Tuesday 31 March 2020


Though raging billows roll
And winds are contrary
Fear need not fill us with dismay -
The Lord is in control,

Should iron pierce your soul
Or catch you in its gin
Help is at hand, and Hope within -
The Lord is in control.

Should your boat nudge a shoal
Or shudder in a squall
Trust in the One who made them all -
The Lord is in control.

Saturday 28 March 2020


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.

Friday 20 March 2020


Why, when the plush sea played,
Beating random rhythms on the hull,
Beneath the bright sky’s charms
As the sheen of the sunlight rayed
Did he move in the water’s lull
To lie in the cold sea’s arms?

Since the sun seemed the better suitor
And the air was sweet to the lungs
Why did he stumble and fall?
The shore girls were cuter,
Sweeter songs lapped from their tongues,
Yet he answered the water’s call.

They wept on the harbour wall
For the lost and wasted life
And the lost and wasted seed,
As he rocked in the sea’s loll,
The lap of his chosen wife
Never to be inbred.

For God’s way was this -
A short time of breath,
Pulsing blood, flesh;
Then to lie thus,
Safely wrapped in death,
Finding His love lush.

(This is an elegy for a family friend of my mother's drowned some time before I was born, but whose photo was always up in the house as i was growing up.  He originated in Peterhead.)

Tuesday 17 March 2020


To come quietly in the night
And lay myself down
At the feet of Jesus.
To feel the oil
Tenderly assuage
The smart of my wounds.
To have my scared chirps
Smothered by the down
Of the hen’s wings,
To hear
– After wind, earthquake and fire –
A gentle voice.
To repose
On the bosom of Jesus.

This is a reaction to the Malcolm Guite poem at

Thursday 12 March 2020


In the perfection of normality
The Vine grew up before the Father’s sight;
At every stage of His humanity
Christ’s features gave the Father’s heart delight:
The bud was the dependant little child;
The blossom was the enquiring subject boy;
The Man, as holy, harmless, undefiled,
Was straitened to ensure the Father’s joy.

But in one night the almond came to fruit -
One staff displayed fresh life amid dead staves;
In power which sin or death cannot dispute
One Man arose from myriads in their graves.
Christ’s resurrection is miraculous
And a new life gives joy to God - and us.

Another old sonnet rediscovered.

Tuesday 3 March 2020


(From a Lord's day 2000)

It is well to advance
To the point where worship is no longer
In point, for the Man of the heart
Is the Man
To whom we are "his like".

And to advance from the Man
Of authority - He is Lord of all - 
To the Man of resource - 
Head to His assembly.

Yet never to eschew the point
From which we have advanced: as a tower,
Advancing on the heights, settles,
Nestles on its foundation.

(Fragment of a verse letter discovered in digging in the archives.)

Sunday 1 March 2020

GENESIS 4: 23-24

Lamech confessed a youth slain for his bruise,
A man slain for his wound; yet knew God’s care
Would keep His eye upon him everywhere:
Needing such comfort, God will not refuse.

At last His own will look on Him they slew
And gain protection they will never lose
As brought into a link with God anew.

07/02/2020                              Markinch