Break Your Bonds, Live Your Life

Last night I spent a couple of hours clearing brambles, ivy and rampant honeysuckle from an apple tree which produces fruit for cooking. They fall well and require no extra sweetening. I simply wanted to clear round the bottom to reveal the sandstone wall underneath, but it soon turned into a rescue mission, as the tree was covered by the ivy and the honeysuckle, with the wild brambles impeding the task

It struck me, as i unwound the honeysuckle that had wrapped itself round the branches of the tree, that unresolved grief and anger do the same thing to the human heart, encircling and snaring the unwary, dragging them from the day into a deep and dark place.

Only through friendship and prayer can the way out be found. Like my shears and secateurs snipping a way through, pulling the threads back to reveal the source of the honeysuckle, God seeks to heal the source, and friends help us to move on. With such companionship and release we can start to move forward

Our fear of revealing our true selves in such a broken state leads us to stay in darkness far longer than we should. Yes, grief and suffering are part of the human condition, but both are part of the journey too

Such experiences change us. Grief leaves an indelible and permanent mark on us, but need not define us

We are pilgrims, born to journey, staying in one place, whilst offering comfort, is not good for our souls and long term health

Think of all the increasing evidence to show a sedentary lifestyle is not good for the human body, we are made to move, and whilst sitting is the most comfortable thing to do, it’s the position that puts most pressure on the spine

What are the things holding us back? What are our brambles, our ivy and our honeysuckle, stifling our growth and holding us back. Is it time to let the divine gardener do his work and prune out all the chains and branches of our old burdens?

Tomorrow calls our name, it’s time to break the bonds and live in freedom, instead of watching on mute acceptance of them. The pruning may scare us, and bid us out of our numb complacency. Take us from passive to active, and remember what it is to be human, to be alive. Break the bonds, take His hand, and start to live!

Follow the Words and Be Free

Here they come
Dancing their way
Beckoning come, follow

The melody starts
Follow, play
Rejoice with us

We are spoken
When hearts are reaching
Love and sorrow 
We are uttered

Living on the breeze
Calling your name 
Live, love 

Follow, and you will hear
Stories old yet ever new
Of lives lived
Our song
As old as time
Yet young as the newborn cry

Your life will never be 
Empty, forgotten 
For we, your words
Will echo
Long after your journey 
Is over

So come, 
Join the dance 
Called life
Love, and be 
Set free

Savour the sunshine 
Relish the rain 
Never forget wonder
For we will remain

Dance like nobody’s watching 
Love without reserve
Take chances offered
Live in the moment,
For moments are all we have

See us in the flowers
The trees
The cry of the ocean
And hear the song
Of life

There are no words to remember 
For the song 
Is your own
Your journey too

So live, love, receive, give
Rejoice with me
Break the chains
Of your fear
And regret
Let them fall 
And be


Come, O Spirit

Come, O Spirit
Enter our woundedness
Empty our pride
Our fear
And all
That keeps us
From being
Who you made us to be

For we are children of God
Our hearts and His
Beat in wonderful unity
Calling out
Revealing the story
Of creator
and created


Empty our busyness
Love our emptiness
Teach us to desire
Only you
For without you
We can do nothing
We are nothing

Yet, with the author
Of our lives
Our story
Tells of the journey
And looks onward
To our heavenly home

Empty My Heart

Come, empty this busy
Proud, yet shattered heart

Grant me the peace
For which my soul yearns
For the only answer
To my plea
Is found
In you

For we are all
Yet one
In the mystical body
Of Christ

Our journey is different
Yet we travel together,
Let our lives
Merge and meet
In healing

For our hands
Do Your will
and our lips
Proclaim Your praise
To a broken world

Teach us
To surrender
And let You
flow through our hearts
Our lives
May our will
Be Yours
Your kingdom
Made manifest
In our world

For only then
Will we
Know peace
And Your kingdom

Hiding Not the Answer

Firstly, let me say, I never normally post anything other than poetry, and maybe a nature comment

This one is different, because I think this is important

There seem to be so many posts in the following veins

  • All popes post Vatican-II, in fact after Pius XII, are anti-popes
  • Vatican II is a heresy
  • Recieving communion in the hand is disrespectful
  • Hearing Mass in my own language, is heretical
  • Not wearing a smart enough suit sends me to hell
  • All the abuse scandals started after Vatican II

All I am going to say is my responses to these points. I am not discussing it or opening it for discussion.

