Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Others might have designated you
Warrior, prophetess, or leader but you
Chose this name ‑ a Mother
In Israel. Perhaps, as a robbed lioness
You fought, as maternally caring cajoled,
As example, led; until you produced
What constituted the true Israel ‑ those
Loving Jehovah who could have might
Like the rising sun; who go on
Straight highways in the restful conditions
You motherly activity had assured.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


When he remembered ‑ Jacob ‑,
No longer a young man in a hurry,
To pace himself to the pace of the slowest,
Children or lambs, was it you,
Rachel, whose shepherdess care
Finally had influenced him? You
Inspired him first to breach custom,
Roll the stone away. His ewe,
Cherished in his bosom, you transferred
His affection to Joseph, gave Jacob
His fruitful bough, rooted by where
He first encountered you, by the well.

Monday, 29 December 2008


You had some husband ‑ dragging you
From civilization and comfort to dwell,
Season after season, in a tent. Neither
Sand deterred nor fertility halted:
Always he loved his vision ‑ which you,
With a wife's common sense, laughed at.
Did long miles and years drain your strength,
Perils of the wayside and in king's palaces
Fray your nerves? Finally, with nothing
But faith to cling to, you found strength
Nature could not provide. With Abraham
You saw Isaac ‑ Christ's day;
And insisted that he alone remain.
If feet still trudged arid or arable
Heart had its peace ‑ its sought country.

Sunday, 28 December 2008


“Son of the Highest,
He shall be called”:
Now in the glory
He is installed.

Soon from the glory
He will come out
Cheering the faithful,
Banishing doubt.

“Son of the Highest
He shall be called”:
Glories once granted,
Never recalled.

“He shall be Firstborn,
Highest of kings”,
Chief amongst brethren,
Head of all things.

“Son of the Highest
He shall be called”:
God is delighted;
Saints are enthralled.

Saturday, 27 December 2008


The Manna

On the same earth on which
Our feet stumble, He walked:
Sweetness is in those steps
To the discerning; oil,
The Spirit saturating
Is in their taste; fineness,
Singularity, sufficiency:
Man according to God.

The Barley Harvest

A risen Man presented
Himself to willing persons:
Choiceness in firstfruits
Manifested, handfuls on purpose,
For eager gleaners to enfold,
Here, with that stamp of God’s
Approval, with that fresh life:
Man according to God.

The Old Corn

Stored in its native land
The old corn of the land
Provides food for that land
In undiminished supply:
Fruit of the purpose of God,
Christ at God’s right hand
Is the soul’s richest food:
Man according to God.

Friday, 26 December 2008


Stopping each time he passed that way to trace
God’s workmanship in river, tree and hill
The poet frequently renewed the thrill
Which toil and worry struggled to efface.
The horses which had pulled and stopped his chaise
Finally pulled his hearse; and they were still
As subject to their absent master’s will
When they arrived at that familiar place.

I have a Master who is absent, too -
In everything that I may say or do
Do those who know He is my Master find
That I am subject to my Master’s mind?
I can be thrilled with Him and can derive
From Him who, though now absent, is alive.

Thursday, 25 December 2008


Care, child, for the lambs
You will have in your trust.

Value the blameless Lamb
Led dumb to the shearers.

Spin the gnarled fleece
To taut, fine, warp.

Drench the tight threads
Till warm dyes permeate.

Weave loose weft and tight warp
Into a seamless garment.

Hem, embroider, finish
In fine stitching.

Lastly, my daughter,
Wear it with good grace.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Woozily flying
Back through its dark door I taste
The goodness of sleep

Monday, 22 December 2008


Giving light and warmth,
Lofting me in space, the sun
Gives life to my life.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


There are engagements
To which God in His love
Has committed Himself.

Saturday, 20 December 2008


It shudders, stops, and
Drinks cash like a mistress, but
Carries us stoutly.

Friday, 19 December 2008


A surprise blessing -
Does he kick and wrestle yet, (or she!)
Embryo Ellis?

(It was “she”)

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Flowers, charcoal smoke, herbs,
A cooked dinner - how good to
Have a sense of smell.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


God’s grace has acted
In my soul and heart so that
I value god’s grace.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


The Soviet artist
Praised the Maker of the thumb,
And I’ll praise with him.