Sunday, May 27, 2012


Soon your hands will wither.

Those veins you can barely see now
will strike new wrinkles in your skin,
rise up over softened crevices.

Your neck will slouch,
descend to meet the breasts that
also have descended
down down down
to meet the bottomless belly
draped over wasting thighs.

Soon, soon, as time reveals, exposes,
your body will fold in, replace,
become unrecognisable.

This skin contorts, transforms,
is plastic
in the image of its maker.

A constant reminder
of your fragility, changeability, liminality,
the fine, filmy substance of your physical existence

in this epoch.

You should EMBRACE
this final, flaming, sunset spark,
the glory unparalleled of being allowed
to dance and shine before your maker.

And then, look forward
to dawning again,
upon a world remade,
fresh light,
new skin,
new blood.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

the maze

Paused at another crossroads together,
our breath mingles in the frosty air.
Goosebumps rise on my bare arms,
a dull ache spreads to the tips of my fingers.

I'm panting from the effort it took to get this far,
but adrenaline from our flight fights the fear flowing through me.
That fear rises and falls at each twisting turn.
Dangers lurking up ahead,
though usually revealed by your advancing presence as simple spectres of my own mind,
cause constant apprehension.
Growing fat as I grow weary.

My muscles tense, ready to leap according to your next direction.

"Fight or flight?!", my nervous system screams.

But it's not a crossroads at all!
No dichotomous dilemma,
but a gordian knot of possible paths,
circling out and over one another,
too interbred, too intertwined for me to unravel.

Bare directions seem mis-matched to the complexity of this task.
Left or right?
Up or down?
No lacing pattern dances as mysteriously before the eyes.
No portrait weaver's magic matches yours.

This is the maze that you created,
you are its master,
and you maintain it.

"Focus on my hand".
You call out my name.
I reach now,
clutching your firm, reassuring grip.

I stare and stare,
losing the high walls and tortured pathways of this arboreal prison
as my eyes trace the patterns of your palm.
Life-line, cut short
only to begin again.
Heart-line endless,
wrapped, encircling, carved deep with pain.

You have survived the maze.
You have mastered it.
In the paths of your hands
I've nothing to fear from it. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

two roads

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
that's ok, that happens to paths sometimes.

Well, all the time really.
Diverge, fold back, retrace another,
run parallel, distant, high and low,
steep, leisurely and rough.

Our paths have crossed,
we walk on together,
I ask "shall we go this way?"
You want to go the other.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
I hope that we may still wave at one another,
as we walk separately
our different ways. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

mother's day

Every mothers mothers mother's made mistakes.
Frowns, beatings, disappointments, frozen heartaches.
Emotional shutdowns, fire words,
warring jealousies, cold grudges.

Wounds nursed not just for lifetimes,
but generations,
blood passed, mother to daughter,
bruises repeated, one to another.

77 times, and 77 times more.
Forgive, forgive, forgive,
clasp hand to breast.
Swallow the poison again and again,
vomit it up,
get rid of the gall.
Spew out the bile on Jesus'
bare, anointed feet.
Wash off with tears,
and then,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

supplication from a stupid sheep

You are my shepherd,
and in the right frame of mind,
I shall not want.

You've given me everything a sheep could ask for!

Grass to eat, a flock to hang with,
a good shepherd,
a safe bed at night.

And I love you.

But will you be mad with me if I run away?

Paranoid of the other sheep,
anxious that you are untrustworthy,
poisoned, driven mad by snake's venom flowing through my veins.

What if I run,
not just to get caught in brambles,
or lost,

but what if I run
to throw myself off a cliff?

Will you come and get me then?

Will you bring me back,
and bury my body?

When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
you are with me,
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Except when I think they're an illusion,
or the night is too dark to see them clearly.

You spread a banquet before me in the presence of my enemies,
but my food turns to ashes in my mouth,
and I can't raise the glass to my lips.

Surely goodness, mercy, your faithful loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
but sometimes, in all the wrong circumstances,
loneliness batters me,
and I feel unaccompanied.

I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

these three

These three will remain,
Faith, Hope and Love,
and the most terrifying of these is love.

Faith is not scary,
but logical in the extreme.
It is only by faith that breath can be taken in.

Hope does not induce fear,
it is strong and bold,
even in small measure it is robust, though it feels fleeting,
it can only lead to life.

But Love, ah Love.
Love alone can terrify.
Without Faith and Hope by it's side,
love strangles life in the night.
To love as strong as death
without hope of consummation
is to kill your soul with unceasing sorrow.
To love in jealousy as unyielding as the grave,
but to have not faith
is to chew away at the fibres of your own being.

So love in faith, with hope,
or do not love at all.

Love bold!
Risk pain!
Take on the terrifying adventure.
Let love life disappoint, destroy, damage,
but snatch at joy from the jaws of death,
seek out faithful, hoping love,
and thereby find your all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

i want to be a collectivist

you are my patron and my patriarch.
Your shame is my shame,
my shame yours.
You drew it from me,
bore it in my place.
You were engulfed by the storm of ridicule
and wrath
that was meant to overwhelm me.
My name was picked up,
shared around,
but no longer as a watchword for sin,
but for joy,
cleaned, made whole.

You bore my shame,
don't fail me now!

I'll nag and nag and nag,
til you give me all that's due me.

You won't leave your family unfed,
isolated or alone.

So help me to trust in the honour of your name.
Help me not fear abandonment.