Love is:

He takes my hand so lovingly,

curling his fingers around mine,

as if t’were a treasure of great

price, and I hold his in mine

while memories of that first

fragile touch of nervousness.

====

Love can be worn thin like ice,

a place that snaps easily and

falling far through the fracture

often floundering and failing,

bitterly, unforgiving broken to

never surface in that place again.

====

Love can grow and be a place

of strength, and yet, struggles 

strain. But, shared as – we work

this out together  -can sprout

wonderlands of sweet moments,

forgiveness and grace grow love.

=

This is his love.

Prayer on the Front Line.

I pray for Ukraine,

that each blade of grass,

flowers, bees and beetles,

birds and butterflies .

—-

I pray for their protection

against the avalanche

of violence and vile

destruction.

—–

I pray for each small child,

girl or boy, their school,

hospital, park and their

climbing tree.

——-

I pray for their safety,

in the minds, bodies,

and, cast away from families,

to be safe from harm.

——

I pray for the mothers, who

wait by the phone,

fathers, changing a job

for tanks, missiles and a gun.

——-

I pray for their hearts

that they don’t break,

that the abusive powers

relent – speaking words of peace.

—–

I pray for the medics, 

short of supplies,

for the vets who cannot

save bomb blasted pets.

I pray that they’ve

healing hands, their touch

to be as Christ, – in the absence 

of enough of everything.

—–

I pray for the governments,

choices they are making,

to save a people or

bury them in ash.

——

I pray for them to see with

a frightened child’s eyes,

to hear the cries with a

shattered mother’s heart.

——

I pray for the world powers,

to put aside their quarrels,

to open negotiations,

and work solely for peace.

——

Prayer is a voice in the wilderness,

a light in the darkness

and always on the front line

of any battle for any life.

A Sacred Moment

The cloud had darkened, and the lane lengthened,

as my dragging feet walked the dusty way home.

My fears were growing and the worry charging

me with the cost of my acuity. The news was bad.

——

Travelling slowly, saddened and searching, I heard

nearby in a green, thorny thicket a few grams of

feathers, bones and flesh rustled and fluffed, then

interrupted my daydream with a loud, clear call.

—–

A wren, with his hoisted tail, blew my sad and 

gloomy thoughts away as he swelled and music

trebled from his tiny throstle, thrilling me and

retuning me to life in that sacred hopeful place.

—–

Somewhere else a bird sang to his love with

zees and another performed an aria, atop a tree.

They are bastions of creation, holding in their

prayerful songs of praise the glory of their God.

A Cracked Pot

The pottery wheel brings the writhing clay to life,

its whirring pulses through the hands, moulding 

the sticky gooey mess, growing its potential and

finding its nature through touching, loving and

caressing the dirty lump until it reveals 

its hidden glory.

Steadily the rhythm grows and a shape is formed,

a vessel glad to be created, as the potter boldly

pulls and pursues the pleasure of sensing their

own power flowing into the clay, carefully seeing

beauty materialising with a sense of pride in 

its inner glory.

Decorated and fired the fluted vase stands, and

accepts admiration and the echoes of desire

to fulfil its purpose. But, the proud purchaser will 

decide.  Will it live out its lifeless life overflowing 

with tulips, lilies, lupins or empty as Art revealing

its outer glory?

What am I? 

The vase on show?

The cup to carry water to the thirsty?

The vase overflowing with beautiful flowers?

The squat pot full of plants that poison or pollute?

I know I am cracked broken by the pitfalls of living?

Did I resist the creator as divine love shaped my calling?

Or, will that passion of re-generation in the welcomed Spirit 

reveal through my cracks love’s amazing light, glory and grace?

Social Media Hatred

The gif spread slowly across my screen Opinionated, detonated, created, calculated.
Cold and cruel, treating me to someone’s 
unhappy heart turned on me in spite, a bite
Of hate.

——/
Her photo stolen from her life, haunting her
as they passed it along its invisible trip wire.
Seeking fame by defaming, hoping for shares,
and done despairs, violated, cries to be heard.
In vain.

—/
He knew the perpetrator who’d sold their soul to the ancient devil of betrayal for a joke they’d said.
A knowing Dad, noticed his darkened demeanour,
wrestled the walled silence of shame, in the hope.
Of rescue.

——
The suicide note said it succinctly, shouted the ——-
scream, a soul too stretched by media malice,
pushed to the perimeter of a life once played.
New fears of furious parents are charged with 
Their tears. 

——
Media moguls sit in their silks and silver service,
ignoring the strain, the pain, the chains that bind,
And grind down the hope of tomorrow, backs to the misery and missed chances to save lives lost to.
Their Greed.

