Wednesday, 16 November 2016

I Beg To Differ

Let’s not sugar-coat this, please.
I am so dismayed –

the merchants and money-changers are still in the temple
the Pharisees continue to preach
the Samaritans are still being vilified
and Pilate is still
somewhat obsessively
washing his hands.

No wonder Mary Magdalene weeps. 

I understand
if you would rather run and hide
or stay silent
or comply.
I understand
if you are totally paralysed.

Let’s not try to make silk purses
out of this particular sow’s ears. 

Monday, 7 November 2016


You are bringing me home
and I, despite myself, adore you. 

Patiently, persistently, gently
you keep on calling
(you know how hard I try
to stay apart from you,
and you know all the tricks
in my well-thumbed playbook). 

You are bringing all of us home
and we, despite ourselves, adore you. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016


In this place
where history holds no sway
yet even the deepest scars are loved,
no-one is known by name
nor failures and accomplishments
nor colour of eyes, hair or skin.

In this place
the language spoken
is the delicate tongue
of remembrance and longing,
of intimation, tears
and the unspeakable joy

of being known. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The No Claims Department

The prophets knew
that the biggest claim of all
is no claim at all. 

With nothing to call their own
the silence overcame them
and the deepest silence
became the loudest proclamation. 

The messiahs understood
they were declaiming 
all claims null and void. 

Once the claiming is done
the exclamations begin. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Check the Small Print

This territory you’ve staked out, in the mistaken belief that it is yours:
when you check the small print,
you’ll discover it doesn’t belong to you,
however vehement your claims.

I demanded conditionality,
preferring confinement to the expanses beyond.
I kept accounts; favours done, debts incurred
All weighed in the balance
as I exacted my imagined dues
(I thought life owed me
and I thought you did, too)

We bleed ourselves dry trying to make life abide
by our caveats, clauses, and conditions.

Without them, I am so outrageously, indecently alive.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


All of it happened
All of it finite, all of it gone

Yet here’s me
trying to rearrange the chairs
on the long-submerged deck
as if there is still a chance
of rendering the shipwreck bearable, somehow

Many leagues beneath this futile activity
Abundant life blooms in the stillness, undisturbed.

(Better sailors know when to jump ship)

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Eve Was A Realist

I feigned ignorance (until that first touch)
But mercifully my spell in Eden was brief;
I tumbled from the garden bruised, but ever-grateful
that we can’t unknow what we know

Surely we’ve all bitten into the apple a little too eagerly at times,
intent on proving our innocence?

Eve was a realist
She knew it was time to blow the whistle
on all Adam’s fig-leaf cover ups
And like all good messengers, she got shot

In the silence, I hear her whisper:
Tree or no tree, you already know how naked you are
So stop pretending otherwise.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

We Are Land, Too

This is not the time to break:
Much as I long for the refuge of the waters,
that headlong dive into brokenness,
we are made of stone, too, and can contain
all that flows
Holding our shape, the granite of our bones such a necessary strength
If we’re to avoid a drowning

Mammals of land and sea
Shallow, deep
Liquid and solid
We are beyond yet needful of both
As dependent on one as the other

Study the charts:
Sometimes it’s wiser to answer the Sirens’ call
And bask on the rocks a while
The wind and sun drying our skin
Our contours once again defined

Trust me, the depths will reclaim us soon enough.

Saturday, 2 January 2016


I came to you wanting
but I really didn’t want this

I thought this was a boat I could miss
but postponement is no longer an option

I loved you too much to come this close
I kneel at your door, and you let me in

This is absolution:
it was the forgiveness I couldn’t stand