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?

Resurrection and Reconciliation 

——

Do you love me, Peter?

Feed my lambs.

do you love me, Peter?

Lead my sheep.

Do you love me, Peter?

Feed my sheep.

—–

He lifted up his hands and the nail holes showed clear,

the scars on his forehead from the scorn of thorns,

and he blessed the denial and dread in Peter,

and will bless ours too.

—–

We need never fear the judgment of Christ,

He gave his all,

We need never fear our own sins,

We are worth his life.

——

As we stand in the shadow of the cross,

where love chose goodness,

we are reconciled, forgiven and free to become

beloved.

Fraught Fishing

Jesus is Resurrected and appears to the fishermen.

——–

The net stretched deep into the lake,

the stars glistened and somewhere an owl hooted,

still they worked and searched,

no fish came.

——

The net still hung in the water, 

as it tinted pink with the waking world,

a fire on the beach, nothing strange,

no fish to grill.

—-

They mistook the stranger 

with wood in his hands, a wave and suggestion to try

on the right side of the boat.

Only a man?

——

Scents of bread and grilled fish,

a welcome and so he serves them again, kneeling, 

red from the heat of the fire,

love smiling.

The Hidden Christ.

Easter Sunday

He wound his hands around the tree

and watched Mary come by,

He saw the others and waited.

His heart broke with the tears she shed,

and he stepped forward to help.

She sees a gardener and he his child,

and says her name. Mair. 

—–

As a child hears the love in her parents’ voice,

she opened like a flower. Changed by love.

—–

He gave her the message that lasts thousands of years,

Love dies for love of you.

Love has overcome death.

Love is now eternal.

John 6:66

After this many disciples quit following him and did not accompany him any longer.

To stay or go

He stands bewildered by their unfurling, hurled unbelief.

He sees in their smouldering embered eyes

A return to earthly vows,

Narrowed estuaries of thought

How could they not?

Why believe in a man

With only his flesh to offer.

No better than others.

———-

She stands shaded and affronted.

After all he had offered

Given, mended the broken, 

Surely it would be just

Not to doubt but stay 

To understand 

the question.

——-

Another, not yet decided

looks down at his sandal shod feet

Questions, doubts.

Drags his feet.

To go from him? 

Like a child snatched from its mother’s breast

and wander, or cast away his beliefs,

Against all his life’s learning.

To stay with the fount of all being

the word of life. 

Christmas, what’s the point?

The lonely are lonelier,

the poor – even poorer,

the weak are slowly weaker,

the spoiled are so spoiled.

And there is a place

where you are either

outside or in. And no-

one asks you to enter.

—–

The sad are even sadder,

the glad somewhat gladder,

the fearful – more fearing.

The workers – hard working

and there is a place

where feet are on the rest,

food is served to the best,

And joy is an Offshore Bank account.

——-

Bastard! they called him,

born in squalor they said,

cuckolded his father she did,

and then he ditched them and

rebelled against their traditions,

Legalism and tyranny.     Instead,

He loved the sick into health,

gave sight to the blind,

restored the dead to life,

and hatred heartened them.

——–

Captured him, killed him quick,

denied him a future. Just to stop

the rot.   Tortured by lash.

Crucified,  Christ on a tree,

They tried to rub him from 

history but love rebounds,

restores and reconciles.

——-

Love gives the weak strength,

Love will feed the hungry,

Love befriends the lonely.

Love cares with the fearful,

Weeps with the tearful, and

Somewhere He is celebrated

still.  His sacrificial love 

flows and received heartens

and always a reason for joy.

——————————————-

Nadolig Llawen, Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel Frohe Weihnachten, 圣诞快乐, חג מולד שמח, Gëzuar Krishtlindjet, Ikrisimusi emyoli, ハッピークリスマス, Счастливого Рождества, Καλά Χριστούγεννα

M

Mercilessly the virus pursues us and prunes life on earth,

Masks are worn and relationships torn and born on the net.

Massive queues by the hospital to see the overworked staff.

Moment by moment worsening ’til Covid conversations are

Mixed with Christmas Greetings and curtains closely drawn.

——

Many people are working to avoid the pyres, wreaths and woes.

Multiple hands crafting vaccinations against poisonous progress.

Measuring and creating the chemists turn to war on an invisible

Mutinous enemy who coldly challenges their clever craft, then

Mutates into something new, something vile, a calculating killer.

——-

Maintaining their arsenal governments buy their weaponry, 

Munching machines greedily tear down healthy trees and plants, 

Marksmen shooting innocent angry orangutans trying to flee.

Miserly we carve up our life, green space and wonder why it

Mercilessly bites us back!

