Tuesday, January 31, 2012

six storm clouds

Six clouds banked up in the sky today, 
And sent down a dreary shower. 

The suddenness of the storm caused several leaks, 
Eventually blocked with tissues and shuddering, deep breaths. 

Why oxygen should be the cure for all evils is beyond me, but it seems you made it so. 

It also helped to moan my sorrows into a distant but friendly ear, 
Rather like you but... Well, the delightful tangibility of a two-way conversation is always comforting, and as we all know, you do answer back, but in a very abnormal way! 
That must be part of why you gave us the power of speech, 
So we can speak six words of comfort to each other, 
And banish six storm clouds. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

mundi mundi

Red dust, raw. 
Sunburnt by 10, 000 sizzling summers?
Or recently spewed forth, fresh from earth's molten womb?

Red dust, raw. 
It'll rub us dry, dry. 
Suck out all moisture from lungs, skin, plants, dead birds. 

Red dust, raw. 
Stretching out, out, out to the sun. 
Willy willies spinning, waves arising, 
Rushing to engulf with choking darkness. 

Red dust, raw. 
Harsh earth, harsh god, 
so atheists tell us. 

But they are ever blind
To your streams of living water, 
Running, rushing, to cool baking desert. 

Red dust, raw. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

in advance of Australia's Invasion Celebrations.

Australians all let us rejoice, 
for we are young and free. 
We've golden soil and wealth for toil, 
our home is girt by sea. 
This random list of adjectives,
constructed to impress,
upon our post-colonial souls, 
the idea that we're blessed. 
And yet we still ignore you,
and thus reject your rest. 

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
we'll toil with hearts and hands,
to make this Commonwealth of yours,
impervious to migrants.
Although we think our mateship
is our best quality,
we'll only accept visitors 
by plane, but not by sea.
And if we're mates, we'll give mates rates,
in false equality.

With Christ our head and cornerstone,
we'll build our nation's might.
Whose way and truth and light alone,
can guide our path aright. 
Our lives a sacrifice of love,
reflect our Master's care.
With faces turned to heaven above,
Advance Australia fair.

In joy-filled strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia...

... Where?

"Why do the nations conspire, and the rulers plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand against the Lord and against His Anointed One."

Please help our nation to turn from sin. To turn from murder, greed, bigamy, slander, tolerance, idiocy and vapid politics.

Turn our face towards you, in grace, peace and love.

You have blessed us so richly, you've given us much. We do have boundless plains for sharing. You have given us golden soil, that feeds and feeds us. You spread our wealth among the nations, and have endowed us with a strong sense of play. Our land abounds not in 'Nature's' gifts, but yours. 

So much will be demanded in return. 

Your loving care surrounds us Lord, please help us to see and thank you for it.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

whisper this

On a big, wide ocean stands a small, small island.

On the small, small island live a hundred people.

And the hundred people walk a tall, tall mountain.

On the tall, tall mountain stands a thick, beech forest.

On the thick, beech forest hang long wisps of moss.

Near the wisps of moss sits a gazelle-faced wallaby.

On the gazelle-faced wallaby is thick black hair.

And nobody else knows it is there.

Nobody in Tokyo with their stereos.

Nobody in Germany with their credit crunchers.

Nobody in London with their views of the Thames.

Nobody in Sydney sitting on the beach.

But you know it's there.

You made it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


My head is pushed down toward the pillow
under the rough, wiry flank of my familiar tormentor.

My nose crinkles,
disgusted by the sudden animal smell.

I struggle in discomfort,
but trying to shift a fat old dog is hard, and I'm quite tired.

This metaphor is chosen because,
like all animals,
dogs are wild and free.

But some stay, and become as familiar as dirt,
until you know their every movement,
all their little growls and yaps,
when they're hungry,
when they're playful,
and when they've just decided they want company,
and your head is a good place to sit.

My dog decided a while ago that I'm his.
He follows me everywhere, and because of his age often needs to sit and rest.
Everything stops for a while,
so he can sleep,
grab a drink,
but hopefully not gain strength.

Thanks for taking him out for a walk at least every once in a while.

Thanks for helping me train him,
tame him some,
so that at the very least,
he's not rude in company.

And thank you for the dog.
Just like ducks, the flowers of the field, and St John,
he's taught me a lot.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

sugar and spice

Thank God for spice
and all things nice!

If you hadn't given us roots, shoots and leaves
to munch and ruminate on,
to smell and meditate on,
our monochrome world would groan in frustration,
at the scarcity of gracious, lavish taste.

I can't imagine life without curry,
or fruit cake,
or custard tart, vanilla icecream, rosemary lamb, preserved lemon tagine, salsa verde, lemon thyme chicken, sweet chai, cayenne pepper or Moroccan sweet potato soup!

I would pine and die
if all I had to eat
was tasteless gruel,
or strawberry fool,
without the strawberries,
or vanilla cream.

We'd be the fools
if we weren't thankful
for every delicious bite you bless us with.

The story of spice, a classic tale
of the folly of human sin.

Delicious, vital, precious treasures,
belonging to no one,
shared by all,
until capitalism,
turned garden plants into commodities,
wasted lives, lands, luxuries,
turning nutmeg bitter with blood,
spoiling cinnamon with slaughter...

I cry out for the redemption of sugar and spice!
I look forward to the lush gardens of paradise,
where cardamom and basil grows side by side,
in verdant pleasure
for the glory of your majesty.