Above the raucous, above the clashing

crashing, ever raging din

there is a softer

quieter song

that yet does soar

– i hear it sing

it will be well, it will be well

it will be well, let faith come in

 

And though the claws that rip me,

do not concede, do not desist,

that song so sweetly

calls me up

i could climb up

– I could insist

it will be well, it will be well

let hope like smoke, inhaled, be well

 

Song, sung high and sweet

above the woes

and cares beneath

that lifts me up

i will climb up

– high above, and clear, complete

it will be well, it will be well

and I will tell of all love speaks.

 

 

Poem: I Know Thee, Fear

I know thee, Fear

 

You that stalks my halls like the sweetest of traitors

keeping me from my king,

(with most earnest and well meant intention) –

yet you look at me, as if offended that I should speak mention;

 

as if I forget myself,

as if I have broken some pact or some treaty

I did not sign;

am I supposed to be quiet? but I am too tired

not to speak.

 

Maybe I am incomplete

not yet, or not enough or weak

do not speak of days when I have not praise

but bitter tears

 

Yes, I am not brave.

 

But there are days

when I know that even though

I am the helpless fish

in your coarse hands

 

you will sometime grip too tightly

and I will slip

quickly, quietly –

– oh let this stream swift carry me away!

 

I know thee, Fear

 

though I would have you

be a stranger to me.