Wednesday, 13 June 2018

AN UNSUSPECTING STATE

Our God, Thy grace is great,
And great Thy will to bless
And a mature believer knows
'An unsuspecting state
of conscious happiness
with Him from whom all blessing flows'.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

RUNES

(Eve)
This beauty, replete, rare,
Is Woman.

(Rebecca)
Both in the willing and the working,
Captivating.

(Leah)
If not the first
This was the fecund love.

(Acsah)
Full of zest and thirst,
She springs with agility.

(Abigail)
Her soul bound with mine in
The bundle of the living.

(Shulamite)
Gracefulness and dignity,
Embrue each footstep.

(Woman of Worth)
More valuable than rubies
This woman I have found!

Monday, 28 May 2018

WEAVING

Since He came to relieve bearers,
The bereaved, blind, and dumb,
So that strangers should be retrieved;
Ears He opened - where first Eve
Let temptation enter; fever
He rebuked, and those who believed Him
Followed; and all He would achieve
Rooted from His excellence. God
Saw a heave-offering; men
A panacea for their peevishness.
See those who received Him, children
Of God - metal to magnet, cleaving
To Him - grace made them perceive
His worth, leave all for One
Weaving a seamless garment.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

PSALM

The pious man is like a tree

            With amply-watered roots;

And in its season you may see

The richness of its fruits.



The righteous man is like a palm -

In freshness he disports

With dignity, without a qualm,

As planted in God’s courts.



Jehovah’s trees are satisfied,

            Planted by Him, and blest;

Through him each bird is now supplied
            With space to build its nest.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

LAND iii


We will come to a land
Whose stones are iron, we
Escaped from the iron furnace.
For God will have a house fixed
By iron without weight:
Iron for things of iron.

He has given us what is best
From the ancient mountains; precious
From the everlasting hills.  He only
Placed them there before:
Up, let us mine these stores,
Let us dig copper.

Monday, 14 May 2018

LAND ii

A land of wheat
Borne from one grain,
Fit for an oblation
Or to garner,

Reaped after the barley-harvest,
That firstfruit, yet
Whose heap of corn
Is cause of rejoicing.

Oh the vines!
And their wine is
New wine, to suit new skins
To cheer God and man.

The sweetness of the figs!
And their healing, while
The tree with the vine
Forms each man’s bower.

Blossom and bloom
The pomegranates, till
Comely as a woman’s temple,
The juicy fruits burgeon.

The people of the land
Will shine in the unction
Of the fatness
Of the olive tree.

While honey they suck
Out of the rock
Will make them persons
With bright eyes.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

LAND i

The God of the hills
And of the valleys
Gives you this good land:

A land of waterbrooks,
Rivers of living water.

A land of springs,
Fountains of water
Springing up.

A land of deeps
The depths of which have been
Searched out for you.


Deuteronomy 8: 7

Thursday, 3 May 2018

FRAGRANCE

The broken flask
Set fragrance free; God
Will receive fragrance
From only a broken heart.

Monday, 30 April 2018

THE TREES OF JEHOVAH

Jehovah's trees are satisfied, because
He planted them, and tends each branch and shoot -
They are as men who contemplate His laws -
While His supply refreshes every root.

Look at the cedars burgeoning in might,
In spread, and girth, and groundedness, and height.

As for the stork, the fir-tree is her house.


See Psalm 104: 16-17

Saturday, 28 April 2018

AWAKE!

I slept. And my Beloved knocked. Alas!
That my response was not alacritous.
How unlike, Acsah springing from her ass,
Or Abigail, my moves were ponderous.
I rose to open but He had withdrawn;
I rose and sought Him but I found Him not.
I asked,where had my Well-beloved gone?
And went to seek Him since I was distraught

The watchmen wounded me. The daughters asked,
What He is like? And then He filled my gaze
With all His loveliness, and as I basked
In all His excellence I told His praise.

Blest Spirit, let me fix my eyes on Him,
And days will not be dull nor I be dim.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

ESTHER


If, being purified for her king
With oil of myrrh, with spices,

She could be found by the king
To be lovable,

And could bring solemn truth
To her king's attention,

And enact justice upon
Her people's oppressors,

All rooted in the nobility that said,
"If I perish, I perish".

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

BUILDING


(Nehemiah 3: 8-12)

He's a perfectionist, Uzziel:
Smooth stone clings to smooth stone,
Jointed together. He works slowly
Bringing to masonry
The goldsmith's carefulness.

