From the ashes

This is not a kingdom
sculpted from the ashes
but a Holy bastion
preserving the fire
of generations past.

God fearing men and women
who crucified their will
upon a throne of thorns
for Him, and Him alone
deeply held, richly lived.

To walk through gutters,
to stride through palaces,
to the rebuke of the powerful,
to the comfort of the poor.
The citadel of hope.

(Written: 14.III.17)


an absurd vaudeville
that aspires to dignity
yet flails in the shallows.
A tired cliche
of dog eat dog.
To grasp the sceptre
of manufactured power,
to attain the status
of superior illusion.
In to this,
this chaos
born, lived, died
He spoke truth
masked in riddles
that those blinded
by their own clawing fingers
may never see,
truth told in story
offered freely
costing everything

(Written: 22.III.17)
This was the first poem I ever publicly shared to a wider audience of more than one person. It was the first to be analysed as part of a poetry series. A very strange moment, reading back what someone reads into words yo have written. 


Solitary crow
on grey, slate roof.
Small speck within creation
loved by Him
beyond your means
beyond rank, or status or station.

Effortlessly you glide through life
under His watchful eye
safe in the knowledge that
creation returns to Him
when at last you die.

You do not know it
and yet you feel.
When I do not feel
but to me, it is known
you speak the divine language
of being made His very own.

(Written: 18.X.16)
On retreat in Belgium

A Monks Picture

Fence posts frame,
sturdy, strong
A gateway
to a world beyond.
Sprawling grassland,
broken by curtain of trees,
peeled back
to glimpse a city.
Water tower
grasps for heaven,
reaching to the heights.

First glance,
a simple image
yet somehow, more.
The monastic soul
Stable rule
guides chaotic soul
to heavenly realms,
to freedom…

(Written: 14.I.17)
Esther De Vaal lead a reflective day on Thomas Merton and brought some of his photographs with her. The image at the top of this post was the one I was given to reflect upon and write about. Holding one of his pictures in my hands was incredibly moving, and while I had to return it, this is what it left with me. 

Cathedral of the trees

Cathedral of the trees
the earths sanctuary
carpeted with moss,
birdsong offering worshipful chant
wearing preened feathers
of choir-dress plumage.
Dandelion acolytes,
ferocious sun-drenched yellow
carrying natures flaming torch.
No congregation gather
with forced acts of piety
but every passing creatures call,
each rustle  of leaf
or crack of branch
lifts a voice,
so often silenced by man,
to the creator.
Unseen acts of devotion
revealed  to those few
who walk the wooded cloister,
punctuated by the ordinary.

(Written: 19.V.17)
While on a pilgrim walk in Sweden


My feet fall,
trekking the trail
of saintly feet long past.
Shrouded in black
just as he
A son of Benedict
on a pilgrimage of poverty
paying his way with truth.

His humility impressing
upon the heathen,
their hard won souls
his sanctified reward.

Rich colours adorn
the Eucharistic feast,
their eyes twinkle
and marvel
at this pinnacle of prayer.

The call of The King
attracts the mortal monarch
who in turn
offers up his heart.

(Written: 19.V.17)
Inspired by the legend of S. Sigfrid of Sweden


I searched without success,
every attempt blighted,
every time I thought
that I had caught a glimpse
not just of the man,
the preacher, the prophet
but of the Divine,
it was gone.
Lingering at the corner of my eye,
hovering just out of sight.

Then I saw her,
draped in blue
the sunlight cascading
over her innocent face,
meeting those eyes,
though young, so young
containing the wisdom
of all eternity.

With one gesture, one word
He appeared so clearly.
A child that heeds a mothers call
and He was there.
Her son, my Lord, our God.

(Written: 15.V.17)


Cross traced across forehead
upon lips,
at the breast.
Head collapses.
My meagre gesture
for such great a love.

A whispered Amen loiters
waiting to respond.

These respectful acts,
these physical prayers
rhythmically renewing brittle words
until every sinew cries to you
in a living liturgy

(Written: 9.V.17)


A juxtaposed freedom,
shut away, bricked in
behind cold stone.
A man-made cell
and one womans grand work,
for inside,
within that tiny room
as heart is set free
to beat the rhythm
of the Almighty.

That the world
passing by,
some unaware
are enveloped
in her revelations
of divine love.

She who ceased to strive
for earths hollow praise
rewarded with the sacred truth
that ‘All shall be well’

(Written: 8.V.17)

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