Friday, 21 July 2017

MARINA vii

Tottering forth she would have found
New lands to conquer every day;
And reaping in her fields of play
Have set her feet on firmer ground.

She would have brought her faculties
Within her ego's vassalage;
Like tropes deployed upon a page
She would have been her personal traits.

But, like us, going her own way
She would have trudged the wilderness
Till met by One intent to bless
Who bent her heart and knees to pray.

And as a shepherdess her skill
Might have secured her little fold:
Her fable was more briefly told,
Since this desire was not God's will.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

MARINA vi

But how we would have loved to see
Her showing off her infant charms
And chuckling in her mother's arms -
Which God decided would not be.

And how we would have watched her grow
Delighting in the normal child
At whose quaint ways we would have smiled -
But by God's will it is not so.

We might have seen her day by day
Flourish in ease and loveliness
With sparkling graces to express -
But our desire was not God's way.

And woman, ripened to fulfil
Beside a loving husband's side
The features of a graceful bride -
But this desire was not God's will.

Monday, 10 July 2017

MARINA V

There is no stone to mark the site
At which Marina has been laid
And nowhere is her name displayed,
Who went through darkness into light.

Perhaps a stone is barely fit
For one who scarcely lived at all,
Whose character evades recall
Because her death extinguished it.

Perhaps a stone would focus grief
For those who come to view the place
By giving a less vacant space
And thus accord them more relief.

But surely where her body lies
Heaven has pleasure to record
And at the coming of the Lord,
Transformed, Marina will arise.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

MARINA iv

By the lychgate I left the car
And took the trodden pathway round
The old church on its little mound
Which stands above the river Yar.

The Yar had yielded to the tide
But gleamed still in the evening sun;
I saw a white horse and a dun
Graze in the meadow by its side.

Lichen has coloured many stones
Asserting its quiescent life
Round where a famous poet's wife,
Among the many, rests her bones.

And here Marina lies. I stood
To contemplate her early death,
Less than a vanity of breath;
Yet knew God works all thing for good.

Monday, 3 July 2017

MARINA iii

An apple blossom, fertilised,
Draws moisture from the tree and joins
Cell upon cell while it burgeons
As its genes' plan is realised.

Daily the fruit becomes more lush
Allowing potent sap to fill
Its body forth with good until
The sun imparts its ripened flush.

To satiate my taste and needs
I grasp the fruit and relish flesh
Making my tongue and palate fresh,
But find no virtue in the seeds.

Her body ripened to be born,
But if God chose to pluck that fruit
We have no title to dispute
The deed that left our hearts forlorn.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

MARINA ii

Was she not wise to flee a world
Grounded in pain and lapped by tears
After that Eden, strange to fears,
In which her being had been curled?

Why should we mourn that she should miss
This torn earth she need never thole,
Gone from one world, replete and whole,
Into her everlasting bliss?

The watchdog, savaging within
The being it was set to guard,
Conscience, has never pressed her hard
Since she was free from acts of sin.

Yet she required no lesser cost,
As shapen in iniquity,
Than us who wander from the Way
To Him who came to save the lost.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

MARINA i

Why should I go to view the grave
In which Marina's body lies
Since saint not angel will apprise
Her soul of thoughts the visit gave?

What am I seeking to effect
Since she in shunning paths of night
And going straightway into light
Claimed no respect or disrespect?

And what would visiting achieve
For those who bore the hardest brunt
And still must thole the daily want
Except to make them freshly grieve?

I search for cause or motive; yet
It is through instinct that I know
That it is right that I should go
Simply since I do not forget.



This is the first of sixteen contemplations of Marina, the daughter of friends, who was born while they were on holiday on the Isle of Wight, and died immediately. I wrote this mainly on the island during a holiday there not long afterwards, in 1994.  It is over 28 years this week since Marina's life and death. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

GOD WANTS YOU FOR HIMSELF

Despite the greatness of your sin
And your unfitness to begin
To cleans the stains that are within
God wants you for Himself.

Because He wishes you to shine
In righteousness which is divine,
Which human will cannot refine,
God wants you for Himself.

