Sunday, 25 September 2022


 So He came forth, the Universe-maker,

Heaven-measurer, to be confined within

The breadth of a womb.

He who had stretched out the heavens

As a gauze curtain was prepared to be

Swaddled in linen.

The Earth-founder, Layer of foundations

Upon nothing, came where He could be

A Babe in a manger.

The Creation-commander, Orderer of 

Star, and planet, and comet became

An obedient Child.

Maker of the rivers, and the Former

Of the baptising saint, He willingly

Was baptised in Jordan.

Himself the Word, whose breath can consume,

Yet He answered Satan's assaults

With words of Scripture.

This restriction, to not please Himself

But do the will of His Father,

Gave Him great joy.

Some ruled as kings, or emperors, or priests

Over God's people; but in God's Messiah

Men saw the Carpenter.

He who could move on the wings of the wind

Or fly on the cherub, contented Himself

To walk on His feet.

Through these restrictions

There was this that was unlimited:

The communion of a Son with a Father.

(Callanish, 3 June 2022)

Farewell to Lewis

Thursday, 15 September 2022




O Holy Spirit, Thou didst show
Thy vigilance above the waste,
Alert on God's behalf to know
Firstfruits of what would suit His taste.

Although in Christ Thou didst have rest,
And, in His church, Thy dwelling-place
Thy skill and movements still attest
To patient watchfulness in grace.

Still Thou dost seek what suits God's heart,
Resulting from Thy work and ways;
Blest Spirit, knowing who Thou art
Thy patient love draws out our praise.

Thursday, 8 September 2022


 If I carved a stone for him

It would be in the rosy

Peterhead granite.

The memories evoke

Warmth and ruggedness; brow

Crumpled, flesh pinched by salt wind.

A canny man - yet one

He left that hulk, the Muckle Kirk,             [big church]

To go to Jesus.

Perhaps ower canny - gentle,             [over cautious]

So that death came

Of a broken heart.

Yet the stone stands, something

In time's mist; remember


With Christ.

This recalls my grandfather who I can only vaguely remember.  He lived in Peterhead and spoke broad Scots.  You can't exactly translate Scots to English.

Fisherfolk statues in Stornoway; the Peterhead drifters fished seasonally from Stornoway.

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Arise Early

 A few more from Lewis

Arise early,

Serve God devoutly,

Then to thy work, busilie,

To thy meate joyfully,

To thy bed merilie,

And though thou fare poorly,

And thy lodgings homelie,

Yet thank God highly.

Katherine Dowe (before 1588)