The walls of Hate.

It was lost before it started,

as the sun rose over the horizon

and the cloud of the dust of centuries

of believing that this is right and that

is so very, very wrong.

==========================

No-one saw the stain in the beginning

but stood and broadcast their right, to

murder, malign, maim over a message

that you, my friend, my neighbour I hate.

====================================

Years roll past and the violence and vehemence

gather strength to make walls and wounds that 

fester making all the yesterdays crucified to

a cause that has no foundation, but falsehood.

=====================================

History repeats and murders by memory,

while children whisper learned hatred,

and bully the difference in themselves

and others, making life a deliberate

nightmare of separatists and strident

speaking of truth – that is no truth at all.

===============================

Our roots are bound to others, but brokenly

we refuse to build our lives to root in goodness,

reconciliation and tolerance, still we 

suffer in large numbers and reject

the words of the murdered one, for saying

Love your neighbour as your selves.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner

She looks through the bars,

her intelligence

dulled by repetition

of the daily chores

and cheerlessness.

Tears fall

as tortured

thoughts

of her child

growing without

her loving touch.

A glimpse now and again,

never enough

as someone

else

charts her child’s

precious years.

Politicians mutter,

What can her family do

against prejudice

injustice

and perfidy

like this,

taking a woman from her

family,

from her freedom

and framing her,

mercilessly

destroying the fragile

bond, that holds

body and soul

together.

Lord, that she may be free

Amen.

A Moment in Time

I stood and stared, the road silent for once,

listening to the thumping beat of the waves 

on the harried shore, and the call of the wind

whispered in my ear of wet weather to come,

the rustle in the bushes of small birds startled

by jackdaws rough calling, charging passed.

—–

I stayed watching, and listening, hearing a song

burbling from the branches of a wintered tree,

then, chattering of human voices and the wren,

slipped swiftly through twisted, tethered branches,

leaving me to my awesome wonder – that a tiny 

feathered friend would share their lyrical call,

—–

with humans and the hurrying oblivious folk

travelling through the outstanding countryside,

populated by creatures, seen and unseen, 

working together with nature and singing their

tiny hearts out as the plastic, litter and tramp

of the feet of people talk to enjoy the view and 

——

for their troubles fail to hear the tiny wren,

or finches as they chatter and spread their

Gold and crimson, and charm those who 

choose to stay their journey, and silently

wait for the cheery cry of the chough calling

in the wind and the lament of the buzzard.

——

Turning I saw the dark clouds drifting across

the blue, green landscape and suddenly they

split and through the darkness spread the golden

rays of a setting sun.       And for a moment the 

glowing clouds cupped the molten gold like A

loving Chalice offering light in the 

deepening 

darkness.

Forest Bathing

Look up! Look up! and see the dull glimmer of stars

as light travels steadily for millions of our earth years,

to be swallowed up by the mirky polluted earth skies,

finally the mystery of their lives is visible to our eyes.

——–

Take time! Watch the golden, moon lit stratosphere,

or the pounding waves covered as if by molten gold,

or the golden leaves greyed as evening comes now

fairy flying leaves as the wind lashed branches flow.

Brexit’s Legacy

Startled by swiftness of the grievous downturn,

he stood looking at his terraced house, once warm,

once welcoming and in his hands were bulging bags,

and his children playing their games on tech screens.

Weary from work he held the bag from the Foodbank,

and felt again the creaking of a body underfed and

——-

prayed the government would not abandon them.

——-

Entering the cold hall, no cooking smells to warm him,

his children already huddled in their coats and blankets,

watching their hour of the tele, all computers traded 

for cash to pay dark electricity for a moments necessity

and his wife gone to hospital  for a long awaited treatment

her beautiful body broken by the corruption of cancer.

——

Bubbling beans filled the damp smelling house with joy

as the children ran to collect clean plates and cutlery

tummies rumbling with juices racing to collect goodness,

and send it tumbling around their cold wasting bodies,

He set out their meals of bread and beans and craved

his own stomach shrunk by the steely, power grabbers. 

——–

Sitting together  in the dimness of street lamp lit room,

he held her frail hands in his own brick roughened,

and together they calculated what was left while

a smart metre tricked them  and became a liability,

she besought him to eat bread and beans to be able

to continue to have the means to avoid their liquidity.

COP27! What is Truth?

Somewhere a contaminated trickle runs through an arid landscape,

nearby are the bodies of the dying, graceful giraffes, or gilded lions,

letting their last breath and their bodies die into the brutal dry earth

as it turns to the dust of decisions and decide on coal over water.