You can smell it on his clothes,
He is not used to the dust of building,
Yet he works stolidly,
Hananiah the perfumer.
His muscles ache but grow firmer.

Strange to see Rephaiah,
Ruler of half Jerusalem,
Out of his council robes,
Grubbing among the rubble,
Hammer and chisel in hand.

With his house facing the danger
‑ Storms and stones and arrows‑
Jedaiah (his wife and children
Cowering in the yard)
Has the greatest incentive to labour:
He builds for strength, not beauty.

I know little of Hattush.
He is a reticent man.
He structured this rampart alone.

Malchijah was not content
‑ His own patch established‑
To lounge, watching his fellows
Still struggling at their tasks.
His energy and time
He spent on this wall and tower:
He had his friend Hasshub to help.

Look at those girls!
Shallum, the other ruler,
Having no son
Has his daughters labouring for him,
Measuring, chiselling, carrying:
They are forming a sturdy bulwark.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

THE NAME OF JESUS

I love the Name of Jesus
Which tells of tenderness
Of God come near in manhood
To comfort and to bless;
It tells of constant mercy
And condescending grace
To poor and weak and needy,
To blind and lame and base.
 
I love the Name of Jesus
Which tells of One who came
To bear man’s brutal malice,
To bear the cross of shame,
But more, to bear God’s judgment,
Whose power did not relent,
That there might be salvation
For sinners who repent.

I love the Name of Jesus
Because He, every day,
Gives succour to sustain me
Upon my pilgrim way.
I long to see the visage
Of Him who died for me
When He shall come in glory
And all shall bow the knee.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

MOSES

Trebly a wanderer - 
Born, a sojourning reject;
Fled from the king's wrath;
Sheep-leader, behind the wilderness - 
He arrived at the mountain of God.
God had marked each footstep.

Combating on the hilltop
Sustained by Aaron and Hur
He prevailed with Jehovah;
Until Joshua
Combating in the plain
Shattered Amalek's power.

He shepherded the people
He had led by still waters
And pastured on the Manna
To God's holy mountain,
To Sinai; yet God
Bore them to Himself.

If the first tables were as shattered
As the people's promise,
With newly-hewn tables
The intercessor stood on God's rock
Upon Sinai, under God's hand
To hear and see God's glory.

Israel's first great poet
He sang of the mountain
Of God's inheritance; of the best things
Of the ancient mountains; but also
Of the God who was
Before the mountains were brought forth.

So the king in Jeshurun,
In unimpaired vigour climbed
Pisgah, there to behold
God's populated domain;
There to die; and there to have uniquely
Burial by God in the valley.

But what goodness of God
To give him at last a venture into
His land; to stand with Jesus
To know His accomplishments,
More than all he foresaw, on
The mount of transfiguration.




Wednesday, 4 April 2018

MULTIPOEM

There was a Man
Amid a world lying
In the wicked one; all
He said was true.


This is a multipoem, or several poems.  You may follow route one for a series of considerations of the Lord Jesus in varied circumstances, tested against the features mentioned in Philippians 4:4.  Or you can follow route two for the series of poems, True, Noble, Just, Pure, Amiable.  Or you can wander your own way forward from this verse to create a poem that no one else may ever have read.  But there is no turning back.  I would love to hear how you get on the journey.


Route 1




Saturday, 31 March 2018

HANDS


If wicked hands fixed
Christ to the cross, loving hands
Lowered Him from it.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

RONDEL


Psalm 33: 21

“For in Him shall our heart rejoice, because
We have confided in His holy name”,
And we are warmed by loves eternal flame
Which radiates to us through heaven’s gauze.

We love Jehovah and Jehovah’s laws
And know that He is evermore the Same,
“For in Him shall our heart rejoice, because
We have confided in His holy name”.

We do not seek to hear the world’s applause
Because our Lord endured the cross’s shame,
Atoned for us and left us free from blame;
We seek to walk contritely where He was
“For in Him shall our heart rejoice, because
We have confided in His holy name”.

Friday, 23 March 2018

“THIS MAN HAS SUCH A PLACE IN GOD’S AFFECTIONS”

The Lord was always in the Father’s favour
Because He had no fleshly predilections;
And since His incense rose in richest savour
This Man has such a place in God’s affections.

