Ordinary Wednesday: Spring Hesitation

Poets have never fully trusted spring. e.e. cummings likened it to a “perhaps hand”, hesitant and uncertain. T.S. Eliot called April “the cruellest month” (a class I taught once decided it was because he had bad hayfever). John Mark McMillan recently sang that “Spring without permission rages on again”. And Christina Rossetti had this toContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Spring Hesitation”


The scent was masked as we walked, thoughhints of pollen pushed their way through cloth to me,and on returnas I parked the pram and setexcited new walkers free to roam, I soakedmy senses in the radianceof fruit trees delightingin new white-pink growth, and the hopethat if not now, soon at least,signs are sure, sure toContinue reading “Turning”


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”

Advent 10: Waiting

Bulbs in soil await the spring,and fruit awaits the sun,parched earth waits for thunderstormand watchmen wait for dawn. Guilt awaits the gavel’s fall,fear awaits the dreaded thing,hope waits for what is not seenand voices wait to sing. The busy spirit does not wait;“Time waits for no-one,” it will shout.Impatience sooner dies than waits,and reason tendsContinue reading “Advent 10: Waiting”


Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:5) You’ll be glad to hear your tree is sprouting leaves and in the midst of blossom, tiny fruit. Your little brother’s learning all the names for almond, flowering gum and bottlebrush; yet you by now will know far more than this. TheContinue reading “Bloom”

The first day of spring

began with honeysuckle and clover, the constants of the winter yet rendered more redolent by the scents of September and a bee buzzing about a flowering cactus and ended with a downpour that sent me rushing to the clothesline while my son stood in his raincoat and listened to the rain with all things –Continue reading “The first day of spring”

Spring Cleaning

There are many lurkingplaces in the mind and many nooks… The old man is covered up in a thousand wrappings. (Lancelot Andrewes, Preces Privatae) Open the door. Let sun expose dust, moth-eaten wool and mould around cornices. Years of grime collect on window frames; you forgot that the sideboard had an underneath. And there tooContinue reading “Spring Cleaning”

Before we save the daylight

Settle. The city is quietly occupied, the day protected – as though something must be done. Watch a screen by all means, but first gather friends, and walk to the shops to lubricate the day. Or hit the streets, if you choose – to enjoy unexpected sunshine, and the hum, like a ball hissing throughContinue reading “Before we save the daylight”


I gather moments like raindrops,          like snowdrops: these microscopic buds of spring          tricked by sun      to come out, one     by one;   I see how hesitant can be               can be      the grandest glimpse of things                and sing. I catch the way your moments dance          from distance – yetContinue reading “August”

Psalm: Lilies (The Cornucopia of Heaven)

After Antonio Vivaldi, “Le Quattro Stagioni – La Primavera: II. Largo”  Creator God, whose praise and power are proclaimed by the whole creation: receive our morning prayers, we pray… (A Prayer Book for Australia) Consider         how the lilies open – Watch them enter     into light… Solomon in all his        splendour wasContinue reading “Psalm: Lilies (The Cornucopia of Heaven)”