To be a trophy of His ways,
Transformed by Him to show Christ's praise,
And render Him eternal lays
God wants you for Himself.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

TRANSFORMATIONS


The Light appeared in darkness. Mercilessly

It exposed sin; mercifully

Exposed the sinner.

 

If, at the wedding, natural joys

Faltered, with Him there

Real joys superseded.

 

If, by the well, she was

Dissatisfied, He could provide

Living water.

 

If, amidst Bethany's friendship,

Death intervened, into it

He obtruded resurrection.

 

Till even the power of death

Invaded by Him

Was transformed.

 

Heaven has received Him

And His presence there created

A prepared place.

 

And now my heart can be

Transfigured

By His presence.

 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

OCTET FOR ROSIE

Today it was your hands I thought about:
How constantly they work for me - and ours.
As birds form nests they delicately work out
The home where we can share our pleasant hours.
That delicacy, and artistic skill,
Make backgrounds to the home that others view;
Their care, selflessness, comforts they instil
All make them perfect metaphors for you.

Monday, 12 June 2017

PLEASANT AND COMFORTABLE

It is a most pleasant
    and comfortable thing,
To hang over the wall of a sty
    and look upon pigs.

A plagiarism from Dick King-Smith "Chewing the Cud" P91.
   

Saturday, 10 June 2017

ROSEMARY AT SIXTY!

Early on her sixtieth birthday, yesterday

Year 57, the record shows,
Launched both the Sputnik - and the Rose.
In 67 she went by rule
Across the Common to the school.
In 77 she, at my side,
"Sate like a blooming eastern bride".
In 87 we come to see
Her in Hope Cottage, mum of three;
In 97 - man alive! -
She's leading out a brood of five.
07 show a fresh renown
Because she now was Granny Brown;
And now in 17 we find
Her swift of foot and sharp of mind.

But in each stage we gladly say
The Father watched her every day;
The Shepherd bore her on His shoulder
In every step as she grew older;
And through the Holy Spirit's power
She was preserved through every hour:
So if she hits a pair of score
More years, that grace will go before.




On the shores of Loch Lomond

Sharp of mind?

Monday, 5 June 2017

LEAVE

"Make ready my galley",
Said the king;
"I shall sail for Norway
On Wednesday".

"Will you?",
Said the wind, who,
Flying about,
Have overheard what was said:
"You had better ask my leave first!".

A plagiarism - from A Summer in Skye (1865), by Alexander Smith

 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

ENOCH

"What He did not find
In Adam He now finds in
A disciplined man."


Quote from Ministry of J Taylor, Vol 25: P89.

Friday, 2 June 2017

HEART


As when the milch-kine left their calves
To take the highway with the cart,
We come since Thou - and not by halves -
Hast drawn our heart.

We cannot know Thee, Son of man,
In all the depths of who Thou art;
We come to Thee as One who can
Console our heart.

Thou art the Leader to us now,
With all the wealth Thou dost impart;
We come adoringly since Thou
Dost bow our heart.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

HYMN TO THE LORD JESUS

Praise the One who is Creator,
Heaven's and earth's Originator
Yet come near as Mediator
Between God and man.

Praise the Christ who as a stranger
Once was cradled in a manger,
Come in flesh to be the changer
Of the course of time.

Praise the Man who here was sowing
Seed from which good seed is growing
In abundance overflowing
To the Father's joy

Praise the Shepherd who has sought us:
With His precious blood He bought us,
With His tender arms he brought us
Back into His fold.

Praise the Victor who invaded
Realms where Satan's might pervaded;
Now no power we are persuaded
Separates from Him.

Praise the Man who God perfected
For the work which He effected -
Now He leads the Sons selected
To a glorious sphere.

Praise the Firstborn of creation
End of all man's perturbation
Bringing reconciliation
As the Prince of Peace.

"Perturbation" not only has the sense "the state of being perturbed" but, metaphorically, "a deviation in the course of a celestial body".

