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


Palms or Arms

He boldly went on a bewildered donkey,

batting the flies as they settled to feed on 

both their faces. The long ears of the ass

twitching and both hearts fast beating 

as the crowds around cried,”Hosanna!”

The strewed garments grimy and torn

by flocks of people waving branches,

claiming the humble man as their king,

hoping that he would take up arms,

fight their cause, banish the Romans.


He tried to unclench his teeth and let go,

smelled the fresh scent of broken palms,

and touched the dark, rough haired, long

eared head. They began to walk slowly,

plodding down the long, grave strewn hill.


He felt the eyes from the armed ramparts,

He lifted his dark brown eyes and looked,

The famed golden gates open, beckoning,

his gentle mouth fixed, his bowels churning,

Judas turns, smiling, his shouts the loudest,


The cool streets embraced the eager crowds.

He dismounted and sent the donkey away,

forever marked as a sign of suffering love.

Walking up the hill, the temple beckons

and they’re waiting on his every word.


‘Silence the citizens,’ called the objectors,

‘ Hush them? Remember the seeing stones 

violence, lechery, cheating, killing they know.

For the stones will cry out from the wall, 

calling God’s Kingdom of mercy and grace.


Thirsty he drank thankfully, Mary saw his need,

clearing his head, he reached out to heal,

to answer their questions, tell short stories,

think creatively when they try to box him in,

and then to Bethany, solace, peace and rest.

Palm Sunday

As we enter into the winter of our discontent

the Son of God rides into Jerusalem on the

back of a donkey that was wild; until he felt

the touch of the Christ child grown. Like the 


but bidden that we are, to be broken in

by the gentle touch of hands that were

bound and nailed to a tree, its life given as

he wove its beauty long ago, by a soft smile

that was whipped into screams, as he fought

for hope in life rather than in death, crushed

for an unwilling world. 


Untie us Lord and lead us

to the wells of the water of life, guide us through

this frightened and fearful world of violence,

rape, plunder, poverty, starvation, tyranny and

tribulation, to where we can rest in those loving 

wounded hands, see the love in your smile  and 

know you are walking each step with us and will

weep with us, will right wrongs through us and

help us heal the hopelessness of our hearts cry.