Archives for category: 2011 poems

One day the sun rose in the West.
Nobody blinked.
Well, one or two marvelled at the phenomenon.
A couple, just like you or I,
checked their memory-banks for where the sun should rise
and, having confirmed the East,
permitted themselves to be startled,
at least.
But the rest,
perhaps unable to pinpoint the strange sensation
of the rising sun in the West,
went about their daily business:
checking the camels,
baking the bread,
mending the nets,
tending the pets,
spinning the wool,
spinning tales of the sun
rising on every horizon,
but never in the West.
And we, too, go about our daily business:
checking the cheques,
buying the bread,
spending the bets,
fending off debts,
telling the tills,
telling the tales two thousand years later.
One day the Son rose in the West.
Well, West of here, but perhaps for you
North or South or East
at least
as one or two professed.
That Son who’d died
came up where least expected:
His light had resurrected.



Today the world seems so hopeless, so full of violence, war, trafficking and despair. The poems I wrote in 2011, but, sadly, the reasons for our cries continue…


The Log

The pen is mightier than the

souls tipped off the edge,

with a large tip and commission,

to buy their way out of heaven,

having asked Death’s permission

and taken the pledge.

The sword’s gone the way of the

fairytale with a happy ending

to be upstaged by the gun,

the tank and the smart bomb

that have a way of wending

into lives just begun.

And, about to turn a new

peace resolution they pause,

wondering if their souls are worth

the lines of peace and

all the mess this will cause

to the military-cut earth.

It’s as easy as one, two,

thank God it’s Friday night

and time to tally up the score

of hits and misses for the week –

does then the sword have the might

or does the pen have more?



It would all make sense –

except for you.

Except for you and those like you,

maybe a few.

Or maybe I’m the exception

and it’s true

that life is really God’s deception –

cruelty, slavery, poverty, oppression –

and joy is a rare and luscious gift

in this sea of


Surely we make choices

from an even playing field

and God will simply yield

to our decision –

health, wealth and success –

they are all on the menu

and don’t we have provision

(by dint of birth)

to see them through?

Why, maybe you chose wrong

or had an unkempt thought

that wrought

this sickness deep inside

or you had some sins to hide

that got you to this state?

Though now it sounds like karma

and it’s too late

to show that past-life demon

your independent fate

if all you can do

is just suffer through

and plead for death’s welcome gate.

Well, maybe I’m dense,

but when I look at your life

and your sins compared to mine are less,

there is no sense,

in fact it’s quite a mess.

I’m at a loss

and all I can do

in this life-long suspense

is look towards Christ’s cross.

A drumroll, please, for the holiest week in the Christian church’s year! Coming up to Easter, my Roman Catholic sensibilities were moved yesterday at Mass, at the breaking of the bread. And this emerged…

Mass in Holy Week

A crack. And it is done.
Two hunks of bread
or living tissue,
this Love is broken.
Henceforth the issue:
a death has spoken.
And you have spoken out our pain,
what once was whole, and one,
now is Life, is slain.
This piece, this shred of heart
has seen too many failures,
armies, wars and hates,
it is the smallest part
that’s left
when pride abates
and fears expose
and lose debates
with tyrants, with our peers.
With errors forced, obliged, chosen.
And years
And life untasted
plays injustice in chords,
a march away from fullness,
in you, in me, in hordes
of cheaply pasted glue unstuck.
Cleaning out this muck,
you knew
the pain, the fear, each year
and time to break.
And break you did.
With lifeblood oozing
from your cup and side,
this thirst to slake
of what we block or hide.
You speak, you spoke,
the speech was won
and lost, and losing was the aim
for, unless the pain
was real and you were lame
and dumb and broken,
we could not be healed
and spoken
into speech. And the gift,
the bread,
was ever to be said:
reminder of the dead
in you and us.
But if
that word was last
we would lay our hope
on graves of Life,
once shared, but passed.
No, another word was said,
and, rising from the dead,
you made reply,
what ended need not die
and our broken parts
may be reborn
even now,
even past death’s dawn,
another morn,
another patcher-up of hearts
has felt the crack,
what you have begun.
And it is done.