Saturday, 27 May 2017

THE MAN IN THE GLORY

The Man in the glory has captured my heart:
While still here on earth I have learned that my part
Is soon to be with Him in heaven above,
Absorbed in His favour while held by His love.
 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

THE HEAD

The Head's provision does not cease,
And we are nourished, warmed and led;
While by God's favour we increase
As we hold fast the Head.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

GRASS

Looking towards the Eildon Hills

Far on the hillsides,
Or near in the park, grass is
A consolation.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

SEASONS

God, for our comfort,
Provides each in their seasons,
The cold and the heat.

Friday, 12 May 2017

A FEW LINKS

I'm just posting a few links that you may find of interest today:

Good Christian teaching

A Word in its Season magazine, which I help to edit

My Indian photographs

Songs and Hymns of mine which I have put together in a book

Vessel and other verse of mine



If any links don't work please let me know! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

ENDS

How does it work,
The Computer, where pulses form
New virtualities on
A myriad screens?  How
Does it interpret the messages,
Without interferences, to achieve
A myriad ends?  The science nearly
Is as far beyond me as the achieving
Of the multifarious ends
Of the operations of God.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Saturday, 29 April 2017

THE KING GOD PROVIDED

1 Samuel 16: 18

"Jah exists";
And a root of that source
Shall stand as a banner.
Nations shall seek it.

One "who is skilled in playing";
The sweet Psalmist of Israel,
Leader of God's praise.

"He is a valiant man,
And a man of war" equipped
To invade the enemy's valley.

"And skilled in speech"; so thy
Wonder at the words of grace
Coming from His mouth.

"And of good presence"; the stately step
Of a king, shining through
The form of a bondman.

And divinely-opened eyes
Will discern
"Jehovah is with him"




Title: see 1 Samuel 16: 1
"Jah exists" is the meaning of "Jesse".
Verse 1: see Isaiah 11: 10.
Verse 2: see 2 Samuel 23: 1
Verse 3: see1 Samuel 17
Verse 4: see Luke 4: 22
Verse 5: see Proverbs 31: 29-31, and Philippians 2: 7
 

Monday, 24 April 2017

DEUTERONOMY 21


One has been found                            We have found

Slain, in the land; who                        A heifer never

Is the slayer?                                       Subject to man’s will.

 

Measure with the reed;                       Bring it to the watercourse

Is that the nearest city,                        Which has its spring

Jerusalem?                                           Beyond the will of man.

 

Measure more closely                          Take the heifer

The line stretches to                            To the flowing watercourse

Heart and conscience.                         Break its neck there.

 

The blood of Jesus

Is the only atonement

For the sin that shed it.

 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

SCOWTH


Scowth is scowth, whitever fur?
Aathing that delicht yer gurr,
Gif ye're share ye'll mind ava
No tae brak an aesome la.


That's an attempt at a Scots translation of the English of:

http://johnirons.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-max=2015-01-22T12:21:00%2B01:00&max-results=10

which translates the Danish of:

http://tosommerfugle.blogspot.dk/2012/07/piet-hein-trste-gruk-om-frihed.html

Does it make any sense to any readers from the Netherlands?

Saturday, 15 April 2017

PAUL


The greater adventurer, you were a good soldier
Of Jesus Christ, striving in the good conflict,
Unentangled with the affairs of life
To be pleasing to the One who enlisted you;
Clad in the complete armour of God,
Belt, breast‑plate, helmet and sword,
Armour for advance only; standing,
Having done all things, able to say
That you had combated the good combat
‑ Example and guide for all who attempt the Way.

Strong drink brims in the vessel. It tilts,
Pluming a rich fruitful ribbon to the sand.
The aroma mulls through the mind. A purple clot
Decorates the desert. Then fades. This was the libation.

Among your frequent journeys
Why did your send your companions
By ship while going yourself on foot?
Was it to feel the land's
Tilth, the desert sand
And the rock's grain, conducive
To the spirit's soaring, the soul's
Grasping; and the silence needed
To go aside and rest a while
Close only to your Lord and Master?

Saturday, 8 April 2017

PARABLE

The vital water, silting and moistening,
Compounds the good ground.

The fecund seed, broadcast on the earth
Clung in the good ground.

The thievish birds jibbed at the nets
Shielding the good ground.

Roots writhed down, toward the procreant water
Imbuing the good ground.

Toward the sun sprouts pullulate
Out from the good ground.

