20 Contemplations #20: Enlighten

Wassily Kandinsky, “All Saints”

Arise, shine, for your light has come…
(Isaiah 60:1a)

Then the Glory opens up, and the exposition begins…after the sheaves of night, the spirals of anxiety, here the triumph of love and the tears of joy – all the passion of our arms around the Invisible!…
(Olivier Messiaen)

Do you see a star unlike the others?
Have you watched through the ages, longing to see
this revelation, this epiphany?
To some without eyes, the night smothers;
and now, true, it lurks behind covers
of dark. But others, it beckons vividly:
those who press on through the dark, finally
to see the Morning resting yet nonethe-
less glorious, soon to shine all its Day
on mankind, those once far and those once near…
The silence is over; the patience yawns
for the fruits of dawn in sparkling array.
Be still before Him, newborn sons of dawn,
transfigured together, history made clear.


The Womb of the Morning

(Written on Holy Saturday in Bicheno, Tasmania)

The oath must still hold true yet waiting dries expectation;
the dew of your youth evaporates in the tomb.
Now: what the LORD said to David’s Lord is unchanged,
but the rods of foes seem the triumphant ones today.
Only Pilate’s wife regrets the washing of hands; only women weep.
Only in secret do we take your body to its tomb.
In the morning, with spices and sorrow we will greet
your right hand and your nail-torn feet,
with your king’s footstool too heavy to roll away,
and something like morning tackling deadened hearts.
Drink by the brook as you wait, if you can;
silence might hold some promise in this night of nights.
Come dream.

Too Much Light 6: Prepare Your Crowns


let us


in the light

of the




the light is blinding   and

the days are long; the sun

confuses us, the bustle deafens.



let us walk.


Let’s leave our cars, our homes, our days

and walk.

The Son has stories brighter than noon,

pavilions for the rising of the brightest morning,

and ways that feet must slow to learn.


But come.

Prepare your crowns, prepare

your heads to bow before

His crown.


Prepare the day, to slow, to greet

this child,

bright as Day.

Lent 16: Thursday of Second Week

What is this day?
The lame walk, the blind see, the demons flee –
and silent He does not lift His voice to shout.

While one reed flaps,
the bruised reed stands tall, unbroken;
there’s flame still in the smouldering wick –

Yet the one
who stretched out the heavens with His palms
lifts His finger to His lips to hush…

He will not falter:
the mouth of hell snickers and licks
its lips, yet He walks furtively.

The prison doors groan.
What is this day? The sun not yet risen,
jubilee hanging anxious in the wind…


I was not ready:
You came when I was sleeping,
At my least expected midnight.
Reality shook - this veil we call
"The way things are"; angels sang
And shepherds danced, but I -
Exhausted by normality -
Dozed while, in a baby's cry,
Four hundred years of silence found
Their end-point in this night.

The Wounded Servant (Wednesday in Holy Week)

Sustaining the weary with a word,
There were none who would come to him
That he would turn aside.

Morning by morning his ear awoke
To hear the cries of the small and weak,
The beaten and the bruised.

And beaten and bruised, he turned his back
To take their lashes, and turned his cheek
To take their spit and spite.

And he turned his cheek to take the kiss
Of the friend who caught the High Priest’s eye
And sold him for silver coins.

He set his face like flint towards shame
And took a crown that pierced his brow,
His throne a place of skulls.

His obedience plumbed the darkest depths,
His mercy a gift of bleeding love;
Glory springs from his shame.