Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I wrote this yesterday as an example of a group poem. It's a writing exercise I stole from the magnificent Adrian Plass - each member of the group finishes a sentence such as "our God is..." or "the righteous are" and the results are read out together. I've done this in a few sizes of groups, and it's magnificent every time to see the variety of emotional expression in our individual relationships with God. It's also quite thrilling for people who'd never attempt poetry to see what is possible, and, I think, brings a new depth of appreciation. 

I'll be sharing this exercise in my bible study group next week - maybe you could try it in a group you're in? It doesn't have to be on a 'religious' theme!

Our God is...

Our God is a breath of pure oxygen after a day of smog.
Our God is awesome, mighty and powerful. 
Our God is the reason I get up in the morning. 
Our God is a far off Father who always seems angry.
Our world is a desperate place, full of striving and wasted energy.
Our world is startling in its beauty, terrifying in its terrors.
Our world is full of people who need God.
Our world is a place that makes me tired.
The wicked are many, and seem to get away with everything.
The wicked are probably misunderstood. 
The wicked are as in need of grace as I am.
The wicked are people that think only of themselves.

The righteous are ridiculously lucky, they don't deserve what they're getting.
The righteous are failures saved by grace.
The righteous are really annoying sometimes, because they think they know it all. 
The righteous are people transformed by God.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

quote mis-quote quote

Be still and know that I am God
you said.

More like,
shut up! And keep your place!

A terrifying command at first.
The kind that sends little kids scurrying to the bathroom,
minuscule bladders trembling with fear.

Shut up! Stop your chatter and clatter!

A bruising command at first.
I don't really need to be told yet again to silence my self-expression.
My whingeing response?
Or the heartfelt cry of one who's been silenced too often?

Keep your place!

At the dinner table.
At the kitchen sink.
In the back row.
In the uncomfortable pose while I fiddle with my lens.

A frustrating command at first.
Pure restriction,
when the spirit wants to soar and spring,
shout and bellow.

Be still, and know that I am God.

On second glance,
a calming statement,
even though shouted.

It's the silencing of all those busy body noises,
the sniping, griping, swiping. slandering,
muttering, grumbling, nattering, chattering
of voices that need to be quieted.

It's the settling and subsiding
of the nervous twitches,
needless, ceaseless, tiring travelling,
relentless wandering and chasing of the world.

It's the subduing of the angry fist,
the brutal boot.
The pacifying of the raging and roaring.

It's the order from chaos
of a minute of silence
in the heat of battle.

Shut up! And know you're not the boss.
Shut up! And listen to what you've been doing.

Be quiet, and rest in His arms. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Can I get a sling for my whole body?

A bandage for my soul?

When you poke me, it hurts,
whether in jest or no.

When you slap me, it stings,
old wounds re-open.

I can't cope with much more at the moment,
please soothe my sores,
bind up my broken heart
and re-make me whole.