The Fish Tank

Unaccustomed to fish and their ways,we realise quickly that the goldfish bowls of our childhood are no longer the way,and so, acceding to a preschooler’s wish,my wife spends hours learningthe ways of fish tanks and the fish that dwell in them,then imparts this learning to me as wegather together accoutrementsand seek to keep a fishContinue reading “The Fish Tank”

Birthday Gifts

My eldest gathers an ecosystem of treasureslike a store of botanical specimens for the apocalypse, ora nest for lockdown hibernation.And I, wandering with him and his brothers,viewing the world like they do, at ground level or just above,begin to spy jungles, mini-forests, whole worlds,grooves and knots, stalactites of sap,and breathe Thankyou with the air thatContinue reading “Birthday Gifts”


…yo​u will not find my actual life in these pages so much as my thoughts on the graces Our Lord has given me. I have reached the stage now where I can afford to look back; in the crucible of trials from within and without, my soul has been refined, and I can raise myContinue reading “Retreat”

Unownable Things

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to write gratitude lists on my birthday, yet each year it feels like I am discovering gratitude anew. While I always remember doing it the previous year, it never comes naturally to me. Instead, I find myself thinking that another strategy might be better this yearContinue reading “Unownable Things”

Thirty-Two Blessings

Gratitude begets gratitude, just as love begets love. (Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved) That I am begotten by love, Sustained That my heart beats And my feet move That the air is rich For me to breathe That love is patient, That love is kind That I can know What goodness is That IContinue reading “Thirty-Two Blessings”

Memento Mori

Tenth birthday, and the Titanic sinks On a screen, the largest in The southern hemisphere, Drifting down beneath the waves, Wreckage waiting, submarines Plumbing depths to find its jewels, Then sunlight after deep marine, The exit into daylight scenes And Dreamworld rides and cake, With me, crestfallen, eagerness Sublimated in this breeze, This vapour recognition.


Today is my birthday, and as I have approached this day I have thought about Psalm 116:12, which asks, “How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?” I have written a poem to reflect on this thought – inspired by Christina Rossetti’s lovely poem, “A Birthday“. I hope you enjoy reading it.Continue reading “Thanksgiving”