Grief stricken, an empty armed mother

wanders outside the city gates and

meets the family leaving their home,

empty pocketed, no wage to come.

Misshapen people, ostracised sit

in the shade of the tombs and rocks,

longing for a health to enter

the city where they are unclean,

where deprivation, disease, death

and hatred walk hand in hand.


No one cares, she cries, sobbing.

Our children, homeless starving.

No one to help us survive, shouts

the father and the lepers echo

their hurts in voices worn thin

from ill use and groaning;


huddled against the threats,

isolated and desperate 

they hear the growing crowds.

Listening they hear ‘Hosanna’

move closer, curious and

craving hope.


A donkey, palm strewed, weaving

down into a walled off city, where 

only the rich are blessed and glad

only the powerful comfortably clad

in purple and gold, glittering,


with self-importance and sin.


Feeling leprous left out of celebration,

grieving see the crowd’s jubilation.

and a tired man, over big for a mule,

looking towards the merciless,

gates widened like a lion’s gape.


The city of peace swallows him whole,

breaks his skin with brutal flogging,

nails him to wood for hungry crows,

fearing his selfless love of the poor,

unknowingly sows his body and heart,

as he gracefully accepted human pain

showing that heaven’s love is like grain,

down in the grace turned earth,

that essence dies in the darkness,

and extravagantly grows

an hundredfold and more

to shake our conscience,

open our purses, teach us

healing, work for a kingdom

where common good is the



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.


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.

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

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