Saturday, 19 December 2015


The nave is fields of flowers,
the aisles are snow and forest trees,
the transept is rippling wind on grass,
the altar rivers, tides and seas,
the stairwells are mighty mountains
leading to the attic sky
and music effortlessly resounds
from wave, bird, storm and soft wind's sigh.
The floating dome is decorated
with endlessly changing hue
of billowing white, scudding grey,
or deep ethereal blue,
and fleetingly in east and west
comes a stained-glass blaze of light,
after which the dome transforms
into star-studded velvet night.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Meditations on Suffering. 2. War

Vastly beyond individual sorrow,
this nightmarish beast
opens its giant maw, flares it nostrils
and creakingly rumbles, seeking
fresh blood on which to feast,
venting as it goes a putrid, reeking stench
from flattened cities, widow's tears,
mud, barbed wire, crater holes, shells, gas, trench,
killing and crippling down the tangled, twisted years-
unceasingly rapacious, insatiable,
pitiless, blood soaked, impervious to pain,
destroying that which it seeks to gain,
always howling and lusting for more
is this insatiable monster, War

Monday, 7 December 2015

Unnoticed Come Inside.

When grim old Mr Sorrow
unsuspectingly comes to town,
his suitcase filled with pain and grief,
wearing his mournful, heavy frown,

rapping with his leaden stick
on the front door to come in,
then spilling all through house
his pain, sorrow and suffering,

there is no holding him back.
It is futile to bid him leave.
He must come in and the heart
must sorrow, lament or grieve.

Notice though how in thoughtless haste
he leaves the front door open wide
and Hope, Compassion and Empathy
silently and unnoticed come inside,

and sit in patience waiting
for old Sorrow to tire or depart,
so that they can begin to strengthen
the heavily laden, grieving heart,

and when Sorrow will not leave
they still remain quietly in the room,
growing the tender heart in the midst
of suffering's pain and gloom

and though hearts can surely break
or darkly distort in bitterness,
from pain and loss the heart can develop
its sweet, empathetic tenderness

and the heart that is too protected,
wrapped in too cloistered a cocoon,
is a heart denied the opportunity
for beautiful things to blossom and bloom.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

There Came a Lilting Wind

Through the window on the wind
came a lilting voice
whispering sweetly through the room
to listen and rejoice.

I hear it murmur as I walk
in the dawn's soft pastel hue
and from the quivering grass
whisper in the fragile dew.

I hear it in the blue of day,
from the descending sun
and in the diamond points of stars
when day's mighty course is run.

I hear it whisper from the sea,
from the vast blue ocean's roar,
in and through the mighty rumble
of waves pounding upon the shore,

from the sea's deep canyons,
from inside the womb,
from the twisted helix of DNA
and rainforest's tangled gloom,

from birds that fly and sing,
from the springbok's speed and bound,
from ant and lion and dragonfly
I hear that self-same sound.

It's in the river, rain and cloud,
the wind and sun upon the sea,
whispering in a mighty voice
of one great sustained unity.

I hear the whisper murmur
earth is one vast intricate temple
in which in privileged wonder
I for a moment dwell,

not for digging holes,
or covetous greed and inequality,
nor the relentless brutality of war
or hardness against the refugee,

nor in the ignorance of pride,
or smug, self righteous vanity,
nor in oppression of the vulnerable
but desiring a unity

beyond our need for quantification
and cause, effect and explanation,
beyond the all too human horrors
of violence, greed and exploitation,

I listen to the whispering voice
in gentleness, praise and quiet devotion,
accepting that this temple time is
for love, peace and transformation.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Hymn of Praise

Within the hidden silence of the womb
the foetus quietly grows,
cells dividing to variously become
eyes, ears, fingers, nails, toes,
soft bone, beating heart, brain and lung,
one of many miracles on earth-
the bringing of sentient life to birth.

From the flower comes the seed
that drops upon the forest floor:
humble, small, dull of colour
but carrying in its tiny core
tales of roots, trunk, flowers and leaves
from which even the sequoia can soar.

The fresh rain that waters the earth
in storm, drizzle or gentle shower
the sun has lifted from the sea
and suspended by its mighty power
in vaporous air or condensing cloud
until, in ceaseless, cyclical motion,
in rivers it returns to the great salt ocean.

I sense a power behind the rain,
a hand drawing plants from the ground,
a mind behind the light of the womb
forming this earth where miracles abound,
and before this greatness I bow my knees
in gratitude for life, beauty and love
and in awed and silent wonder
lifting my eyes to the sky above,
request that this life of mine can raise
in acts of learning, love and thankfulness
my own small humble hymn of praise.