——-

Must we fight nature instead of nurturing the glorious wonder?

Masterminds of the world unite to secure a future for the whole.

Moved we should change today not tomorrow bearing the sorrow.

Mother Nature calls us to be as one with the beauty of our world.

Mother Mary birthed Jesus who spoke then of saving all creation.

——-

Magi and shepherds hailed his coming and angels split the skies,

Moaning lips accused him. Shattering the hope of unity and progress.

Most times we occlude the truth that Christmas is the celebration of

Making us one with the creator who made each leaf and flower,

Multiplying shape and hue and scape. And true in steadfast love.

Love

Those eyes, I look and see myself as he does,

He stares back with leisurely love,

It never wavers,

Each tiny cell speaking peace,

Each lash and brow saying, “Hush.”

Challenged I watch those eyes that watched the children play,

and Blessed them,

turned to the blind and dumb,

and healed them,

looked into the eyes of the broken,

and gave them back a life,

turned the shame of the rejected 

into the warmth of welcome.

greeted the unloved with kindness

and saw them beloved.

I watch and am warmed again.

The Road to Emmaus

We were walking between fields spotted with red anemones,

corn growing strong, and across the greened land the trees

lifted their faces to the lowering sun and the growing dark.

—–

The air felt cool on our tight skin, and the sour smell of dust 

rose up in our footsteps with the grief in our harried hearts.

We doubted that he died. We believed him dead. And then,

——

some women with herbs in their hands said he was living.

We walked home talking and thinking, tears and hope both

intermingled with the words in our heads from Mary, Joanna

——

and the others. I trudged, so tired that I felt that I was wading

in the mud of the shallows of the Jordan, my head ached as

with each muddled moment I dragged myself wearily along.

——-

A man caught us up. And, for a while was content to match his

stride with ours. He then saw our expressions and questioned. 

We told the baffling story of a man brutally crucified who speaks, 

——–

defies all we know of the world to walk unaided despite having 

a hideous hole in his side, was beaten til the skin was torn from 

his lacerated back, his ankles smashed with huge wooden nails. 

——–

A teacher he seemed as he led us along through the words

of our own scriptures and taught us that the Messiah would  

suffer these things and then he would succeed to his glory.

——–

As we watched the sun setting over the hills beyond our village

we listened to deep words which slowly seeped into our tired minds.

Does it matter, I thought, what we believe, he is dead and gone!

——–

Our home loomed in the gloom before us and our companion

calm, quiet and kindly walked on. But despite our weariness 

we invited in him to share in the meagre meal in our home.

——–

Our stranger sat strangely quiet as we set out the frugal fare,

We came to table and offered him the coarse bread. It was, 

as he lifted the loaf to pray, that our eyes were opened and saw

——

at our table the risen Lord, his woundedness for us a wonder,

and as we started, so he slipped from our weak dissembling sight,

and looking at the broken bread we believed the unbelievable.

——-

Energised, full dark out but we stumbled along the lanes, owls

hooted and as we neared Jerusalem a night jar sang a song 

of praise. We found Peter risen from his grief and others too.

———

We sang to a God who had dispatched death, conquered fear,

overcome the humiliation of the cross and was here with us; a

God who seeks individuals to reconcile each one to his peace.

The Gethsemane of the last Supper

Blood, boils, frogs, hail, came the children’s cries,

and soft silence as they remembered the first born 

sons – like me, he thought and will I be recalled? 

He watched their faces, joined in the swell, but

shakily. His last feast with his family of meandering

men and wise women before violence and death.

—-

His hands shook as he felt the bite of the lash, as

he dipped the bread in the bitter, sharp herbs, “This

is my body which is given for you.” Eyes in shock

stare at the pieces and ate as asked, while Mary

felt the sharpness of a sword in her chilled heart. 

She watched as he tearfully lifted the cup of wine,

—–

Elijah unreturned? No, for he claimed it for their own,

stumbling, stunned silence filled the Upper Room.

‘I will not share this feast with you again.” the words

like blows rained down on their drunken merriment,

like that riven sea, rushing, raining down upon them.

He looked at their old, young faces, he so loved,

The children he’d blessed. How would they even

remember this night before tomorrow? A sign he

gives of a promise of forgiveness and grace, into

the gloom he says,“Remember my love. Drink, 

the promise, a cup of forgiveness and hope

for all souls, to be sealed with my own blood.”

He walked alone with them to Gethsemane. He

carried in his heart the unborn child, the abused,

the oppressed, the violent, the warmonger, the

tyrant, the slaver and the slave, the hypocrites

and the helpless – filling his thoughts til he knelt,

in agony and wept, “Father, your will be done.”