The empty landscape where sky and land merge.
The raging storm whose sound is never heard.
The disabling moment where everything becomes nothing.
The hardest choice you don’t know how to make.

Picture the elephant that no longer trumpets his trunk.
Awaken to twilight at dawn and see dusk at noonday.
Experience being nowhere everywhere you are.

Sadness strips the soul naked and wraps it with a cold robe.
Sadness pins your soul to the canvas waiting for submission.
Sadness puts your life on pause in a fuzzy freeze frame.

Sadness occupies the now and knows only of the past.
Sadness cannot see tomorrow’s dawn and the hope that may emerge.
Sadness is no imposter yet knows when it’s time to leave.

Sad Elephant

The call of the hills


What words do you have
To express my greatness?
Can your syllables undulate
And turn, your vowels and
Consonants crag with the
Suddenness and variance
Of my scarps and valleys?
What heights do your clever
Metaphors reach, how deep
Your double entendres?
Do they soar like my pikes,
Or reflect like my tarns?
Oh man, behold with breathless
Surrender the grandeur of
My ancient form, from time
Immemorial, and know that
Your poetry and prose cannot
Begin to describe the truth,
The deeper magic of Creation.
Still, unless you write, or speak
With your lexical inadequacy or
Enthuse with linguistic constraint,
Then who will tell of my beauty
And be moved to tread my paths?
What words do you have
To express my greatness?
Your best will suffice.


Dear body

Dear body,
I’m sorry that
I haven’t always
Loved you just
As you are, with
Your odd bits here
And creases there.
You’ve always looked
After me even when
I haven’t looked after
You, often dealing with
Things unseen and
Unnoticed that gave
Me health and wellbeing
And kept me safe.
I have not felt enough
Gratitude for all that
You are to me but today
I want to give you thanks.
You see, my mind has
Taken in so many images
And ideas of how a body
Should be that I forsook
The reality of what you
Really are to me – an
Inseparable partner on
My whole life’s journey
Who will be faithful to
The end and who will
Tell me when it’s time
To move into a new body.
They never told me that
You are the outward form
Of my inner soul and I
Was taught that you
Were subservient to my
Mind and ought to be
Forced into whatever shape
My twisted thoughts decide.
This is wrong and I am
Sorry that this has not been
An equal partnership.
I promise to value you and
Cherish you for who you are,
Just as you are.
I accept all the unique strengths
And weaknesses that make
You you and choose to
Recognise that those vain voices
That fearfully define our body image
Only have the power that
My mind allows them to have.
You have been a blessing to me
Even from my mother’s womb
And henceforth I want to be a
Blessing to you all the days
Of our shared life together.
You are a gift to me and I am
A gift to you. May we receive
Each other as that gift and
Love each other with the
Full and true value of our being.
Thank you for being my body
And for reminding my mind –
In your quiet unassuming way-
Just how much I love you.

The mystery of love

Do we find love,
Or does love find us?
This is a mystery that
Although it cannot be
Solved can still be
Beheld, and held as
Truer than true.

For we see in this
Covenant love today —
Signed and sealed
With promises and ink —
That where before two
Were alone, apart, distinct
Now there is but one.

One love. One life together.
One shared commitment
To receive and be received
In the deepest parts of
Their own identity, so the two
Apart are now two together,
Held in love’s mystery.

Today as these two set out into
Their own undiscovered country
They bring along things, experiences,
Collected over many years and they
Will in time find out which items
Serve and which only hinder but
Love will always lighten the load.

What is love that it can so bind, yet
Set free as it draws another closer?
Maybe we don’t ever find an answer
Because this love is indeed mystery,
But on this journey of discovery,
Of unity, finding out together, the key,
Perhaps, is to always share Chrumky.

For Phil & Lucy on their wedding day
13th August 2016, Slovakia

The Day it Snowed in April

It was so weird that morning
When we awoke to find
That things weren’t quite
As they ought to have been
The day it snowed in April.

And as if that strange start had
Somehow spread to infect us all
With humour, the silly jokes and
Contagious laughs came along fast
The day it snowed in April.

Around the breakfast table
We found that even things
Which yesterday were unfunny
Now suddenly had us tickled
The day it snowed in April.

We pondered – briefly – why this
Day might be so different from the
Rest but soon we switched again
To the peculiar unfamiliarity of
The day it snowed in April.

