Dust & Glory

From nothing, you made
us everything, and
yet we hide, and shy away
erecting manmade walls
that you might not see
we are dust.

But we are dust, and
by your breath
made for glory.

The World weighs
heavy upon shoulders
backs crumbled underfoot
The Flesh claws
sparking desire, calling
so sweetly, purring lustfully.
The Devil
whispers words, to
beguile, to draw
to consolidate our dustiness
entrapped in dirt, our
glory obscured.

So we cling, to
that Cross.
Our finger nails
where iron nails stung
The cries of
of tormented laughs
echo into silence
as Angels sing, and
trumpets sound, as
we reclaim
our dust, for glory.


The Priests Shoes

The priests shoes are black
or should be,
but they are scuffed, dirty
traversing streets with Sacrament
for the broken in body
and helpless in spirit.

As evening draws in,
polish tin unscrewed.
Fresh scent bursts forth,
full of promised restoration.
But the phone rings
and the door knocks.
Distress down the line
Need on the porch.

Laminate school floors,
Church tile, sanitised wards.
Paths trod. With purpose.

Deep leather creases
from crouching in the gutter
and kneeling before the Lord.
Heel worn from waiting,
cracks created from care.

And when he meets the lofty
he prays they don’t look down,
and if they do, to realise
it is this way because
he won’t look down,
on anyone.

Clothes make not the man
but shoes reveal the priest,
who is pastor for his people
and pilgrim guide in life.

One day, that tin
will stay open.
When all else is done.
One day.

Written: 14.1.22

The Shedding of Yesterday

The golden hues of decay
as the wind swirls
beating through branches,
and once green leaves fall
in piles of rust
and smatterings of copper

But their noble arms
are held aloft
in trusting praise of
their Creator.
He who placed order
upon uncharted,
natural chaos.
For they know that
this is not the end.

A shedding of yesterday,
preparation for tomorrow
the Advent of nature.
In stoic silence they
will wait.

For Him who comes
and brings new life.
Green shoots, white buds.
All shall be reborn.
All shall be fresh, and clean
and pure.

Written 16.XI.21


Holiness is not innocence
Though characteristics converge
 But the hard won response
 To redemption.
 It is the road less travelled 
Marred with ditches and shingle 
To catch the ankle, to cut the foot 
Twisted, strained, cut, bloodied
It is the aggressive pruning 
When the vine fails to flourish 
Or fruit
Ripping out weeds by the root 
Diverting their stolen nutrients
Back to growth 
It is the antiseptic 
Running amok in the infection 
Of the wound. 
It it is not mine to grant 
But His 
But I must lift my voice 
Cry out with heartfelt sorrow 
For my sins of the flesh
 For when I’ve followed 
Too closely 
The ways of the world
 and danced with the fallen 
Without  fear or thought. 
So I scream 
And tear out All that draws me, 
Has ever drawn me, 
Away from Him. 
There is no magic 
To repair the ruts and rifts 
Made by my own action 
That lacked merit or moral 
Or kindness or courage
All I can do 
Is repent 
And make new



The silence of sacrifice
Before the altar, in flickering
candle light.
Your gaze and grace
cast large across the ordinary
elements of bread,
true flesh, of wine,
pure blood.
Saints stock still in
mortal fragments,
sentinels of sanctity
guides to eternity.
Whispered prayers of the chapel
echo in haven, in orchestral majesty
as winged seraphs dance
in defeat of the Devil,
as holy light routs
corrupt darkness of clandestine foes.
For this moment is more,
more than mere seconds
of escaping time, but
a fraction of, a glance into

(Written: 2.IX.20)

Our Holiness

Well worn images of bonafide saints
or white haired women, wizened and wise
with wrinkled hands on bibles or beads,
grandmother, godmother, Our Lady.
little churches, gathered community,
coloured clothes, high hair and cook outs,
hushed anticipation, before the Mass,
before the word, between the devotions,
seeking, ever seeking, to become
like God, the God of love, pure.
His voice, cutting through the chaotic
calming calumny and raiding the depths,
Sanctuary lamps that flicker
in spaces, beyond the edge of the present
in His perfect desire, for us.
Morning prayer as dawn breaks,
evening prayer at the close of day,
the forming of holy habits, rhythms of peace
Embodied in the ordinary, overflowing from their hearts,
Popes and paupers, Ryle and Newman,
the Wesley’s words to His melody.
True beauty demanding attention,
A constant crazing to gaze at God,
to glimpse His face, His ways, His Kingdom.
In pursuit of the seemingly impossible
and yet with Him, within our grasp,
our call, our mission, our baptismal gift,
in total difference to our surroundings.
The hard won joy or pure peace,
so simple to see and complex to achieve.
But bare feet before the tabernacle,
dwelling with Him on holy ground,
and perambulated pilgrimage paths
This is it, our holiness.
Ours because of Him.

(Written: 7.VII.20)

My Lady

You throw your mantle over me
that I may
be invisible, to him,
who prowls and seeks my soul.
So he sees only you,
and dare not approach.
I am safe, swaddled,
as you have done before
that night, that most holy night.

When I stumble, which I do
and fall, you leap
from your throne and grab me,
hauling me aloft, nothing broken
nothing lost
my pride soothed by your humility
true lessons of a mother.

What I have failed Him, which I have.
and been the ambassador of my ego
rather than standing in the court
of the king, and the palace seems far-off
You point the way and stride ahead
dragging me to heaven by your hem.

And so I cling, to you, to Him
Blessed Lady, Holy Mother.
Help me, Help me to enter in.

(Written: 23.VI.20)

A Still Moment

(Picture: ‘A Still Moment’ by Michael Cook)


Alone, she stands
Head bowed, and hands
upon the womb the bore the Word
The folded linen of life,
hallowed by her touch,
sanctified by her care,

The crisp, white sheets
once wrapped around an innocent babe
will mop the blood, dropped,
from broken skin and tattered flesh.
Discarded in the dirt.

Wind whipped washing,
and her eyes close.
She hears the child’s cry
for the breath of the world
she hears the man’s cry
screaming for its salvation.

Cloth dabbed knee,
tussled hair of weeping boy.
Dusty from his fall.
Limp lank hair of a silent man
lifeless in her lap, caked,
in hallowed blood.

Cloth bands of necessity
make hay his home, as,
he softly sleeps.
grey hewn rock, hastily,
a temporary tomb, for
He shall return.

Delicate smile plays,
across her grief worn face.
clean clothes, stain free.
Hallowed life, sinless, pure.
Both transfigured, both in Grace.
In the domestic chapel
of her heart.

(Written: 10.V.20)

This poem is inspired by the beautiful picture ‘A Still Moment’ by the artist, Michael Cook.  His website is http://www.hallowed-art.co.uk where prints and originals are available of many of his artworks.

Upon the Holy Mountain

God of rock,
of stone and clay
of craggy outcrops
and sun drenched valleys,
of wild grass
and ripe peaches.
Of artisan handiwork
carved in stone,
hammered out in metal,
polished in precious gem.
God of stitched velvet
and spun silk
of deep purple,
and royal blue.
God of letters
with unique monastic flare,
elaborate covers
and calf skin pages.
God of heavy set features
stoic in the face of uncertainty
but beaming in welcome.
Of hospitality
of fresh vegetables
and warm bread.
God of domed churches
Cross shaped
pointing heavenward,
of sacred chant
and simple decor.
Of candles and images
and the Blessed Virgin.
God of mountains.
God of Armenia.



(Written: 13.IX.19)

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