My position on these statements are as follows

  • No, all popes are selected by men, hopefully with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Disagreeing with their pronouncements does not mean they’re antipopes.
  • Vatican II is NOT a heresy
  • The method of receiving communion on the hand is not disrespectful. I am in awe when I see the Saviour of the world in my hands, such an intimate, personal encounter is not disrespectful.
  • Having been to Latin Masses where the women are gossiping about their neighbours and rattling their rosaries, whilst the men are discussing which horses to bet on in the next race, I would venture to say that neither of these parties are being even vaguely respectful, or even faintly interested in what is happening at the front of the church. Understanding one word in every fifteen meant I left the church in a total state of confusion and I went to an English Mass as soon as I could. A Mass where I could be involved, feel close to the God who loved me into being, and longs to be in a relationship with his creation, including me. So, no, hearing Mass in my own language is not heretical. Hearing Mass just in Latin reverses Babel, and contradicts the action of the Spirit at Pentecost, letting all mankind hear in their own language
  • Within reason, I can wear what I want in church, ( I draw the line with off-the-shoulder or navel-exposing tops, and short peices of cloth laughingly referred to as skirts or shorts ) . God is looking at my heart, not whether I’m wearing a smart suit, or a nice hat. I could wear both those and have a heart as black as night. Equally, I could wear relatively modern clothing and truly yearn to see God’s face
  • The abuses we see today did not start when Vatican II came along. Pope John XXII, Pope Benedict XI, Pope Alexander VI and Pope Leo X were all corrupt, and came along way before Vatican II was even conceived. Leo X was the reason for the Reformation, selling indulgences when he bankrupted the church. So, no, Vatican II is not the reason for the corruption.

As I said at the beginning, this is not a discussion, it is a statement of what I believe, and has come about because of an increasing frustration with a minority who would love to turn the clock back and have us in the Dark Ages. The Holy Spirit inspired Vatican II, and yes, there might be things that aren’t perfect since it happened, but to think it’s the sole cause of every foul thing known to man is dangerously naive

Silver Moon

How can I
You have abandoned me
You never have

Why do I
get lost in the shadows
forgetting the sun
when I enter the night
It’s so easy
When the silver
Of the moon
Is the owner of the light

Simple things
Grow daunting
Like the money spider
Into a tarantula
When the sun goes down

Help me remember
You are ever there
There is nothing
About fear you don’t understand
About loneliness
You can’t comprehend

Do I lose heart
When the going gets tough?
Am I like Peter
Jumping out of the boat
Safe looking at you
When the waves come
Soaking my feet
I fear
I shake
I sink
As he did

Save me
Tell me
It’s safe now

To let go
To relinquish control
For the watchman
Is off-duty

Yet for so long
that’s what I was
being strong
for others

Now, being strong
Is too much
Like a battle weary soldier
Too tired to fight on
Yet too restless
To find true peace

Whisper to me
My God
In the still of the night
Put those fears to flight
Teach me
It’s OK
to let go

To surrender
and rest
in your arms

all I have to do
is be content
in you

Untitled – as Yet

I can’t decide what to call this one

Take me away
From the day
Full of nothingness
To a place of fullness

Remind me
That I am so much more
Than the sum of my days
Worth more than the turning of the earth
Journeying round the Sun

In the gentle breeze
Bid me welcome
In the chuckle of the contented stream
Gurgling merrily
In its journey
To meet the ocean

Call to me
In the cry of the gulls
The chittering of the sparrows
The neighing of the horses
And the call of the sheep to their lambs

Seduce my weary heart
Away from the shallow city
Bid me come away
To you and rest

Welcome me
To the familiar cave
Of the heart
So oft neglected,

The wounds are harder to face
Than the pretty baubles
The streetlight sirens
Calling my name

But will I ever be content
In that crazy life?
Or will I lose myself
Like the prodigal son?

