40 Days of Mercy Week 5: Mercy out of dust

I’ve wanted for a long time to write a series of reflections on the poetry of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Nelly Sachs. That will have to wait for another time, but this week’s poem comes from a sequence of hers called “In the Habitations of Death”, where imagery of death, dust, longing and encounteringContinue reading “40 Days of Mercy Week 5: Mercy out of dust”

Ordinary Wednesday: Everlasting Dust

While I try to go through each day with my eyes open to the little signs of glory and truth that lie around me in the everyday, some days nothing much catches my eye or sinks in. Today was one of those days, my attention too divided for anything in particular to arrest me. SoContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Everlasting Dust”

The Consolations of Lent

Comfort sits, unexpected, in our waiting with weakness. No giant leaps needed, only the baby steps of the heart slowly learning contrition. Begin with incapacity, then the slow-dawning knowledge that you are nothing but dust. Dust transfigures at His breath. Exhale in the sigh of your Lenten frailty. Then inhale, inspire. O brother in ourContinue reading “The Consolations of Lent”

Wednesday’s Colours (Glenroy Lent #2)

Fire is the colour of the eastbound sun lighting the face of the dusty sky. Ash is the colour of this roadwork black, of tarmac where the plane lost flight. Red is the colour of the traffic light, gold the colour in the new day’s eye, and ash to ash is this road we drive;Continue reading “Wednesday’s Colours (Glenroy Lent #2)”


No mirror to reflect, no voice, only      dust, sculpted by hands,                              crafted by plan. No self-stirring spirit, no knowledge,     no thrust, only dust, fingerprinted, moulded –   with tears and with blood    and with sweat – now we stand,                     heart and body, earthenware image, dust reflecting       in praise.


Gather dust. Run, speedy feet,                                     and kick up dust. Kick up, gather: dust we are. O dust, return.  Be turned. Gather, sheep. Be gathered, sheep;                                     make ready feet. Unglamorous and matted, poor: gather all. All dusty sheep, return. Gather us. You gather dust,                                     reviving us, and send us out, in cloud ofContinue reading “Diakonos”

Lent: Enough 5

What warmth I hide in will soon grow cold. All Peter’s false fires, Adam’s cloak of leaves, will burn out, fade, and leave nakedness in ash. Clothe me. My shame is always before me. Nothing hides from Your sight what should be white, yet’s stained like blood. O God. I stand – naked, dust. YouContinue reading “Lent: Enough 5”