——

Somewhere a thirsty man frantically digs through the burning earth.

his land is scorched and his animals dead, his larder is empty as is

his water bottle and nearby his small children, thinned by the greedy,

gobbling resources, making bad choices so that his children will die.

——-

Somewhere a sobbing family walk away from their salt soaked land,

as the ocean rises and all along the edge are caught the evil plastic 

that is poisoning all of our planet and even a mother’s tender milk,

while the leaders, salting their food, have thrown away fruitful soil.

——-

Somewhere a scientist knows how to clear the PVCs that clogs

the mouths and bodies of fish, and whales as they are snarled up

and choked, or cut, or sicken as their stomachs fill with our bags,

and as our oceans die so will we, little by little for a gallon of oil.

——

Somewhere a researcher has searched out a way to stop the cycle,

by capturing the carbon the air will cool, the weather less violent

but those, who like money over others safety, stick with their choice

of self-centred, self-absorbed resolutions which will self- destruct. 

——

Somewhere the leaders meet and pontificate about the urgency

and others declare that they have a new environment agency,

but behind their governmental doors they are washing their hands

in a horrible stink of pollution, of hidden oil and gas solutions.

Conspiracy to Harm

The coils of lies lie indifferently at the feet of the many who deny,

they turn everyone’s tragedy into a fearsome, wild conspiracy,

hunting paralysed, grieving victims of shocking, violent atrocities, 

hurting their pain with their own lazy brain that simply chooses.

—–

Sitting in a wheel chair a broken man sees his disabled daughter,

his tears for her losses and his own are true reflecting traumas,

yet someone says the police, the terrorist, medics are all lying,

and those who mop up the blood are untruthful in the telling.

——

They kill daily with their lies as their choice to coldly dissemble,

listeners believe, stop life giving vaccines or safer decisions,

losing their lives to a peculiar greed to alter facts no precision,

building for themselves people led like lambs to the slaughter.

——

There are times to boldly challenge the stories we are being told.

Scientifically searching the wisdom of the many and never the few,

seeking to think and listen to different voices intelligently asking, 

choosing for those hurting people with PTSD, care and kindness,

She felt like a tree stripped of its leaves and someone was girdling the trunk.

Her branches stretched out skeletal after the diet of journeying and fleeing,

they rattled against the bones of her children and the struggling child inside,

like nestlings hid in a trunk, as they chirp, quarrel and cry for mother’s food.

——

Like a willow she wilted as she stood in line with no water to sate her thirst,

or that of her children – who as thin saplings were buffeted by the wind of 

prejudice and officialdom- instead of being warmed by a caring welcome;

they bend and shed tears of fear and loneliness without their father, who

——-

has been weeded out, taken away, threatened within and without by men

and women who enjoy being controlling. They long to cut the whole of the

forest – tree by tree- leaving a trail of destruction that would have made the

mad fools, who tear down the life giving rainforest, seem sane in their ways.

——-

Many like her underfed, who bear hope in a  womb, sicken, whilst in orchards,

the gentle hope of the Spring blossoms bring ripe fruitfulness in harvests,

whence the gardener cares and weeds, waters and feeds until they hold

the abundance in their coarse hands, tasting the sweetness of their labours.

——

She will be buffeted by the gales of bias and decisions that break her chances,

and her wellness suffer in the punishment of poverty and overcrowdedness.

Her baby is lost to the pretence of ignorance of government, that takes power,

and uses it to condemn a people, who have endured for months, for freedom.

——

The trees of the forest, of the people of the land, look on sadly, confusedly

as they are no different except in belonging, and their long roots send out

messages that spread through the forest underground – giving, sustenance

to the roots recently yanked from their earth to now drying out in alien lands.

——

The weeping willows of immigration are hanging their heads and reaching

for the river of hope that is flowing past the gates of their imprisonment,

whilst some are removed and wander around the jungle of the midnight

city. condemned by a  rationed system that denies any need for compassion. 

The Tory Diet

I’m on a Tory diet, counting out the beans,

the smallest cheapest loaf, a slice for the 

weans, biscuits to crunch, fill the tummy.

Now there’ll be no more, worst of fears,

they’ve shut the Food Bank, Oh! my dears,

they’ve served us for years, dried our tears.

——-

I’m on a Tory diet. Caviar and melba toast,

steak, potatoes, tomatoes, pork roast

choice of vegetables, an apple or pear,

washed down with wine from our cellar.

My children full and warm and dry.

Share with the poor? Not my pie.

