I  took a selfie yesterday.

And what did it really say?


My wrinkle grown skin


My skin stretches with age

Not smiles.

Jowls threaten to enhance

This time lined face.


Eyes dimmed see the effects of time,

of hope, misplaced and violent attack,

Searching through the lines, unveiled

a cause for laughter and joyful climes

and just like Mr Happy, the corners

of that kissed mouth that cradle of love,

begin to turn up. Then the set same smile

lights and the whole is the sum of the

parts of seasons, and weathers, family

and work woven

by the loving goodness of God.

Grace in the Waiting

Dissolving margins take me deeper into the desolation of the soul,

with each moment long, I find my life weariness increasing the hole

in my thinking. 


Tears thicken in my eyes where the sight is strained by searching,

my heart is like a rock as if the spirit’s flown leaving me lurching

on its journey.


I wait in silence, for your response and hear only wait, hold, wait,

I can’t I think wishing the tears to fall, the shame and hurt to abate

so I’m staying.


I am like a tree bowed in the wind with no hope of rain or sun,

my leaves fallen, my branches, like sprouting bones web spun

for my company.


The wind blows where it will, and tosses me as I hold so tight

to the ground where I was formed and there my roots will fight

to stay my hope.


There was another, who was torn, his battered arms stretched, 

strangled on a tree, who spoke my name and in my wretched

state he loved me.


As nails bit deep into his healing hands and feet, he screams

and I think of his desolation, his dear tears flowing in streams

through my grief.


His tender eyes searched my unseeing eyes, turned in on myself, 

he quietly listened to my muddled mind, my closed ears listening

only to my grief.


Rising, I stumble through the day and search for fruitless solace.

Like a wounded bird seeking healing for a broken wing in a place

unfound, alone.


Silence slips into a hush, my resistance gone his heart and mine press

and beat together and my grief flows into his, dissolving brittleness

while I weep.


Too soo, a shrill call from the others entangled in the grief ridden pain,

and still burdened I move towards them feeling that he’s gone again

but left his dear





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



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


of her child

growing without

her loving touch.

A glimpse now and again,

never enough

as someone


charts her child’s

precious years.

Politicians mutter,

What can her family do

against prejudice


and perfidy

like this,

taking a woman from her


from her freedom

and framing her,


destroying the fragile

bond, that holds

body and soul


Lord, that she may be free



They grow roots like dandelions deep into the earth,

Each one told becomes a future and a past 

rooted in the soil of illusion, confusion and only dies

when the truth is finally realised, revisited and seized

by someone who hears the sleazy, forked tongue.

Lie detectors fail as the liar knows that a lie is true

and believe that in their twisted thinking. And trust

their friends go back them up in fiddling with facts,

and relay them back as reality while crediting their

own duplicity as being a search for integrity.


Their culpability is clear to those who dig the details

and futility to stand against such sin, soiled thinking,

and the roots are pulled, but leave behind a shred

and falsehoods perpetuated, like dandelion rise

and vulnerable people believe these barefaced lies.


Like the dandelion clock their creative truth dissipates

tethered lightly to their conscience.

And shed it bothers them no more.

But haunts the innocent.

Fear in the waves.

Shivering, shuddering beneath the leaden skies

soaking them, water running everywhere and lies,

all finding its way under their skin.

Pushed, unauthorised but terrified into obeisance,

obedience to the traffickers as the lights flicker

and waves roar over hard rocks.

Huddled, terrified they hold onto the frail touches

of each other and a craft barely above the seething

waters of a writhing sea.

There’s a guiding hand on the halting, struggling tiller,

and fear climbs and falls with the North Seas power,

and chugging ships churning wake.

A shout, Land! 

and sand and shores and folk with fluffy  blankets,

breaking the law set by a brutal minister.

Warmed, dried, dinking clean water, eating cold food,

huddling, terrified as they are found to be wanting

and treated like criminals.

‘We’ve come from Afghanistan where we worked for you.”

“We’ve run from a regime and my British Aunt is near.”

“Don’t send me away. I am only a child.”

Shivering, shuddering beneath the glowering gazes,

Huddled, terrified of where they will be going, They

only asked for mercy.

Still, the powers want them gone, still the people

are taught refugees are wrong, a transgression 

of oppression

and victims are made victims again.

Media Lies

I heard the news today and felt the tangles 

of words and pictures of guilt and shame,

hiding the bald truth beneath polite pretence, 

running a video of the violence of a nation,

to deceitfully thwart recognition of their own.


A child has died, the police convict parents,

and so the drip feed wounds us, calls us out,

to feel the pain this one neglected child while

they silence the horror of hundreds that die

each hour, every minute with emptied eyes.


