Poem

Sin had slithered …

 

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;  he will crush your head,  and you will strike his heel.”

Gen 3:15

Sin had slithered in

and God living harmony

destroyed.

Life and love became terminal.

Hope less.

 

Through the human

silence of the guilty

in the garden

the Word spoke again.

 

Sin and love

declared enemies.

One must go.

 

An enemy crushed.

A head abolished

forever.

 

The cost:

The Godman would come

From the broken

Mother of the living.

A divine son slain.

A Word crucified

so that love

and harmony

will rise and rule again.

 

 

Pieter Stok

 

 

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The Practice Exam

 

The room is nervously quiet.

A heater gently hums.img_1053

There is the rustling of twitching pages.

Then the reading time finishes

and the starting gun booms  in explosive silence.

The click and scratch of pens flinch in earnest.

Unseen but real

nervous energy tensions the air.

Minds ponder,

details are rummaged for in far recesses

while palms sweat.

 

Only to know that this is “practice”

and it needs to be done all over again.

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The Footprints We Leave

We left footprints in the sand.

Mine large,

His small.

His dancing with excitement

In circles and jumps.

Mine in a straight line, alert

cautious.

 

A sand castle here,

A shell there.

Seaweed, seagullsimg_1046 and sticks.

Exciting materials,

to explore and investigate.

 

His steps will become larger.

Mine will fade.

But there was a time

when we walked on the beach

together.

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Where is the exit?

Cataract Gorge in Flood

Change.

An epidemic!

Wherever I turn

It seems to be catching.

An avalanche of

Change.

My heads spins.

Past certainties

Are no longer certain.

Past truth is dismissed

As lies.

An unstoppable

tsunami of

Change.

Courts say that

Men can marry men.

We trash our world

Faster than ever.

China rises,

The West sinks.

Medicine gives life

And we kill it

More effectively.

Change.

The roller coaster is relentless.

Which way is up?

Is there is no getting off

… except at the final station?

 

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And He Was There

Image: Courtesy, Wikipedia

Image: Courtesy, Wikipedia

What does God see when He sees us worshipping?

And He Was There

  1. Worshipping when I was younger – mid last century

There was a custom and tradition

that, years ago, meant

meeting twice

on the Sunday.

Morning AND evening –

starting the day and closing the day

with God.

Best suits,

hats and dresses:

“No corduroy son!

Would you meet the queen in that!”

My father barked.

 

The worship,

like the pews, was stern and formal.

Faces serious and

attention strict, as eyes

focussed forward.

Fidgeting children were pinched,

prodded and glared into conformity.

 

And God was there

in the droning, reverie inducing words,

everlasting musty organ hymns,

peppermints,

and Eau de Cologned hankies.

 

And He was there

when the bread was broken

and the wine sipped

during the quarterly

communion:

when I was left behind

for a moment’s freedom.

 

And He was there

As I counted the

Organ pipes,

Bannister rails

And made mind pictures

With the patterns of the wooden ceiling.

And later,

He was still there

when I stumblingly

declared my youthful faith.

And despite my fear induced amnesia,

He was there

when I declared my love for my bride.

And He was there when our children

received His promises

in baptism.

 

Yes,

He was there.

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Reprise: Advent Poem

Today’s poem is not a poem by a famous poet but one of mine from last year.

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.’

Gen 3:15

sunrise new

 

The first morning glimmer
of light
tells us the sun is coming:
A new day
A new hope
And eternal possibilities.

The dawn light
is a daily
covenant promise
that the son is coming:
who with a bruised heel
would crush
the enemy’s head
forever.

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Advent Poems

That Holy Thing

mary crop

From the walls of the Keldby Church, Mons, Denmark

George MacDonald (1824-1905)

They all were looking for a king
To slay their foes, and lift them high:
Thou cam’st a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.O son of man, to right my lot
Nought but thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea thy sail!

My fancied ways why shouldst thou heed?
Thou com’st down thine own secret stair:
Com’st down to answer all my need,
Yea, every bygone prayer!

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Advent Poems

In this Advent poem the Australian poet, Henry Lawson, connects the first and second Advents and links it with the need for social justice.   You may not necessarily agree with his theology.

In the StreetMary

Where the needle-woman toils
Through the night with hand and brain,
Till the sickly daylight shudders like a spectre at the pain –
Till her eyes seem to crawl,
And her brain seems to creep –

And her limbs are all a-tremble for the want of rest and sleep!
It is there the fire-brand blazes in my blood; and it is there
That I see the crimson banner of the Children of Despair!
That I feel the soul and music in a rebel’s battle song,
And the greatest love for justice and the hottest hate for wrong!

When the foremost in his greed
Presses heavy on the last –
In the brutal spirit rising from the grave-yard of the past –
Where the poor are trodden down
And the rich are deaf and blind!

It is there I feel the greatest love and pity for mankind:
There – where heart to heart is saying, though the tongue and lip be still:
We’ve been through it all and know it! brother, we’ve been through the mill!
There the spirits of my brothers rise the higher for defeat,
And the drums of revolution roll for ever in the street!

Christ is coming once again,
And his day is drawing near;
He is leading on the thousands of the army of the rear!
We shall know the second advent
By the lower skies aflame

With the signals of his coming, for he comes not as he came –
Not humble, meek, and lowly, as he came in days of old,
But with hatred, retribution for the worshippers of gold!
And the roll of battle music and the steady tramp of feet
Sound for ever in the thunder and the rattle of the street!

Henry Lawson 1894
(Source: http://www.ironbarkresources.com/henrylawson/InTheStreet.html
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Advent Poems

Here is poem by Sir John Betjeman from about half a century ago.  Its message is still relevant today on a variety of levels.

We still need to ask the question, “How, in fact, do we prepare …?”

Advent 1955
By John Betjeman

The Advent wind begins to stirWise man
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound –
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out ‘Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.’
And how, in fact, do we prepare
The great day that waits us there –
For the twenty-fifth day of December,
The birth of Christ? For some it means
An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards, And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end, of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know –
They’d sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back. Oh dear!
Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.
We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell’d go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
‘The time draws near the birth of Christ’.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger.

Source: Collected Poems by John Betjeman.
London: John Murray; New Edition, 2003.
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Life’s Paradox

Paper thin,

weakest link,

hair’s breadth.

Unexpected.15307337839_d8ec5dd5f7_z

Always present.

The certain

uncertainty of

our time

and timing.

The

“are we there yet?”

of life.

 

In the midst of

this ambiguity

there is

a hand that

upholds and rules

so that every

tear and worry,

fret and angst,

burden and hassle

disappears.

Categories: christian, Life, Poem, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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