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