A tiny body buried under a bomb struck home,

a body brutalised by violation and sexualisation,

a small emaciated form in a desert landscape

where rain once fell and now brown sand blows.


Like the opened talons and sharp beak, headlines

pose like soaring eagles gazing from lofty heights

to find their prey, devouring the mouse who dares

show their face and questions their right to hun

The Beech Hedge’s Grace

It is strange how the brown, burnished golden leaves of the beech tree,

cleave to the branches through wind and hail, rain and snow. Frost rimed

they stay rocking in the wind and clinging on until the new brown shoots,

green and burgeoning cover the autumnal branches with fresh life.

They are like the dying breath of bad news that stifles us with death,

each holding firm to our contracted agreement to grieve and weep

until, like the beech we find new strong sweet shoots growing through,

bringing us the hope of Spring and a future of summer green joy.

Ridged and crinkled those papery but tensile leaves will slowly fall,

and gradually nourish the life laden earth with their starchy larders,

creating a haven for seeds to swell and toil under the darkened earth,

and we will see the new plants that root and grow in the rotting riches,

tiny plants, ephemeral with flowers like jewels, feeding the foraging birds 

dandelions, thistles, forget-me-nots, sunny buttercups and tiny daisies.

Creative survival goes on around us; giving signs for us to hold tightly

to a future where evil and loss yield to the source of increasing hope. 

Snowdrops – Eirlys

Full of the promise of warmer days they took my gaze,

tiny green shoots with whitened tips in the frosted grass,

opening their white lily bells with green tipped trumpets,

my love for them grew as the night hours’ lightening hue.


Covering the winter cold earth they drift over brown earth,

and shine like city lights scattered through dark streets.

Each bell chiming its silent call to other tiny seeds to sprout

and cover the fields in graceful charm, putting winter to rout.


Now I look, tear misted eyes at those upside down fairy cups,

as begins a touch of brown stains – too short their time for me,

starting the slow decay amidst those twinkling bright lights,

and grief catches the throat but my loss keenly fights –

with the joy of knowing that deeply hidden, ‘neath the ground,

small globes are being shaped, soon to begin their long sleep,

til next year’s frost stirs them, bringing new hope as once again

they glimmer against the dusk of a grey, winter, weary world..


Shells line the shore, empty waiting to catch a child’s eye,

to be rearranged into shapes and swirls of imagination,

the click of the empty whelk homes amidst the chattering.

And the sheltering sand creeps into every gap it can find.

Laughter spills over to spread delight to the racing waters

that threaten the pearly patterns as they surge and swell.

Somewhere, the weeping cry of a seagull is drowned out

by a bawling baby belting out their needs into a rising tide.


Soothing voices are lost in the hushing of gentling waves,

and the birds rise squabbling over a butty bite left behind,

As the ocean takes back its domain, sticky tired families

go home, sand filled. Carrying memories of fun and foam.

A Still Small Voice

Are you a speck of light in the darkness?

A tiny candle flame down an endless tunnel? 

Warmth in a cold place?

A broken brick in a wall? 

A kind word in a disaster?

A touch when we are full of fear?

A foot step on a lonely road? 

A thought in my depression?

An anchor in the stormiest seas?

An arrow that points to ourselves?


There are times when I am so lost,

lost in my mind,

wandering slowly from thought to thought,

and in tears I think back and realise

you were there.

I heard your tears fall too,

and then solace,

a gentleness in the grief.


Was it a single word 

from a stranger that was really yours?

A whisper in a crowded room?

The silence in a noisy crowd? 

Starlight  in the desert?

A place of rest in our sleep?

Encouragement in my despair?

A single bird singing in the darkening dawn? 


I hardly knew it but –

You held me when I fell down 

and reached out to me 

when I wanted to shrink away.

Thank you.

The Cult of War.

Tarnished shells of tragedy and sorrow,

burnt out buildings and long snout guns,

stand against the hideousness of violence

and the cult of war.

Children flung from cowering to funerals,

parents arms empty, people without homes,

empty plates and emptier eyes hollowed by pain,

and the cult of war.

Trampled plants and the trembling of animals,

creatures of the day and night,  dying in agony,

maggots alone have food in plenty through killing

and the cult of war.

Armed forces die, anti tank devices flame,

leadership,  safe int heir homes, order them on,

a Covid invasion, a created virus of human intent

for the cult of war.

Offshore accounts heartier, affluence hastening,

weapons manufacturing, wealth to make,

eyes blind to the savagery, the lives they take

for the cult of war.