Monday 29 February 2016


He knew the ways of learning, to create
Plush tapestries of words the plush enjoyed,
But found the employment did not satisfy,
His gorgeous words returning to him void;
The cross of Jesus crossed and double-crossed;
Affliction turned his pilgrimage through time;
Another Prince's visage was embossed
Upon his coin, and grace repaired his rhyme.
Did the world's bands impinge upon him still?
His sole defence was what his Master said.
And, seeing human meanness and God's will,
"I have", he could exclaim, "another Head".
Since love made all his sours and bitters sweet
His finis was, "Then I did sit and eat".

George Herbert (1593-1633) was a Welsh-born English poet.  After being the university orator of Cambridge he left, after some soul-searching, to become priest of the parish of Bemerton.  His poems were (mainly) unpublished until after his death; he said of the work, ""he shall find in it a picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed between God and my soul, before I could subject mine to the will of Jesus, my Master".
I have labelled this a sonnet, although I appreciate it is not quite one; cf Herbert's Josephs coat.


Sunday 28 February 2016

Friday 26 February 2016


Love will do its best for us -
Christ the Lord came near to serve,
Bore the judgment we deserve:
Love has stood the test for us -
Love will do its best for us.

Love will do its best for us -
Love has store of wealth and food,
Everything to do us good:
Thus will love invest for us -
Love will do its best for us

Love will do its best for us -
For the Spirit of our God,
In our hearts, spreads love abroad
As a heavenly guest for us:
Love will do its best for us.

Love will do its best for us -
In the Father’s house, through grace,
Jesus has prepared our place.
Love has made a rest for us:
Love will do its best for us.


Tuesday 23 February 2016


For three days
and three nights
the Father had care
of the spirit that a crucified Man
entrusted to Him:
And that spirit
was the Lord Himself.
For thirty secret years
and more than three in service
the Son of Man displayed
that attitude and compassion,
in dry paths and chill houses,
that we call
the spirit of Christ.

 From the glorified Man,
because Christ, as Man, had acceded
to being sent by the Father
has been sent the omnipotent Person
who gladly bears the title
the Spirit of Christ.

Through generations
persons freed by Christ
to be His bondmen
have given the testimony
more by their deeds than their words
that they shine with the spirit of Christ.

Sunday 21 February 2016


He came to His own
- Deliverer and Messiah -
But they would not have Him,
Would not accede to His rights.
     He stood in the midst
     - The Son of man, the Victor -
     In right of suffering and conquest
     Announcing His peace.
          He came to the throne
          - The Son, the Ascended Man -
          And set Himself down there
          In right of His glory.

          He came to the throne
          - The Son of the Father, the Beloved -
          To sit at the Father's right hand
          By right of the Father's will.

     He stood in their midst
     - The Risen One, the Shepherd -
     And His brethren came round
     And bowed down to Him.

He will come to His own
- Deliverer and Messiah -
And He will be anointed
In the midst of companions.



Thursday 18 February 2016


I love the Father
Because as the husbandman
He fosters the fruit.

I love the Father
Whose husbandman's skill purges
Only as needed.

Tuesday 16 February 2016


"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  As to every branch in me not bearing fruit, he takes it away; and as to every one bearing fruit, he purges it that it may bring forth more fruit.",
John 15 1,2.

"More fruit" - 'tis for Himself,
  His pleasure to fulfil -
He takes the branch in hand
  With rare and perfect skill.

He seeks the goodly fruit,
  The Husbandman divine;
He prunes and trains the branch,
 That Christ in us may shine.

The pruning may give pain,
  The training make us smart;
From things to which we cling
  'Tis bitter thus to part.

Would we be left alone,
  Untended by His care,
To grow untamed and wild,
  Nothing of Christ to bear?

Not so; we look to Him,
  To train us as He please;
To clear away whate'er
  Unsuited there He sees;

That thus the fruit may be
  Both plentiful and choice;
For Him , the Husbandman,
  To make His heart rejoice.

(This is another by T Willey, published in "The Songs of the Lord", 1931.)

Sunday 14 February 2016


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.

