When Shakespeare met the Psalm

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

But I, am I unfinished, sent before my time?

I wonder why, am I, so different

And when you spy this simple shape

Malformed despite my parents’ intent

What do you make of me?

What of me do I make?


You see I am; alive in a body

that sometimes malfunctions

while I sit in a place of honour in functions

I want to run, quickly and take respite

behind a door that closes and makes me sure I am safe,

my forties have become my winter of discontent.


I relent.

I smile.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

But why did God down his tools

just before he finished his work.

When he formed my inward parts,

did he just start, get nearly there,

then stare and think well

fair enough that will do.


I am.  Am I,

fearfully and wonderfully made glorious?

this son of yours.


Robin Valentine

At once, friendly and shy

The robin stands and watches.

You wonder why.


His glances spy

Something in you that sparks

A hope in his eye


But dare he try?

Be his Valentine? Yes?

Now, up together fly.





Poetically Challenged

I have felt estranged from poetry recently. Not so much by choice as by capacity and I’ve not written. Today, however, I was listening to Harry Baker perform “Weston-Super-Nightmare” here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p034jyb9?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_radio_4&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=radio_and_music and it got me writing.

I feel the need of poetry

Hearing words strung together so rhythmically

I recall poems of strangers whose tales have undone me

as their voices melodically took shape within me.

I cannot explain, if you do not feel,

what it is that makes sense of this.

I cannot heroically stand before you

and deliver the words of genius

their recitation that prophetically

tells stories of the ordinary.

I’ve listened to tales of failed loved,

unexpected babies,

hairy men and dinosaurs

of elicit encounters,

love described as a walk on beaches;

of bodies and birds and things more absurd

and I am humbled more by every verse and meter.

Who am I to somehow bring together

all the things that make me wonder.

While I feel I can never aspire to such linguistic heights.

sometimes my words themselves conspire and give me hope.

The Well Dressers

It’s meticulous.

Gathering up the shades of earth

they cover the dull grey

with a beauty that emerges in slow motion.

Theirs’ are the hands of the Creator,

though not from nothing does this world they make evolve

but from tender attention and patience

that refuses to be frustrated.

Petals settled into clay,

they form a movement in their stillness;

their obedience is astounding,

their applause rapturous.

Sand becomes walls.

Seeds gently detail, define

the end of one and the beginning of another.

Together, the picture unfolds.

And over days and through their hours,

the collected become again

regarded as something

they were never expected to be.

This is the tradition,

the well dressers’ mission:

from earth’s humble offering

to create a sign of thanksgiving.

Embedded image permalink

Imagine a Garden (Maundy Thursday 2)

Imagine a garden. Is it what you thought it would be

when the sun was stolen and the son knelt down

amidst the discarded leaves and unsprung life.

Your eyes close but not in prayer,

you stare into the void of night

and sight dims with fatigue.

You clasped your hands, the same hands

that had grasped the cup of wine

just hours before; they still tremble.

Your voice raises no cry to heaven

instead the melody of sleep permeates the air

as the heir to the kingdom searches God.

Take this cup, this suffering, this night and tomorrow

if only you will, but still your will not mine be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Will you drink from this cup? (Maundy Thursday 1)

It’s ruby sweetness is tempting,

for a moment at least,

until you remember the depth of this cup.

One quick shot will not drain it

as it runs over not with delight,

but with the possibilities of pain.

He gave it, it was not a trick

and yet he had let slip that this cup

was not one to sip from lightly.

To drain it would cost everything,

and so with trembling hands you receive

but can you yet believe?