The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest…
– Isaiah 9:2-3 (NIV)
Bare birches stand out like
Anorexic zebras on a savannah
Just outside Sunningdale…
And I am thinking of you again.
The year is nearly ended;
The darkness has reached a zenith;
The world still reeling at such pain…
But I have started to sing again.
I hear soft playing in the evening
Like prayers coming out through a piano.
Our treasure we hide in our junk rooms…
And I have started to dream again.
People in this city can be terrible
Delaying confirmation for a better invitation
When you reach out to make connections…
Yet I have started to hope again.
‘As long as there are people…’
People kind like you,
I’ll believe in hope and fight for love:
For what I trust is true.
“As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbour, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘God is in the Manger’
You burst out
And I retract
Sometimes you are too harsh for me
Your wits too spiky
Your words they stab me
Though you are just stretching
Scattering random blows for fun
Nothing really aimed at me
But it makes me fear what you say
When I am not there.
I’m a tortoise and you’re a porcupine;
we are strange friends perhaps.
My shell seems stone-like
But I’m so soft beneath
That self-defence is a necessity
All I can do sometimes
Is put distance between me and
The thing that stings –
On this occasion, you.
And you are the opposite:
Prickling at what hurts,
Sharpness taking me by surprise.
We both taste poison in the water
But whilst I cry it out
You just spit
And I’m hit
In the heart
By the words that you emit.
What can I do to love you
When I share my vulnerability
And you unwittingly
Cause me pain?
And how on earth do I tell you
that it hurts?
Come away, weary soul
Drink in this mile wide sky
And soak yourself in sun.
It’s time for your vacation.
Run through the fountains
Laugh in the sparkling rain
Bathe in the extravagance
He lavishes on those he loves.
There is Sabbath for everyone
In His good sweet timing.
Turn on the Out Of Office
Without fear or guilt
For you are worth SO much more
Than all you produce or sell or teach
Yes, you sow much less than you reap
And that is exactly as it should be.
Stop; just to see the flowers
And gaze at the mountains and the sea
This land was not laid in vain
It sings and whispers
of the most generous of loves
A beauty strewn like the stars,
Like the jewels of a bride
Who beams to speak of her groom.
Was set apart
I cannot be your
Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Zooey Deschanel-like creative muse
I cannot be your
saviour, redeemer, sustainer
That damsel in shining armour idea’s a ruse
But what I can offer you
is shoulders of steel and a heart full of stubborn love
and more patience than you might think possible
You just need to give me a reason to believe
it will all be worth it to stick it out
And that’s not very hard to do
You just have to be you.
I cannot be your
Curing all ills with magical feminine presence
I will not be your
live-in cook and cleaner, with added lovemaking
I’d do all sorts of things for love but I won’t (just) do that
You’d better shape up, ’cause I need a man
who can stand, strong or weak, on this own two feet
but who’d prefer to run a three-legged race.
I can’t be yours, anyway
I’ve been bought
But I’m available for long-term loan
If you’re up for a swap.
Does that sound like a good deal to you?
I am half in one world and half out
Stuck between the two
In both but not fully of either
And I cannot quite get through.
If you knew what I believed
or that I’m not always sure that I do
Would you make it your business to change me?
or am I underestimating you?
Should you really care anyway?
And should I care if you do?
How do you feel about kissing frogs?
Are you actually a frog too?
It is just time
let the cat out of the box
whether to bury it
or let it breathe.
Make or break
Sink or swim.
Never just slightly sever
or awkwardly float away.
That’s the real fear here:
Living now on the outside
with my secret no longer caged in.
I feel relief from my shame
But my heart’s cell feels strangely bare
since I freed it.
Empty nest syndrome
where to next?