Saturday, 9 July 2016

Imitation of Peace

A child looks up, a parent at each ear -
their teaching is quite distracting
as they point out my features...
my large tummy, and emblematic ears,
my transcendent smile, and wood worm.

But for a moment I cease being an exhibit
as the child copies my hand gestures.
I return to the red temple walls -
a model for the novice monks
drawing from them a good imitation.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Wind in the Trees

Inside the windmill roundhouse is a sanctuary.
Bible stories frescoed on the whitewashed walls.
Heavy cross beams above are functional not symbolic.

A sacrament table beneath with half a circle of chairs
and a priest breaking the bread saying
'in this moment past and present become one'.

Now I hear the wind in the trees.
The fan tail steers the sails to face the wind,
Mill stones trundle, flour crushed for bread.

(From Reigate Heath Windmill chapel)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Creation Rhythm

When God first gave a rhythm to the world
it was simple: day and night, night and day -
called it circadian rhythm.

God sent another world a spinning.
Its empty face came and went, came and went -
called it lunar rhythm.

God laid on this a slower beat,
growing hot, growing cold -
called it annual rhythm.

What came at first as the patter of rain
rose again through the stems of plants -
called it precipitation.

Then came creatures small and great
with wings and beaks and songs to sing.
It was God's creation.

Then came man with stick and drums
conterpointing - changing beat -
a shifting, surging, syncopation.

Friday, 10 June 2016

New Sandpit

I sat and cried.
Mummy wouldn't play.
She was cooking tea
and the new sandpit
was a desert now
where I cried and cried.

Then from out of the sand
I created a man
and with him three friends.
The damp sand shifting
beneath my bare toes.
I talked with them in turns.

Then I created an elephant
that made great marks.
It took all the men to hold it
with big ropes and that
was not enough really
for the elephant got free.

It trampled one man.
The other men carried him
away with a great gash
where his leg was hanging off
and the sand grew red
as dark clouds came over.

When mummy came out
the elephant and the men
went away again
and we made the surface smooth
and created a pool of water
where I washed my hands and feet

Sunday, 5 June 2016


All day like a yogi
sitting on a hospital chair -
for a pat on the head
he slowly uncoils.
From inside his jersey
emerging arms search
the surrounding air
for someone to hold.

Lips touched by a spoon.
He gurgles.
Sucks up the mushed food.
"You like that Freddie?"
He doesn't hear
or see.
As a fetus no eyes developed
from the rest of his brain.

Because he is here
we assume he is no Helen Kellar,
and don't take time
trying to get close -
only change him
and feed him
and shave him
and bathe him.
Push him ot onto the veranda on this sunny day
then push him to bed.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Her life is become marble

Her life is become marble - serene and alone -
Worn as a gown among cool shadowed walls
Where time conscious visitors meet.

In a blur of coats, dresses, and hats
Visitors swirl beneath her unblinking eyes
Examine the folds of her dress.

The visitors go to where the sun is still shining
Taking away their chatter and cares.
She can hear sea-shell voices

As a childhood dream's hollow ebb
Distance grows, shadows grow.
Falls the hush of late afternoon.

There is a sudden movement. Someone cries.
Swishing white coats, clacking heels
Bring again demanding eyes.

Just a handful of skirt shows her anger.
She swallows the syrup as offered.
'That's good' says a calm voice in passing.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Please STOP

Using the piano as a table or workbench

Using the violin as a tennis racket

Using the double base to float down the river

Using the timpani for a fish tank

Using the conductor as a dance partner

Using the wood wind as a forest

Using the auditorium as a lecture theatre

Using the bassoon to plays the blues

That is not what we are here for.