Refinery Shadow

Family reunion brings us here,where gum trees open onto two eternal flamessmoking up suburban Sunday sky.Our park – the edge of our travel limits, sitsbeside quiet street and underthe refinery’s steady shadow.Two swings, two slides, ancient eucalypts,and where houses fence the park’s perimeter, a hidden gateopens while we picnic and outpops a man’s head, thenContinue reading “Refinery Shadow”

The plans I have for you

Itching ears may long to hear,All is well. Everyone relax.But truth is rarely so welcome, or simple;more often we hear All is not well before it is well.More often the doctor diagnoses before healing;the exiles must first be exiledbefore coming home.All shall be well. All manner of thingsshall be well. But first we must learntheContinue reading “The plans I have for you”

Day Zero

On this dayI still wrestled my childreninto their clothes,still raced out the door too late for comfort,still pricked my finger with a rose thorn,still feared that all my labour’s in vain,and found the evening slumpa little close to despairyeteverything changed, while nothing changedand mustard seeds of life were at workwhether we noticedor not.


To thinkwhere darkest nights have taken this soul,and how thinthe membrane between lifeand death, how loudthe Accuser has screamedto pierce the membrane and throw me through;yet hereI stand, with no reasonbeside You and the sheerleap into faith that saved,the softbelly of love into which I fell;so hereI stand, with myeldest in my arms whilehe reachesContinue reading “Chesed”

Learning to Splash

To prepare my children for a world of puddles,I must learn myself what to do with puddles,how to take the mud with the joy,how to wear the shock of the wet,how to delight in the splash.To prepare my children for a world of shadows,I must learn how to see the sun in the shadows,and howContinue reading “Learning to Splash”


Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.¬†Amen. Collect for Compline, The Book of Common Prayer Full of contradiction, I am buoyedby the blossomContinue reading “Changeless”

Extraordinary Time

Deprived of the ordinary markings of days -drives to work, birthdays, people to celebrate -we clingmore fervently to organic signs,the constant shifts in the garden,which trees have blossomed,which ones have leaves,how tall the pea plant has grown,how white its petals.These and the aphids signal time:those and the snails migrating,the worms beneath the compost,the dead birdContinue reading “Extraordinary Time”


Watchful, I spy the first buds,now only the flower’s potential,one day, soon – the fruit.Impatient, I come hereagain, again each dayto measure progress in the budding leafor to catchthe lemon in the act of ripening,quince in mid-blossom,almond in leaf.Wait, small heart.It lingers; wait.The signs are surethough August is fickle and eyes are sore.And God hasContinue reading “Signs”

God in all this: For St Ignatius of Loyola

“Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.”St Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises Even this, Ignatius?When all are in retreat in their homes,when consoling and desolating spiritsvy for the attention of every moment,when truth is in short supplyand what truth we have isContinue reading “God in all this: For St Ignatius of Loyola”