We love, and God loves more, Christ’s ”deep perfections”,
Whose worthiness fills heaven with rejoicing;
This Man has such a place in God’s affections
And we hear words of praise that God is voicing,

Because He has secured what God intended
This Man has such a place in God’s affections;
When all God’s work in time and space have ended
All will be cleansed by Him from sin’s infections.

This Man has such a place in God’s affections
That it will be to Him that all shall gather,
Between first and second resurrections,
Before love yields the kingdom to the Father.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Friday, 16 March 2018

PROPHECIES

Before sin’s penalty left any dead
Eve knew her seed would bruise the serpent’s head.

Before the death of Adam Enoch knew
Christ coming with His wholly ones was true.

Long years before Christ’s birth the word can say
That Abraham rejoiced to see Christ’s day.

Jacob could utter his encomium
While conscious they must wait till Shiloh come.

Moses said God would “raise up unto thee”
A prophet from their midst “like unto me”

While David knew that God would raise up One
To rule whom He would designate “the Son”.

Isaiah saw a king upon a throne:
God’s servant who would suffer to atone.

Elizabeth and Zacharias knew
That God already had His Christ in view.

Anna and Simeon shared the belief
That God would send His Christ for their relief.

Before the Christ began to serve in grace
God sent His messenger before His face.

While travelling with His own the Lord began
To tell the sufferings of the Son of man.

And soon the Lord of glory will receive
Unto Himself the persons who believe.

He will not just receive us to a place
But will receive us to Himself in grace.

He will receive us to Himself above
Within the Father’s house, the home of love.

In Christ’s day He will come in power and might
To judge the world, and vindicate the right.

And He will come with those who are His own,
The overcomers who will share His throne.

Then He will reign with them a thousand years
Within a kingdom exorcised from fears.

But at the end the Son will yield the throne
To God the Father for God’s praise alone.


                                                                13/03/2018

That’s the final date on it, but it was written couplet by couplet over a few months.  I am tempted to boost my output by calling each couplet a poem!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

PSALM 23

Jehovah is my Shepherd, therefore I
Shall have no wants; and He has made me lie
In verdant pastures; and led me beside
Still waters; He revives me; I abide
Under His care in paths of righteousness
For His Names sake.  Though shades of death oppress
Me on the pathway I will fear no harm
Since Thou art with me, and Thy rod and staff
Console me; Thou dost give on my behalf
A sumptuous meal despite my enemies;
Thou dost anoint my head with oil; always
My cup brims.  So I know that loving-kindness
And goodness will escort me when I roam
And that God’s house is my eternal home.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

THE ARK AT REST

All God's inheritance is richly blest
Since, in the temple Solomon prepared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Round it a system God chose to invest
With glory which will never be impaired
‑ All God's inheritance‑   is richly blest.

It led the way in every storm or test
But now, past all the trials which they shared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Since God's great wisdom knew which way was best
And He was there beside them as they fared
All God's inheritance is richly blest.

His people praise the Lord with joy and zest
As, while His lasting triumph is declared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Because God knew the object of their quest
Before they ventured, and in all things cared,
All God's inheritance is richly blest;
The Ark of God is finally at rest.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

REMAINING AT JESUSALEM

A fit place for the Ark he longed to find
When he was still a youth in Bethlehem;
So as the king he firstly had in mind
To bring it upward to Jerusalem.
But when they took the Ark when he was spurned,
And Absalom his son usurped his throne,
David ordained that it should be returned:
He would not make the Ark of God his own.

Peter loved Christ, rejoicing to belong
To such a Master, who did all things well;
But "Peter taking Him to him" was wrong
And moved by impulses Christ had to quell.

May I delight to call the Saviour mine
But on His terms since He remains divine.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

BRINGING THE ARK TO JERUSALEM

Using the fleshly notion of a cart
They sought to carry up the Ark, but failed.
When they eschewed the ways of human art
And went by God's due order they prevailed.
And what a time of holy jubilance:
Hear voice and music praise with one accord!
See David, in true fervour, play and dance
In honour of the glory of the Lord!

Often desires are good, objectives right,
But means wrong, till the way that God desires
Is followed; and He has for His delight
His Christ and those that glorious One inspires.