———–

I’m on a Tory health plan, its mean,

I can’t afford soap to keep me clean,

I can’t afford shampoo or deodorant 

so I’ll smell and feel that I’m unclean.

My old clothes looser; now in mode,

walked head down in our lost road.

———-

I’m on a Tory health plan, and I’m seen,

latest hairdo and expensive creams,

I’ve a wide drawer of Chanel and teams

to wrap me after bathing in sea salt,

oxygen or mud, I shouldn’t ever halt

to avoid the rest who smell to a fault.

——-

I’m on a Tory diet, stay away from shops,

I’ve a pair of holed jeans, worn thin tops

The kids need trainers to go to school,

their coats have come from charity,

I wish the Tory party had honest clarity

cos my two need healthy food and parity.

——-

I’m on a Tory Diet, it’s been good to me.

I am a Tory backer and so glad to be,

they’ve given my money and so with glee,

I can buy what I want and pay no levy

cos I sent it to an island so cleverly.

——-

They took the hymn and cut it, 

it really wasn’t fair

to say the rich man in his castle,

the poor man at his gate

yet that’s the way the Tories want it

but it’s still not our fate.

—–

Jesus said we must change things

and see the poor are fed

but the Tory diet,

feeds their friends

while its the law it bends;

and blow the poor, the sick, the lame.

They can’t have a crumb 

they’re not the same.

How did we sink to this shame?

Enough!

Where in the foggy state of politics

is the misty figure whose job is – to

swarm over our crucial credibility?

Each step of disastrous politics,

each step of disastrous climate ,

each step of callous dealings

increasing the pace of poverty,

drives us further and distant 

from our path of democracy,

the common good and so they

laugh at those who think –

Enough!

—–

What do they gain who ply

their putrid trade of corruption?

Paying accountants who aren’t 

hesitant to open other pathways

to islands; whose economies rely

on those monies. And tax free

isles punish the poor  – who get

less and pay the bankers’ bonuses,

and the wages of those who spurn 

them hugging their hungry wallets;

No regretting! letting things stink!

and they laugh at those who think –

Enough!

—-

Who benefits when markets crash

as befits our failing tory fed land?

While people cry, children stumble

to school to chew their rubbers or

nibble on precious pencils, waiting 

for a basic lunch that is shrinking. 

What is this government thinking? 

Why punish hungry, skinny children? 

Why cruelly tether Universal Credit   

while blind, mindless leaders feast 

at banquets and leave them the least?

Enough

Autumn

Dappled light, Autumn angled plays over my path,

golden leaves litter the ground, crisp, crunching 

as I walk in the fading light, awed by nature’s 

bounteous praise of decaying foliage that has

striven to provide the plethora of berries that

call waxwings, thrushes, warblers and jays.

Squirrels come for the nuts that litter the 

colour hued leaves as they make a mosaic

to gladden my heart and ache for the skills

of an artist, who with brush and paint will

capture the moments that thrill with their 

skills, and as the guiding light fades, frosty 

breath flows and the harvest moon rises

to spread its silvery glow, greying the

paint box of fire capped bushes, which 

waved like flames in the bold, cold breeze.

Why Forgive?

I studied the news and the weather forecast

and felt my heart hurt with the pain and loss,

sought to make a prayer that thought of hope

and found it hollow, echoing in a vacuum.

—–

I looked in the bible for words to help me and

faltered over the words ‘love your enemy’, and

exhortation to forgive seventy times seven,

making me feel overwhelmed and faulty.

——

Putins there and Liz Truss, Trump and as ever

Bolsanaro, Xi-xiping, the misogynist Taliban, Iran 

writing a sentence of nothingness to the women

and girls that in God’s creation are equal to men.

——

Forgive them when they have caused such hurt,

forgive them when they deliberately celebrate

their lives and turn the screws on their subjects,

while holding to a devious plan, previously made

—–

to enslave, oppress, dehumanise and murder,

strengthening their bitter, stoney, cold hearts’ 

wills and some even say it is God’s work that

they are doing and opposition is of the devil.

——

Forgive them? Love them? Is to turn upside

down their view of humanity where each hold

grudges and fudges the line twixt good and bad.

It restores our humanity, lets go our acerbity.

———

They are still guilty, they are still to be pitied,

they are still amassing obscene wealth and

yet we are free of their machinations; as we

set our decisions in the ways Jesus taught

——

to walk on the side of the oppressed is to 

find God, and so we love and forgive letting

go our acid anger, and feed our souls on 

the love and goodness of a God who died,

—-

was denied, crucified, walks as our guide,

and when

the words don’t come 

prays at our side.