Monday, 13 November 2017


His priestly order, that of Melchisedec,
Is intransmissible, and has no end,
Triumphant over the tentacles of death.
In priestly garb “Holinesse on the Head”,
Light and perfection cherished within the breast,
“Harmonious bells below, raising the dead”
To bear and lead them to lasting life and rest,
In heavenly blue - thus our true Aaron’s drest.
He has approached as perfect offerer,
His offering perfection of Himself:
In power of blood which He Himself had shed
He made the way into the holiest.

Thursday, 9 November 2017


Like a tiny vine,
Ingrid Amy Ellis,
Granddaughter of mine.
Grow upon your trellis.

In your sunny spring
Or when storm clouds gather
You will learn to cling
To a loving father.

Though hot sun or hail
Follow one another,
Or through drought or gale,
Clasp a caring mother.

Do not trust in them
For their good behaviour -
All their strength will stem
From their Lord and Saviour.

May you trust in Him!
Triumph and disaster
Will disturb no limb
If He is your Master.

Then you will provide
Fruit the Lord can gather
- Fruit which will abide
For His God and Father.

For a first granddaughter - now nearly a teenager!

Sunday, 5 November 2017


Dear Ingrid, you will never know
Your dear old Auntie Liz,
You’ll have no chance for her to show
Her sparkle and her fizz.

You’ll see her figure and her form
Fixed in a photograph
But you will never hear her warm
Reverberating laugh.

You will not have the chance to share
The days when she is glad;
Nor need to join with us in prayer
In days when she is sad.

You will not laugh along with her
At her own quaint behaviour;
His grace has taken her to where
She’s with her Lord and Saviour.

The One who promised He would keep
Her safe from fears and harms
Has gently nestled her to sleep
Within His tender arms.

Dear Ingrid, in this world of sin
To travel without scathe
Trust in the Lord she trusted in
And imitate her faith.

(with Christ 12/12/2005; Ingrid was born on 1/12/2004)

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


The field's green is ruined;
Some peasant has carved
Its surface - now,
After some harrowing,
There will be growth.

Stench of ordure
Offends the nostrils - the peasant
Has used his ox - now,
After the winter, is
A fertile promise.

The crop falls,
Row by row; the peasant
Garners from the ruin - not
Just a winters bread:
Next year's seed too.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


Since her frail coracle is set
Upon a swelling watercourse
When tumbling waves and tides have met
Guide her against their evil force!

Give strength and aid to us who try,
From our own fragile crafts, to keep
Her course from rugged rocks which lie
Threatening to hurl her in the deep.

And bring her safely home at last,
Secure eternally from harm,
Where no seas swell and no winds blast
Within the haven of Thine arm.

(Written when I had only one - so that's about 30 years ago.)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


(for my wife)

Around us are our tender flock
Within this howling wilderness;
Under the shadow of the Rock
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

As shepherds must we'll guide their feet
Amid the desert's brokenness
To where the gentle grass is sweet:
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

We'll keep them near the water's flow
Whilst all around is barrenness;
While by its glassy streams they grow
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

Teach me, as Rachel must have taught
Jacob, to heed their tenderness
In case the lambs are overwrought:
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

A greater Shepherd guides above
Our ignorance and bruckleness;
Under the shelter of His love
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

Written a good few years ago now!

Thursday, 19 October 2017


When my father died my mother -
According to the family style -
Kept going; that he died
Speaking of his Lord to a sick friend
As a saint being saintly,
Comforted. Yet later she admitted
That that day her song-bird
Died in her too.
When her brother Tom died
That was more bitter:
Instantly, in a bookies,
As a sinner being sinful
With no known regard
For grace and faith. Had he,
For eternity,
Backed the wrong horse?

Her brother Bobby’s death
Came to her in an envelope
From an Australian social worker.
If he was a wanderer wandering
She took comfort from two words,
“His Lord”.

Now, day by day, doors close;
A bus is a step too high,
Shops a step to far, "home" -
Her birthplace - a road too long. 
In faith and grace, and mild humour,
She keeps going, patient for
Whatever translation
Her Lord has in mind for her.

Now herself with Christ


Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Lying, frail bones clear beneath the skin
She's like a tired old tale.

A chattering, clattering plot began
Delighting the evening hearth ‑

Gradually the energy waned,
The words grew slower,

Grey shades loomed from the corners,
Smothering the light,

But still the fire flickers,
The story lisps on.

Now she lies awaiting imprint
In a superior translation ‑
God's illuminated manuscript.

Written a few months before the Lord took her in 1977.