Archives for category: Personal struggle

Spring has come with an embrace, certainly not a vengeance. Around our garden, well tended by Anne and Annie, many little green beings are poking their heads up to survey the scenery. It is the perfect time for spring cleaning – of the house, the mind, the soul.


Growing Pains

The transformation of the seed
has been done to death,
but nevertheless the metaphor
to rise
The verbs make the story
of a body made new.
It’s not easy
to let go,
or to die.
Old grudges cling, beseeching.
New enemies tease, enticing.
Habits press against our senses.
Prejudices preach their wisdom.
It’s not easy
to believe in change.
Snuggling into the ground
is just too comfortable.
The radical break
just too sharp.
But the wounds of the crucified
remain in the tree.
And here verbs falter.
For no one can describe
just how
the Great Planter
resurrects the seed.
It’s not easy,
but we trust in the empty tomb
and surrender.


Today is the feast of St James and we had the gospel reading about him and his brother wanting to sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom. I have always felt a bit of affinity to these two brothers – at least they were honest about their ambition and selfish dreams!

So I have dug up a few poems on this theme. The first is from 2013, the second from 2009.



Source of all my doting,
shall I look past you to the
underfed wisdom trapped at the horizon?
Shall you, little life,
be pleased to give way to the
freedom in a dangerous liaison
with what lurks beyond?
Oh, far beyond you is
what is most close, what only
exists to swell this heart,
to bring you undiluted joy
and pain. But though I think
I love you, my clinging hold
refuses this breach of the jail cell,
this cleansing bush fire,
this feeding of the sapling,
growing to encompass the whole of the universe.
This lust I have to love
only you, it strangles,
slow source of seductive suffering.
This is not love.
This is fear.
This is grasping what’s meant to be launched –
you face towards freedom, year on year.


Virus Undetected

Insidious, this…
seeking praise,
defending territory –
a virus in the system dodges our gaze.

Turning from God
to be needed
by the mirage
that good works have superseded.

Ambition, yes…
and stealing the light;
thunder of applause
is more sweet than the brownie working by night.

Explaining away
any defect;
what utter shame
should the truth-revealer decide to interject.

Insidious, this…
climbing the ranks
when the gospel points
to the only one who truly deserves our thanks.