What joy it is to God that He should find
Those who give Christ the honour God designed.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

THE ARK AND HOUSEHOLDS


No longer exiled in a foreign land
The Ark next suffered decades of neglect;
Abinadab could give the Ark room and
Still fail to teach his family respect.
But Obed‑ Edom gave it its true place
So that one came to David to attest
The evidence of God's unfailing grace ‑
That through the Ark his household had been blessed.

The Pharisee invited Jesus in
But failed to give Him honour from the start;
The woman came near, conscious of her sin,
But gave the Lord the throne‑ room of her heart.

Lord Jesus, may my household always be
One where the foremost place belongs to Thee.

Friday, 23 February 2018

THE ARK IN CAPTIVITY

Rightly she named her infant "Ichabod"
At that abyss of Israel's decline:
Men fled; the priest was dead; the Ark of God
Was taken captive by the Philistine.
But what is this that comes across the field
(Decked with the Philistine's pathetic pelf)
In power and dignity which will not yield:
The Ark of God is caring for itself.
 
They led the Saviour to a place of scorn,
Thinking to choose if He should die or live;
"Jesus..went forth..wearing the crown of thorn...":
The Son of God retains the initiative.
 
And now, despite the worst the world can do
The Lord will bring His testimony through.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

PHINEHAS AND THE ARK


To pious minds all seemed to fall apart

But Phinehas remained before the Ark,

Though others' lanterns faltered into dark

And coldness crept across the nation's heart.



Dan turned to images of human art;

Benjamin flicked and guttered to a spark;

To pious minds all seemed to fall apart

But Phinehas remained before the Ark.



Their enemies all sought to seize a part

Of Israel, each voracious as a shark;

Would all be lost? Tossed like a feeble barque,

Israel seemed ignorant of star or chart ‑

But Phinehas remained before the Ark.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

THE ARK AT JERICHO


The sentries on the walls of Jericho
Would surely feel occasion to remark
On the procession they observed to go
Around them ‑  soldiers, Levites and the Ark.
Confiding in the structure of their wall,
They would not start to apprehend the power
Within that Ark to make their ramparts fall
And unbelievers of their city cower.

In outward weakness, but in secret might,
Those gathered to Christ's name now guarantee
The power of God will intervene to slight
Men's cities, and what they assume to be.

But, Lord, as Thou art cherished let me know
Within me this world's systems overthrow.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

THE ARK LEADING IN THE WILDERNESS


When Moses asked that Hobab should be eyes
To Israel in the paths they were to trace
Across the waste, God caused the Ark to rise
And guide His people to their resting place.
For three days' journey it was in the lead
And over them there was the cloud by day
That God might answer to the people's need
Whilst teaching them to follow in His way.
 
Still in the testimony Christ exerts
His right to lead His people into rest;
If we seek other pathways He asserts,
And shows us, that His way is always best.
 
Lord, give me help that I may not enmesh
My feet by following in the ways of flesh.

Friday, 9 February 2018

THE ARK AS CENTRE


Although because of sin and man's reproach
It dwelt within a place where all was dark
Which once a year the High Priest might approach
God had a system centred on the Ark.
All furnishings took bearing from its site;
All Israel arrange itself around.
Boards measured from and like it would unite
To frame the Tent amid the barren ground.

And now God's system has Christ as its centre
While all who are for Him derive from Him;
Now through the grace of God we freely enter
A place which, by His light, cannot be dim.

So by God's grace unitedly we stand
Surrounding Him while still on desert sand.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

WITHIN THE ARK

Within the Ark the tables of the law
Which God had written on by His own hand
Were cared for ‑  in the Ark Jehovah saw
His testimony carried to the land.
There was the manna in the golden pot
And Aaron's rod which budded ‑  evidence
Of what was suited to Jehovah's thought
And of the good it pleased Him to dispense.

And thus God's law was treasured in Christ's heart
As all His will was perfectly expressed;
While blessings God in Christ chose to impart
Delight Himself and those whom He has blessed.

Oh blessed Spirit, help my soul rejoice
In what in Christ makes Him the Father's choice!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

THE COVERING OF THE ARK

Hands of the priests alone could touch the Ark
To robe it in the glory of the veil
And safety of the badgers' skins to embark
Across the wilderness's arid trail;
But all was swathed in blue. The sombre tones
Of all around as it went forth to seek
A resting place through desert sand and stones
Show once again the Ark to be unique.

And thus the heavenly Man moved in a scene

Foreign to Him; but if He laid aside
Some of His glories His distinctive mien
Showed heavenly grace which flesh could never hide.