Master, garner the mellow fruit
From your good ground.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

LUKE 15

What the shepherd looked for
Was one who would recognise
His voice, one who would follow
His feet, one to enjoy
His pastures, one who was suitable
To be brought to the house.

What the woman sought
Was one who would shimmer to
Her lamp, one who would show
The Master’s face, one to enhance
Value within the house.

And what the father looked out for
Was one who could wear
The best robe with dignity, act
According to the gold ring, dance
Like a son in the sandals. One
With whom, in his house, he could share.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

ORDER

Unarranged, the sensations
Suck by my senses to
My "faulty sensory perception".

Within, further confusion,
The sense of humour
Disarranging.

From the core
The sense of sny
Deranged.

O wretched man that I am!
Who shall deliver me
From this body of death?

If what I need is a Deliverer
What I gain also
Is a Master.

If what I need is an Escape
What I gain
Is also a Lord.

If what I need is a Resource
What I have
Is a Head also.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

MASTER

How sweetly doth, "My Master sound, my Master";
   When sin appeared to overwhelm
And wreak disaster
   The Saviour deftly seized the helm,
And I rejoice to voyage with such a master.

Sin made me out of sorts and out of key
   And death loomed like a gloomy cell
To harrow me;
   His victory makes praises well,
Knowing that Christ now holds the master key.

If Satan seemed to gain the victory
  Through power, despair, defeat and loss,
With enmity
   In love and weakness on the cross
The Lord of glory gained the mastery.

As His disciple needing to be taught
   I need to hear the Master speak
And to be brought
   To One so glorious and meek
That it is of Himself I'm taught. 

As His apprentice I set out to piece
   Pieces together in His way:
What poor increase!
   Yet when my dust is cleared away
I shall stand by Him as His masterpiece.



How sweetly doth, "My Master sound, my Master", is the first line of The Odour 2 Cor 2: 15 by George Herbert.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

THE SON AND THE SPIRIT

Firstly, a woman,
In whom that which was begotten in her,
As power of the Highest overshadowed her,
Was of the Spirit of God.
 
Then an ambience of receptors,
Like pistils for pollen,
Prepared for Him in the temple
By the Holy Spirit of God.
 
About thirty years progressed
Till the substance of divine approval
Anointing a praying Man
Was the Holy Spirit.
 
An active life followed
Each word, step or touch
Blessing to men
By the Spirit of God.
 
Qualified for glory, qualified
For rule - He was qualified
To offer Himself to God
By the eternal Spirit.

Risen, elevated, honoured,
At the Father’s right
He acted as Minister of grace
Giving His Holy Spirit.
 
He has His church now
Integrated and vital,
Welled by the love of God,
Through the One Spirit.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

JOSEPH'S HOUSE

Over his house there was a man
Who knew the secrets of his mind
And worked to implement his plan
Till Joseph’s brethren were refined.

Within Christ’s house the Spirit acts
Administering Christ’s affairs,
And bringing in Christ’s peace attracts
To Christ the hearts of Christ’s co-heirs.

Blest Holy Spirit, we delight
To know Thy mind is life and peace;
Thy workings make our hearts unite,
And make our love for Christ increase.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

JOSEPH IN EGYPT

As Joseph’s wisdom’s words were proved,
Telling how Egypt should begin
The Pharaoh’s admiration moved
To say God’s Spirit dwelt within.

No doubt the Spirit guided, for
Whatever Joseph’s place or role;
As brother, slave or governor
He showed an equal self-control.

And now, in truth, God’s Spirit dwells
Within the faithful hearts of saints
To exercise the power that wells
In praises, and in sin’s restraints.

Friday, 17 March 2017

THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

Nothing else is ever needed
But the blood of Christ
That salvation may be pleaded:
Nothing else.

Nothing less gives satisfaction
To God's rights or heart
In the face of sin's infraction;
Nothing less.

Nothing more has been demanded,
Nothing we can add;
In His love God has commanded
Nothing more.