But sadly by the time it came
To go to school (or work) the
Snow had all but gone and left
No clue that there had ever been
A day it snowed in April.

Choose to be last

Most lives
Are lived
With the
Illusion of
We think
We are free
To choose
What we
Want, but
In fact
We choose
Those things
That feed
Our inner
Pride – our
Idol of “me”.
It is not a
Show of
Power to
Choose what
Is already
Through our
Animal instincts.
With this
Choice we
Always choose
To be first.
Real power
Is when you
Can choose
Against that
Instinct and
Discover your
True humanity.
Real power
Is to
Choose to be


The size of the hole left there
In the ground was impressive.
At a glance it looked like you
Could put your foot into it, but
Appearances can be deceptive.
The foot that left this hole belonged
To one of great stature, and
Also to one who knew kindness,
For although it was big, and deep,
It was also soft around the edges,
And in the warm earth beneath
New shoots had begun sprouting.

How do we fill such a hole, and
Walk in another’s footprints?
Perhaps the whole point is that
We don’t, and instead we allow
The footprint left behind to remain
As a way marker for generations
To come, whilst we move forward
On the same path, leaving behind
The things we can’t take forward,
Yet somehow released to advance
With a renewed determination that
One day we too will create our own

A reflection on the passing of my dear friend and mentor Dennis Wrigley

The good and faithful servant

He was tired at the end
As he lay down, his labour done.
Yet even as he closed his eyes
In restful repose his ministering went on,
Not lessening but – strangely –
Increasing, for to him it was not
Finished until his Master said so,
And he loved unceasingly all those
He served, his Master most of all.
So when the time came for him
To finally resign his calling,
Obediently, as ever, he laid it down
And passed through the veil
Which stands at the overlap of
Heaven and Earth into the
Presence of his Master who,
With open arms, received him
And called out with great delight,
“Good and faithful servant,
Come and share in my joy!”

(For Dennis)

The Rock

When the foundation of the world
Was laid in time immemorial
It was founded on the Rock of Ages,
Of which there has not been a time
When it was not, and this Rock was
The beginning of all things.

The Rock was solid and sure and able
To sustain a good world filled with
Good life and multitudinous landscapes,
Where life could fruitfully multiply
And mirror the rock in its very reason
For being, in perfectly ordered form.

Then the Rock brought forth a being
A little lower than the angels yet
Crowned in the splendour of the Rock,
Uniquely chosen to be the communion
Of soil and spirit, of creation and creator
And the Rock was pleased for it was good.

This being was made of the dust of
Stars and placed in the midst of
The world founded on the Rock of Ages,
To continue the work of the Creator
And creatively bring forth new things
Whilst productively working the earth.

But the man of dust misused his
Creative power and began to build
A world in his image, to his own glory,
Eroding the Rock to create dust for
Clay and sand for cement believing
That he could build a safe world alone.

It’s not the dust or the sand that fails
Or the creativity that lacks power
In man’s vain attempts to play Creator,
It’s the lack of wisdom and the disconnect
From the Rock itself that leads to the
Feeble construction of man’s own house.

For when the rains come and the floods rise
Against that weak structure the sand
And dust are washed away in the torrents,
Returning to the foundation of the world
And to the Rock from whence they came
In the hope that man too may return.

But the house that is built upon the Rock
Where man trusts not in man but in the One
Who founded the world in perfect order,
This house will withstand the rain and
Storms, the howling winds and scorching sun
And the man who built it will also stand.

For everything that is built on the Rock
Will stand – EVERYTHING.
And everything that is built on sand
Will fall – EVERYTHING.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

(Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)


All I have is gift, and yet,
My heart craves things –
Impermanent, transient things –
That rust and perish almost as soon
As I take hold of them.
I chase leaves which turn from green,
To gold, and then always to dust.

There is a secret known only
To those who have learnt
To receive all life as a gift;
Who accept need and want
As provision;
Who live or die each day
In peaceful security.

To disavow oneself of all things –
Emptying those secret chests we
Fill with seductive desires –
Is to be free to accept
All things as gift;
To have nothing,
And yet possess everything.

When I consider the birds, the lillies,
And recall all that has truly held value,
Then once again I can receive all as gift.
This is the poverty that enriches;
The emptying that truly fills;
Dissatisfaction that satisfies, and
A discipline that sets me free.