Poetry Pages

From time to time our minister has requested a poem to be read as part of the service.
If you wish to read any of the poems at a later date, they will be contained here.
The Title of the poem will be given, and the author.

'Parable of the Sower' by Malcom Guite

I love your simple story of the sower,
With all its close attention to the soil,
Its movement from the knowledge to the knower,
Its take on the tenacity of toil.

I feel the fall of seed a sower scatters,
So equally available to all,
Your story takes me straight to all that matters,
Yet understands the reasons why I fall.

Oh deepen me where I am thin and shallow,
Uproot in me the thistle and the thorn,
Keep far from me that swiftly snatching shadow,
That seizes on your seed to mock and scorn.

O break me open, Jesus, set me free,
Then find and keep your own good ground in me.

You can hear this poem read by the author if you click the link here

'Palm Sunday' by Joy Cowley
No donkey this time
But a borrowed Honda 550.
Jesus riding into town
With a black leather jacket,
Jeans frayed at the knees,
And L-O-V-E tattooed
On the knuckles of his right hand.
Those who say him
Said his smile was like the sun,
Warming shadowed corners
And causing the way to blossom
Unexpectedly.
Those who saw him told
Of all the light left over
To be taken home and set
In eyes, in hearts
And at windows for strangers.
It was like a miracle,
They said.
The rest of us missed it.
We were in another part of the city,
Waiting for the Messiah
'Between Parades' by Ann Weems
We’re good at planning!
Give us a task force and a project and we’re off and running!
No trouble at all!
Going to the village and finding the colt,
Even negotiating with the owners is right down our alley.
And how we love a parade!
In a frenzy of celebration we gladly focus on Jesus
And generously throw down our coats and palms in his path.
And we can shout praise
Loudly enough to make a Pharisee complain.
It’s all so good, the parade!
It’s between parades that we don’t do so well.
We don’t do so well from Sunday to Sunday.
For we forget our hosannas
Between parades.
The stones will have to shout,
Because we won’t
'A New Year's Walk' by Katie Albon
You have taken your first tentative steps into this new year.
Slowly,
cautiously,
testing the waters on this foreign shoreline.

So much ahead you do not know;
so much behind you cannot leave.

Yet, as no man can hold back the tide,
so, too,
you cannot keep the sands of yesteryear
from slipping through your fingers.

You must let go.

You must move on.

Fear not the wind and waves awaiting you,
you do not walk alone.

The Lord of sand and sea and sky
is there beside you to explore the unfamiliar path which lies ahead.

He knows the Way: See His footprints in the sand.

He has walked this Way before.

Follow Him!

A meeting with John - Jim Beck
By chance I joined a passing crowd,
They spoke of one, with gathering fame,
We laughed and gossiped, voices loud,
And John the Baptist was his name,
I thought I'd spend an hour or two,
To hear what this man John would say,
He'd entertain us with his words,
Then we'd go home at end of day,

Down by the Jordan, stood this man,
With unkempt hair, and flashing eyes,
We watched and hoped he had a plan,.
About the coming Paradise,
He'd say we were the Chosen Ones,
The time for earthly reign was near,
Such phrases would sound oh so sweet,
As they fell on our willing ears,

Instead he flayed us with his words,
"You brood of vipers!" was his cry,
Why come to me, unless you hope
You can be saved, before you die,
So show repentance, true and pure
Be sure it is to God, not me,
Come, be baptised in water clear,
Or Paradise, you'll never see,

I sank beneath the Jordan stream,
And felt a lightness take control,
As though my sins were washed away,
A cleansing of my heart and soul,
And as I walked back to the bank,
I saw the next to be baptised,
I knew his face, it's Joseph's son,
And saw a calmness in his eyes

The Whole Earth’s a Waiting Room - Joseph T Nolan
We wait – all day long,
for planes and buses,
for dates and appointments,
for five o’clock and Friday.

Some of us wait for a Second Coming.
For God in a whirlwind.
Paratrooper Christ.

All around us people are waiting:
a child, for attention;
a spouse, for conversation;
a parent, for a letter or call.

The prisoner waits for freedom;
and the exile, to come home.
The hungry, for food;
and the lonely, for a friend.

The whole earth’s a waiting room!
“The Savior will see you now”
is what we expect to hear at the end.

Maybe we should raise our expectations.
The Savior might see us now
if we know how to find him.
Could it be that Jesus, too, is waiting
for us to know he is around?

Autumn Sun - Jim Beck

Gold and red, I see them fall,
Those leaves within an autumn sun,
Like memories I used to know,
Those leaves within an autumn sun,
They spiral in the golden light,
So beautiful and crisp and light,
Then join that carpet, oh so bright,
of leaves within an autumn sun,

And as I walk, I leave a trace
A pathway that my footsteps make,
Those leaves that once lay calm and still
now make new patterns in my wake,
then comes the wind, I am no more
And no one knows that I have been
That carpet’s all there is to show
of leaves within an autumn sun

As Athletes Gather Round the Track - Frederick Pratt Green
As athletes gather round the track,
Or players take the field,
There's not an honest sport but claims
The best that each can yield.
With body fit and mind alert,
And spirit disciplined,
We beat fatigue and fight it out,
And get our second wind.

Let all the fans go mad with joy
If victory comes their way;
And staid spectators rise to greet
The hero of the day:
But whether it was won or lost,
May everyone agree
It was the game the mattered most,
And not the victory.

Our life itself is like a race,
The great apostle said-
The game of games we must all play
For more than daily bread.
Whatever spells true happiness
Let none of us destroy,
For God has given us all these things
Most richly to enjoy.

7 Stanzas for Easter - John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

The Donkey - G.K. Chesterton.

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.