The Way of Wisdom

We’re called to great adventure, yet told to count the cost,

Weighing what we hope to gain against what will be lost.

Miracles are possible, and yet they’re not the rule,

We still need to use our strengths at home, at work, at school.

 

We’re given all great freedom, responsibility,

And tools to help us find our way with versatility,

But much more than demonstrate our own utility,

We’re called to grow our character into eternity.

 

Power in an untrained hand leaves chaos in its wake,

So now is when we must be schooled in which path we should take.

In little things we make our choices and our lessons learn,

And hone our meagre competence to good from bad discern,

 

So that when the task at hand entails much larger stakes

We’ll know if we should charge ahead or firmly press the brakes.

When finally we face eternal choices to be made,

We’re armed with both a holy kiss beside a holy blade.

 

So be thankful for the trials and troubles sent your way,

Today’s investment will more than a hundredfold repay,

As long as you approach each burden with a grateful heart

And turn your soul into a sculpted, treasured work of art.

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Imagine God

My apologies for the delay, the summer heat has caused an eye irritation that means I cannot look at text on a screen for long without a lot of discomfort, so we’ll see how soon before I can write anything else.

In the meantime, this is what got me started as a poet, and made me realise I might have some talent for poetry, much to my surprise. The situation that brought this experiment about is not a happy one.

For the first year of my marriage, we lived in a rented flat, and our landlord was a young man in his late twenties, living with his girlfriend on the floor above us. He was killed in a car crash about halfway through our tenancy, and we of course attended his funeral. It was the most depressing event I have ever attended, utter despair written into the faces of everyone in his family at such a promising life cut so tragically short, and one of the songs played over his open grave was ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon/Yoko Ono.

I was probably the only native English speaker at the funeral, so I’d like to think that whoever chose that song didn’t understand it, only knowing that he had liked it. I remember thinking at the time that it was a terrible song for a funeral, since its message is one of forsaking all hope for the next life in exchange for some presumed happiness in this one.

It is a beautiful haunting melody, so I set about writing some alternative lyrics that would be close to the original wording while transforming its message into one of genuine hope. Here is the result: Continue reading

Far Above

 

Far above the haggard woe
Of life lived purely here below
That seeks to merely join the flow
Ignorant of heaven’s glow;

Unbounded joys and passions strong,
Glorious hopes for which we long
We ally with a holy throng
To put right what has gone so wrong

We walk a tightrope every day,
We treasures housed in pots of clay,
To keep desires most foul at bay
By following the narrow way.

We face our doubts, confront our fears,
Hear news unpleasant to our ears;
Times will come to shed great tears
In these dramatic holy years.

To those we hurt we make amends
Although truth oftentimes offends.
When evil’s dark deception ends
We’ll celebrate with our true friends.

Aflame with glory, clothed in white
Each heart will lift at the great sight
Of that vast city, shining bright
Filled with holy healing light.

Life in abundance evermore
We can’t imagine what’s in store
For those who worship and adore;
Come join us, always room for more.

The Joy of Borrowed Time

The Parable of the Drill

Let’s begin with a little parable. A man wishes to build a support frame in his garden to hang a swing for his children on, but finds that he needs to drill holes in the beams so they can be bolted together.

He is on good terms with his neighbour, so he walks over to the fence between their two gardens.

“Hey Frank!”

“Hey, Bill. What is it?”

“Could I borrow a drill?”

“I don’t have one, but I can borrow one from Jim next door.”

Frank walks across his garden to the fence on the other side and calls across: “Hey Jim!”

“Hey, Frank. What can I do for you?”

“Could I borrow a drill?”

“Hang on a sec, I’ll go and borrow one from Greg next door.”

Jim asks to borrow from Greg, who asks to borrow from Mark, who asks to borrow from Neil… You get the idea.

Continue reading