While each true Israelite, in heaven's view,

Should also wear a thread of heavenly blue.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

THE MERCY-SEAT

The Ark of God upheld the Mercy‑seat
Where stretched the pinions of the cherubim:
From here the word of God, and men, can meet
Since God had found all suitable to Him.
All was of gold; and all God's righteousness
Set forth for men in mercy may unfold.
God has secured an avenue to bless
From this place forth: since blood was on the gold.
God's rights in mercy have been fully met

Because the blood of Jesus has sufficed
To satisfy the heart of God and set
Him free to speak to every man in Christ.

Eternally God has before His sight

The blood of Him in whom He has delight.

Monday, 22 January 2018

THE MATERIAL OF THE ARK

Out of the wilderness, yet sap‑embrued,
As if it grew where it did not belong
The acacia seasoned to acacia wood:
"How pliable, how durable, how strong!"
Yet see one's skilful workmanship enfold
Wood, measured to its own distinctive marque,
Inside and outside, with the finest gold
To integrate one vessel, God's own Ark.

We see perfection in humanity,
Suitable to sustain and to express
The glory inherent in divinity
Even while journeying in the wilderness.

Beholding One so near, and yet beyond
All human thought, we willingly respond.

Friday, 19 January 2018

THE ARK AT THE JORDAN

Why do the mighty Jordan's waters turn?
Does a great barrier thwart their onward urge
Or some vast tempest's concentration spurn,
For once, the vigour of its downward surge?
No. Just an Ark. Its littleness prevails:
Though men might deem it insignificant
Yet by God's power its presence countervails
Where flood before were always dominant.

Only a man to men's self‑holden sight,
The Christ advanced to meet death's awesome power;
And through God's strength and His inherent right
Quelled it and freed men it once forced to cower.

For while death's torrent rages as before
We stand with Christ upon the other shore.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

VOYAGE

Feet clang on the rock,
Clunk on the soils:
The Waste Land.

Star guides,
Lightly crystalline,
To the waterside.

Escape! Escape!
Sound the waves:
Sound the heartbeats.

Feet tread the boards:
The ship of faith;
The ship of fools.

Who held my hand, boarding?
Mercy to the left;
Grace to the right.

What would have held me?
Satan’s tentacles, without me;
Lusts and fears: parasites.

The Morning Star guides,
Lightens,
Attracts the eye.

We launch towards it.
The rowers keep pace,
Mercy and grace.

Hope at the prow
Watching and calling
Hosannahs and warnings.

But O the misadventures –
Rock and tides – as I
Was a skill-less helmsman.

Who would deliver me?
My eyes must fix on the star;
My hand be fixed by the Pilot.

But what wrestling, what
Arm-wrestling; till my arm,
Under the Pilot’s hand, rests.

The river splays:
Salt tangs the spume;
We plunge through surf.

Onward, onward
Guided by the high Star,
By the chart, by the Pilot.

Towards Colosse,
There to freight the boat
With bright nuggets.

Towards Corinth
There to take on
Firm building material.

Towards Ephesus,
There to gain a lading
Of precious stones.

And at Philippi – true,
Noble, just, pure, amiable gems,
Of good report.

Port by port, all
My crew’s fervour ditching
Useless ballast.

Forward, forward
Till the Sun breaks upon
The desired haven!

“Let them give thanks unto Jehovah
For his loving-kindness
And for his wondrous works
To the children of men.”

Monday, 8 January 2018

"MY WORD"

Isaiah 55: 11;  Thess 3: 1

Let me, I pray thee, run,
Begged Ahimaaz.  And he went,
Dove to its cote.  He ran well
But with now news
Suited to him.  Turn aside,
David said.  Void.

But when the word ran,
A cheetah fixed towards its prey,
From a dying Saviour
To a dying thief, it accomplished
Glory.


A dog runs patiently, wearing down
Its prey.  Saul fled the word
Worrying him, snapping
At him.  Grounding him
It accomplished glory.

That which God pleased

Pleased God.

Friday, 5 January 2018

STRAITENING

Do clouds gather, dimness
And grimness oppress?
He has known the darkness.

Does the way narrow?  Cliffs
Loom over you?
How He was straitened!

Do you feel pressures -
Impinging, slow or quick?
He knew Gethsemane.

17/12/2017