The Beverage Testament

In which I try to find a metaphor for Jesus more relevant to urban dwellers than ‘shepherd’. Inspired by @Unvirtuousabbey on Twitter.


The Java Psalm (Psalm 23)

The Lord is my barista; I lack nothing.

He lets me sit down in comfy armchairs,

he leads me to quiet corners,

he refills my cup.

He guides me into the right beverage choices

for his reputation’s sake.

Even though I walk into the busiest coffee shop,
I will fear no hassle,
for you are my barista today;
your apron and your name badge they reassure me.

You prepare a mocha before me
in the presence of an impatient queue.
You anoint my coffee with syrup;
my cup is grande not tall.

Surely your kindness and customer service skills will bless me

all the days of my life,

and I will frequent this coffee house forever.


The Good Bar manager of the Shepherd’s Tavern (John 10)

Jesus said… “I am the good bar manager. The good bar manager goes the extra mile for their customers. The agency bar worker is not the bar manager and does not have loyalty to the customers. So when s/he sees the competition starting to steal the customers, s/he does nothing, and the customers are scattered. S/he cares nothing for the customers so does not give them excellent, personal customer service.

I am the good bar manager. I know my regulars and my regulars know me – just as the Landlord knows me and I know the Landlord – and I give my all to serve my customers. I have other customers that are not of this pub. I must make them regulars also. They too will listen and get to know me, and there shall be one group of customers and one bar manager.”


Mirrors, Signal, Manoeuvre

Creeping up to the give way line

Sudden personal clarity.

Everything’s a crossroads now

This job or that, or back to the other.

At some certain point you choose.


I don’t like being so binary.

Your eyes are blue in this light but still green

and if they asked me I couldn’t swear either way

But I do know how they watch me.


So what do I do at this point?

Do I take this opening, this exit or pass it up?

And will there be another chance?

I don’t know.

I drive on instinct;

It feels right so I pursue it.

Well, what use is it agonising

when you have to make the choice?

This seems unlike me

Well, not the intuition

But the conviction to use it

and not fear being thought subjective.

Everything is, anyway. There’s no neutral

and we all just justify what we want.

So why not you.

Why not.





Beatitudes anew

Lucky souls, the people dependent on others for survival; they are the real rich.

Lucky souls, the people aware of the value of what they have lost; they truly cherish it.

Lucky souls, the restrained, the non-hotheaded, the gentle with power; theirs is true control.

Lucky, lucky souls, desperate for lives to change and be made right; to them satisfaction.

Happiness follows mercy; you get what you give out.

Clean hearts see God.





Insomniac’s ennui

Subtitle: Existential ennui at 00:45 am

“You having said [posted] much recently; is everything OK?”

Well what is there to tell.
Maybe it’s the Thirty year itch
But I don’t see the glitter in life any more.
I used to
But my eyes are all too clear these days
No scales here – they’ve all fallen, and my worries gained weight
And my ebbing hope is gone down the back of the sofa
As I lie, beached, in front of idle witty relational fantasies and audiovisual drugs to get me through the evening
and at least some of the following day.
Instagram-(m)alicious curated #blessedness just gets me down
The unconscious jealousy seeps in and sours my life-tired mind.
The rest is endurance
Listless cross-office longings and
Sheer utter boredom I thought I had left behind in school.
A five-figure golden ergonomically suitable cage with all the internet at my disposal
But somehow I’ve lost the will to surf.
It’s only mid-January
But I’m fed up of nothing happening.
Why does nobody text any more?
(Not that they really did anyway)
And when they do they’re just enquiring to be polite
I can hear they don’t care
They’re only initiating to talk about themselves
and they’ve got half an eye on their phone.
And with my birthday approaching –
So many candles
I don’t think I have enough breath to blow them out
Let alone make any wish.
Maybe that’s why I don’t pray
I don’t know what to say
And nothing turns out how I’d plan anyway
Not least because I never had a plan.
I’m playing it by ear here
But I can’t hear the next note.
Can I find someone
Any more
Who’ll strike a chord?


Kings Cross 2017

“The man at the back of the queue was sent

to feel the smack of firm government”

– Pet Shop Boys ‘Kings Cross’ (1987)

You are squeezing this country

for every penny it has

whilst paying yourselves pounds.

When walking round this town

every corner now has a man

begging crouched on the ground.

How can this be

the strength and stability

that you promised?


When Neil wrote Kings Cross

HIV was the killer  –

though Maggie had excluded.

But now her party kills;

A government attacking its own people’s immune system

to ‘cure’ its monetary ills.

How can this political

dissociative self-sabotage

not be treason?


For thirty years on now

Austerity is raping folk

and starving hospitals, schools and lives.

Children leave the house hungry

even when their parents are working

and fraud is suspected from disability.

Oh, what price is dignity

when cheap, flammable housing

is good enough for the poor?


Young Christians in London

Go for cosy social brunches

and do everything Instagrammably.

Meanwhile ‘in Europe’

Refugees die on beaches

desperate to reach a safer land.

Overwhelmed, I’m wondering

Where is our Jesus in this?

On that beach with them.


My Crown

Opening creative writing exercise at St Leonard’s Shoreditch evening event ‘Sun at Night’:
My crown
1. What is your crown made of?
2. Who gave it to you?
3. What powers does it give you?

My crown is a ring of daisies
I have made for myself.
I am queen for the day
Or half an hour
Before the bell goes for the end of lunch break
And they wither and die.
Most reigns are temporary anyway
and ultimately man-made.
Though usually the crown outlasts the wearer
and not the other way round.
“Remember you are but dust
and to dust you shall return.” (+)
Ecclesiastes – “[the Creator] has made everything beautiful in its time.”
But in their time – such beauty.
This is why we still make daisy chains anyway.


Advent: the world turned upside down

An unusual revolution begins

with the consent of an ordinary teenage girl.

Her simple defiant submission

disruptive of our very world order.


An international movement begins

with the splitting of an ovum

silent and imperceptible

that will divide the whole of time

into BC and after.


A new world order begins

with the tentative journey

of a non-noble couple

relegated to a stable

who host among the humble

the greatest of Kings.