Tuesday 29 September 2015


My little daughter,  you know no language yet -
Forgive me then  while I expatiate
With this new composition  didactic verse
Using a style  I've borrowed from Old French.
It's no new wisdom  which I have to dispense
But you may find  it's helpful none the less.

Your life is an adventure  and you'll explore
Though you may not  wander from pole to pole.
Never, my daughter, repose in what you know
But always be a person  who pries and probes -
Through wind and rain,  like a keen Viking, row
Until you land  on you own Vinland shore.

Plough your own furrow  and always plough it straight;
Do not divert  to someone else's way;
Broadcast good seed  and then, with patience, wait -
Anything good  will grow in months, not days;
When it is ripe  harvest before the rain
And for the future  be generous with you grain.

Allow the time  occasionally to wander
Across the hills  or by the babbling waters;
Perceive the boredom;  the glory and the horror
Within all nature - slow slugs or leaping horses,
Ravenous shrew  or deft fish-killing otters.
Let each one halt you  and give you cause to ponder.

Fish just to meet  your own and other's wants
But not for pleasure - a sport which God abhors.
Both good and evil  will come within your trawl:
Discriminate - don't keep and swallow all.
Although winds blow  and bucking billows toss
Persist until you can  relish what's caught.

To be a poet  would do you little good
And whether I would like it  I am not sure.
There's poetry in life  as you will prove -
In every movement  a subtle rhythm moves,
In every word  a fertile tension broods;
And every object  is image for a mood.

I know that you  will never be a queen
- But you must rule  within yourself at least;
Only by self-control  can you be free.
Be careful not to watch  all that you see;
Be careful not to heed  all that you hear;
Your heart is the most precious  thing that you keep.

Philip had four  daughters who prophesied -
If he was fortunate   I can't decide!
So, little one,  prophesy if you like
But you must pray  from your depths to God's height,
Must find the answer  to darkness in God's light,
Must find in Jesus  the purpose of your life.

My little Rosalie, I'll soon have ended:
I'm sure you think  I've been too long already.
To tell the truth  you don't seem interested
In being wrapped  in archetypal vestments.
I guess it's nearly time  that you were bedded,
A so good night  and may God add His blessing.

Written 15 October 1984; so I must remind her off it!

Friday 25 September 2015


"You'll never guess, the hikers exclaimed
to the young woman in the headsquare
"Who we've seen just up the road there -
Philip and Charles and Anne"; excitedly
Failing to recognise
The Queen.

We have sent out probes,
Received messages that we cannot
Decipher.  We have scanned the universe,
Its black holes and quarks.  But have we
Failed to recognise
The Creator?

We have studied the microscopic,
The bright and nocturnal, seen beauty
In the forms and the lives lived
In them.  Unravelling molecules have we
Failed to recognise
The Designer?

We have poured words through a plethora
Of instruments; twisted them, vexed them,
Decanted and canted.  Articulating
Man and sagacity of man, have we
Failed to recognise
The Word?

Monday 21 September 2015


If the Sacrifice, at Golgotha
Was tested by fire, in Gethsemane
Its quality
Had been proved in the water.

If perfect obedience led
To the anguish of the cross
It had led in the garden
To His words to the Father.

If a real Man accepted
The angel's ministration
This Man endured the cross
Without consolation.

If His sweat, on the mount,
Fell as great drops of blood,
From His pierced side at the cross
Came out blood and water.

If Gethsemane showed
The Altar's four-square strength
At Golgotha the Sacrifice
Was bound to its horns.

Friday 18 September 2015


Righteousness was there
As the Saviour rose,
Glorying in the witness to itself.

Peace was there
With the new ground for man
Established in clarity.

Joy was there
For the grave testing
Was forever past.

Mercy was there,
Feeling its release
To bless whosoever will.

Grace was there
Effusive with Joy,
Righteousness was witnessed.

Justice was there;
And joined Grace and Mercy
In the celebration.

Love presided:
With Truth, Glory, Goodness ...
All of God's attributes.


Thursday 17 September 2015


Hi, folks,

I hope to go to India in December to India, if the Lord will.  Before that I'd like to collect something to help  the poor children in the Medak area, to the north of Telangana.  If you click on Vitamins! it will take you to a JustGiving page.  I would really appreciate some help; every little helps!

Many thanks


Monday 14 September 2015


Among the dust of Palestine
He, come within our human span,
Displayed a worth that was divine
While God was glorified in man.

Between heaven’s glory and earth’s sod
The Son of man was crucified,
And through Golgotha’s torments God,
Regarding sin, was glorified.

As faithful women reached Christ’s tomb
The rising Sun dispelled the night -
God’s glory dwelt on Christ through whom
Men are accepted in God’s sight.

A Man is now at God’s right hand -
A Man is on the Father’s throne!
And Christians gladly understand
God’s thoughts secured in Christ alone.

Wednesday 9 September 2015


The Master made His people's hearts rejoice
Because they answered to the Shepherd's voice.

They learned through grace that He would not despise
The poor and weak, or turn away His eyes.

They came to Him with all their needs and fears,
Assured He would attend with open ears.

And it delighted Him that He should smell
The myrrh and nard which proved they loved Him well.

His hands had handled men in direst need,
So that through Him they might be healed and freed.

His feet were bearing Him upon the path
Towards Golgotha and God's awful wrath.

But ere the Saviour bowed His head to die
He uttered one triumphant mighty cry.

I wrote this when thinking about Psalm 115: 4-7

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands:
They have a mouth, and they speak not; eyes have they, and they see not;
They have ears, and they hear not; a nose have they, and they smell not;
They have hands, and they handle not; feet have they, and they walk not; they give no sound through their throat.

Monday 7 September 2015


“I see hundreds and hundreds of ships
Sailing out of the harbour.”

But what ladings –
Precious gems discovered, emerald,
Ruby, sapphire, diamond and pearl.

Gold in its purity,
Silver refined; copper
Fired to value of gold.

Abundant spices, fragrant,
For their home-coming,
Myrrh, aloes, cassia…

Rich their sheets and tackle;
Billowing from the crosstrees,
Buoyant their pennons.

Tribute for their Master –
He comes from their destination
To their coming –
His Grace.

The first two lines are the last words of the poet George Mackay Brown.

Saturday 5 September 2015


Faith; Jacob's ladder; Abraham's path; the rope
That hauls me from the deep; the kind of light
In which the blind walk fearlessly; our hope
Made present; noonday sprung up in the night;
The power for deaf to hear and lame to walk;
To walk on seas; strand of a triple cord
With hope and love; a hearing when I talk
To God; and the soul's gateway to the Lord.

God's present; and the beachhead of the place
The Spirit dwells in; means to have a sense
Of pleasing God; the instrument of grace
To save; the herdsman of obedience;

The hyssop for applying the Lamb's blood;
A glimpse of glory; something understood.

See George Herbert: Prayer


Tuesday 1 September 2015


Only a divine Person
Could display divine love

Only a perfect Man
Could display perfect human love

Only the Son
Is a divine Person
And a perfect Man.