Saturday 13 February 2016


The reproach of men -
Crackling of thorns, the cackling of fools -
He endured that.

The contempt of the leaders -
Snorting of the circling bulls of Bashan -
He endured that.

The mocking of the Romans -
The yipping and yapping of the gentile dogs -
He endured that.

Satan's power -
The roar of the ravenous lion -
He endured that.

Weakness -
Manhood's strength poured as water -
He endured that.

The might of death -
The close-set bosses of the buffalo's horns -
He endured that.

The judgement of sins -
Our sins, "made sin for us" -
He endured that.

Thursday 11 February 2016


O dark, dark, dark - irrecoverably dark:
Darkness that can be felt invests the land;
Darkness that can be felt encumbers man.
But we have light in which we are apart:
The Morning Star arising in our hearts!
The day is near - while we await its start
Jesus the Lord has this peculiar charm:
The Morning Star, brilliantly coruscant.
Among our pressures the Lord Himself imparts
To overcomers joys that are sure to last:
Imparts Himself so that, exuberant,
They praise Him as the Bright and Morning Star.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Monday 8 February 2016


As He walked a perfect pathway 
Where sin's power was manifest,
And expressed God's grace and mercy
So that heaven could attest
That the Father was delighted
And the Spirit was at rest
There was nothing out of keeping
With the holiness of God.
As He walked the paths of sorrow,
Thwarting Satan's power to tempt
From the will of God His Father
And what malice could attempt
Through betrayal, and denial,
And injustice, and contempt,
There was nothing out of keeping
With the holiness of God.
But when John was elevated
To the mountain to behold
The celestial culmination
Of God's workmanship unfold
In the Lamb's wife - that great city
That is formed of purest gold:
There was nothing out of keeping
With the holiness of God.
The chorus of this I have "borrowed" from a book. 

Saturday 6 February 2016


From Basho’s journeys
Pearls of haiku – and from mine?
Some digital photos
Fly quick, butterfly,
Now’s your opportunity
To be photographed
Too slow, butterfly,
But as least I can put you
Into my verses
You’re immortalised
In verse, yet you seem to show
That you couldn't care
No, black fly, I don’t
Want to have you in my verse:
I’m not Issa!
Dancing, butterfly,
With your lady; no wonder
I feel neglected
You zig and you zag
Till you make me feel dizzy;
Have you been drinking?
Launched over the bay
Of a loch, Amy Johnson
Of butterflies 

The tide is pushing
The water gently; a moment
I've my own island

Gull, are you following
The sea, your mistress into
Loch Hour's recesses?
 The sea refreshes
The dry seaweed that wilted
For this returning.

Crab has that water
Awakened you to dancing,
Bringing good tidings 
Some photographs from Loch Hourn in the West of Scotland
and a few verses written when there.
Basho and Issa are among the most famous writers of haiku;
I like the 5:7:5 formation but think only something written in Japanese is areal haiku.
Issa was particularly keen on insects,

Friday 5 February 2016


In time of famine
The prophet dwelt with
The widow God supplied.

In time of triumph God
Smelt the offering's savour,
Having provided the fire.

In time of prayer Elijah,
Bent in his intensity, knelt
Face between knees.

In time of vigour see
The rain pelt; the prophet
Outrun the chariot.

Yet in time of weakness
See his iron melt; but
God still provided.

In time of recovery
The prophet duly dealt
In judgment and grace.

The time of departure!
God showed how His heart felt
Towards His servant!

The picture is from the old black Bible book that my mother used to read to me from; I always remember this picture when I read about Elijah running.

Thursday 4 February 2016


From the sky loom
Asteroids and shooting stars,
Comets: the Lord
Is in control.

Beneath magma
Rises, lava bursts,
Feel worldly shudders:
The Lord is in control.

Within bacteria
Of leprosy, viruses,
Parasites: the Lord is
In control.

The pastures are green;
The waters are still;
The soul within me restored:
The Lord is in control.

Wednesday 3 February 2016


If Satan should deride,
Or tempt us in his sleekness,
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.

Within is sin and pride,
Outside is sin and bleakness;
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.

He's ready to provide
The grace to grow in meekness;
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.