 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

THE ROCK

THE ROCK
Free to be bound for where I willed
I tramped; by-ways, cross-paths, bent
My footsteps; what turned my campaign?
What stumbling-block hampered me;
What damped? No end appeared,
However long my feet stamped
Or my muscles struggled. With no lamp
To lead, nothing in which to confide,
What tampered with my will? Justice, that Rock,
Broke me, blocked me, drove me from my own way.

But where to hide? Where I ventured
Storms mock and shafts of lightning
Deride meagre strivings. That Sinai
Cannot provide a shelter. Yet truth
Is my only Rock and Refuge:
Oh grace and truth deploys
The cleft in which, safe, I abide;
Mercy was guide up to this haven.
Blood poured, a saving tide
From the stricken side of the Son of God.

After these ways and such protection
Rescued by mercy and by God's grace,
Saved, sustained and nobly elevated.
From being cock of my own dunghill,
Set among nobles, one stone
In its place; with a princely people.
These feet once grazed now prancing,
Hinds feet, firm on the Rock.
What power to convey a lofty degree:
Co-heirs with the pre-eminent Man!

From my new stance, seeking sweetness
For enhancement of fresh modes of love,
Joy to my countenance, power to make me
Dance, where should I go? The Rock,
Sublime answer to each circumstance,
Seemed to unlock - the honey poured.
No time or chance will now meet me
For which there is no solution: Christ -  
For me to gather, His undeviance,
His loveliness, my model, my way of advance.

So long deplored, the old structure
Lies shattered, not to be restored
Nor rebuilt. Where can I Build? The Rock
Rejected once, now adored, constitutes
The only Foundation. Here God has worked - 
This sure place. Knock and chisel
The stones till their curbed forms afford
Virtue of the bed-rock; ignore no fault
But relish quality, a good hoard
In each exploring consonances of Christ.

Fruits flourish; the tree sprouts
By the pure spring whose attributes derive
From its source, the struck Rock; psalms
Erupt from hearts; bruiting with joy
Clear compositions. The Spirit's flow
Contributes the music. By still waters
The bright flock, rested in safety,
Imbibes what distributes health,
Fresh responses. Through water free
From pollution or harm the purity wells.

Oil exudes; sucking from the Rock
Let us exploit what God provides
From It to employ our hearts in praise
As anointed servants; let light shine
From us who walk in the Spirit's power
To express God's goodness in voice
And ways. Employ priests lips,
Priest's members in all our days.
From our Rock towards our God loose
Rejoicing, admiration, adoration, love!

Friday, 10 March 2017

SELFLESSNESS

Selflessness: always the sheep,
All wanderers and all in need,
Brambled, fallen, or sickening,
Occupied His days. Touching,
Searching and healing He cared for them;
Whatever the distance, the hour, the depths,
Like the urgent benighted fisher
He was on call and on duty. Tenderly
He bore the lambs; patiently
Led the sheep; constantly was door
To their fold: both in metaphor and fact
He laid down His life for the sheep.

Monday, 6 March 2017

LOVE

Love worked to form a universe
That Men with Love should dwell therein;
Love worked in grandeur to reverse
The early ravages of Sin;
Love made, in wisdom from above,
A place where it could work in Love.

Love saw the depths to which Man fell
When he rejected Love for lust;
Love took the action to repel
The fallen Man Love could not trust;
But Love had purposed long before
To bring Man's soul to Love once more.

Love came to Earth to show to Man
Love's perfect way bring Man back;
Love, that had first conceived the plan,
Was subjected to Man's attack;
Love, that endured Man's works of shame,
Went willingly to bear the blame.

Love found some answer to the way
In which, through Love, it had come near;
Where Love had been in full display
The Few found Love cast out their fear;
Here though the many might deride
Love has where it may now abide.

From an ascended place on high
Love sent the power to link the Few
To its abode and draw them nigh
In Love whose touch is always new.
And Love has come to shed abroad
Within their hearts the Love of God.

Love welcomes us to its domain;
Paternal Love surrounds us there,
With Love to lead, Love to sustain,
Love for Love's own with whom we share.
Love finds its perfect rest above,
Enjoying those secured by Love.

And every day Love shows the way
By which the Few may humbly go;
And Love rejoices to display
Itself to them that they may grow.
Till with the saints Love takes above
We glory in eternal Love.