Posts Tagged With: poetry

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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Categories: Christianity, Poem, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Education, Poem, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Family, Poem, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Unlocking and Enabling

Nothing thrills an English teacher more than seeing students become excited about words.

Recently a poet visited the school and held a workshop with a group of students. I sat at the back of the room and observed the class. Cameron, the poet, slowly removed the restraints on the students’ imagination through a variety of sensing and imagining exercises and then they wrote, explored, refined and developed their ideas.

The results were astounding. Some of the students, usually retiring and shy, read their marvelous poems and received praise from their fellow students.

What impressed me was the depth and complexity of thought that some of these poems revealed: reflections on life, living and creation that went beyond the mundane. It reminded me again of the teacher’s task to “unlock” and “enable” – to unlock the talents that that are there and to pass on the skills that enable the those gifts and talents to be developed.

It is humbling to watch a good teacher applying their skills and it is exhilarating to see the results.

 

Categories: christian education, Education, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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?

 

Categories: Poem, poetry | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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.

Categories: christian, Church, Poem, poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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!

Categories: Advent, Faith, Poem, poetry | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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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Advent Poems

In recent years I turned my hand to Advent poems. This year I thought I would remember classics from the past. My first comes from Christina Rossetti.

ADVENT: “COME,” THOU DOST SAY TO ANGELS

Stained Glass Window Cologne Cathedral

Stained Glass Window Cologne Cathedral

“Come,” thou dost say to Angels,
To blessed Spirits, “Come”;
“Come,” to the Lambs of Thine Own flock,
Thy little Ones, “Come home.”

“Come,” from the many-mansioned house
The gracious word is sent,
“Come,” from the ivory palaces
Unto the Penitent.

O Lord, restore us deaf and blind,
Unclose our lips tho’ dumb;
Then say to us, I come with speed,
And we will answer, Come.

ROSSETTI, CHRISTINA (2012-09-30). Delphi Complete Poetical Works of Christina Rossetti (Illustrated) (Delphi Poets Series Book 12)  Delphi Classics. Kindle Edition.
Categories: Advent, christian, Faith, poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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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