Advent 1

Somehow, likea miracle of new birth,the children rise withall the energy of Christmas morning.I lag behind their delight,lost still in the sleep I wish I was having,yet lifted all the same to seechild hearts leapinglike an infant in the expectant womb.The waiting will be what chafes.Our spirits lag with Spirit’s time.Even by breakfast joy dwindlesContinue reading “Advent 1”

Waiting 3: Leah

I’ve found this next one in the Waiting series hard to write. So hard that I’m a week behind in my weekly poems. Some of the stories that I’m looking at are stories I know very well, yet I’m seeing in them the pains of characters often marginalised in how we tell them. The storyContinue reading “Waiting 3: Leah”

Waiting 1: Seth

It’s been quite a while since I have written anything here, life having a way of slowing me down in my writing of late. But in the weeks leading up to Advent this year I’ve decided to write a series of poems looking at seven figures from the Bible whose lives helped pave the wayContinue reading “Waiting 1: Seth”

Ordinary Wednesday: Waiting for fruit

The gap between Easter and Advent has seemed especially long this year. Perhaps this is because of the discipline I’ve undertaken of writing a weekly reflection throughout all of Ordinary Time, perhaps the slow drag of lockdown. But this year I have felt every week of Ordinary Time as though it should be over andContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Waiting for fruit”

Ordinary Wednesday: In Between Poems

Heaven’s chimes are slow, but sure to strike at last; Earth’s sands are slow, but surely dropping thro’: And much we have to suffer, much to do, Before the time be past. Christina Rossetti, “Heaven’s chimes are slow” One of my favourite stories is a little-known work by J.R.R. Tolkien called “Leaf By Niggle”. ItContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: In Between Poems”

Ordinary Wednesday: Natural Theology for Pre-Schoolers

This is a conversation I had with E, my nearly four-year-old, at breakfast yesterday, about why the porridge was not ready yet, even though he was yelling at it and telling it that he wanted it to be ready. Me: It’s like in Basil and the Branch [a kids’ book that he loves about aContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Natural Theology for Pre-Schoolers”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey intoContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 11”

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”

Signs

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”

The Long Ordinary

Winter sets in,rubs his damp feet all through the laundry,wipes his everwet hair with each handtowel,breathes ice on my windscreen,cries soggy complaints on my feet.And somewhere we are lostbetween fire and candle, lostin the long, slow ordinary that yawnsin between.Days blink; you miss the momentof daylight, the chanceto dry out and be.Only blessingspans the gapContinue reading “The Long Ordinary”