How long will it be
Before I come to my senses?
And listen to the yearning
To hear your soft, gentle whisper
“I love you”

“Spend time with me
rest and be content
Come home, my child,

Come home”

No Man an Island

The road is long
and I’m not strong
Enough to walk it

Damn this pride
This pain inside
Makes me whimper
Makes me rage
Yet the stage
Of weeping
Still evades

Is it so much
To ask
That tears are given space
To be?

Am I too proud,
Content to bear wounds
Unneeded, and uncalled for
Too scared
To admit defeat?

Pride is masked
The label of self-sufficiency
Biting into broken skin
Rubbing salt
Into the wound

No man is an island
Yet hard-heartedness
Or fear
Insist that our island

Break, oh break
Let the rage pour forth
Let the healing begin
And let me let You in

I don’t want
to spend my life
With fears
And past hurts

Memories haunt me
What if and if only
Dominate a life
Scarred by tragedy

Watching loved ones suffer
Like a captive audience
In a trance, watching a show
No-one wants to see

Take this wounded warrior
Heal shattered memories
Angrily I try
To cope

When will admit
I can’t do it?
Go through it
Without You
Beside me
To guide me
Protect me
Love me
Forgive me

Bid me come to you
let the silence and promise of rest
seduce me
and let me feel peace

Let the anguish cease
The anger subside
Let me hide
and lose myself
In you

Here It Comes Again

That crazy, mixed-up, confused sense of disatisfaction. It comes uninvited, slicing through my self-esteem like a knife through butter. Trying to describe it is like chasing the wind. I hate it, but when it’s there, I do the best writing I’ve ever done

It’s always been here, we circle each other, eyeing ourselves warily, not letting our guard down. It’s part of me, and without it I’m not whole, yet I do not miss it, I welcome its absence whilst acknowledging its presence

If the post doesn’t make sense, neither does this strange yearning that creeps in. The only way to placate it is either writing or sitting in His presence. For I know that is where it comes from, where it is rooted. There are times I just want to be there for ever, I know I can’t stay on the mountain top, yet the valley holds no sway over me

Remind me who I am, Lord. Bid me follow you, to the desert, to the mountain, the quiet place where I reclaim my identity. For this sense is really a search, a longing to know myself and my place, but my place isn’t in this world. It’s with you

Falling Shadows

Shadows are falling
And you are calling
Come now and rest
At the end of the day

As the sun’s brightness
Gives way to moonlight
And weary souls
Wander to rest

I hear you calling
As I am falling
Into the blest
Haven of peace

When my eyes won’t close
Lost in my dreaming
Fretting about the morning
Remind my heartache
Your love is there

Cover my sleep
With your everlasting love
Remind me
Tommorow has not yet arrived

Hold me safely
Keep me close, Lord
When peril knocks
At my door

Rebuke the rage
As you did the waves
Calm the storm
Soothe my angry soul

For I am lost
Deep in distress
I call
Save me!

It’s so easy
When the night
Makes trivia

I don’t know
How to express it
Other than to hand it
To you

It makes no sense
Yet even if I don’t understand
This feeling

It seizes my heart
Chains my words
Steals my tongue
For it is deeper
Than words can ever say

You know what I mean
Even if I don’t
I could live a thousand years
Yet never work it out

It’s a mystery
Why I even attempt it
I know I’ll never solve it
Yet false pride
Demands I try

Teach me
That all this raging
Steals my time
And my peace

Come, soothe me
Bid the angry beast sleep
Touch my soul
With gentle fingers
Of rest

Be the saving guest
At table
Sharing bread and wine
For I am your child
And you, Father mine

Love me
For who I am
Weary and broken though I be
All I need is to see

The pierced hands
The wounded side
In your embrace
I will hide

To find

My rest