The Messenger

An agent of God in unusual form,
he came with intent and sailed into the storm.
He adorned those he chose with ineffable traits, 
true kindness and patience, from good into great. 

Slow movements could not veil the bright fire inside
as he gifted humility, freedom from pride. 
While his wings were concealed from most human eyes,
for those who drew near we saw through the disguise. 
- With eternal gratitude to N & love for his family

Aid and attend us

With every power for good to stay and guide me,
comforted and inspired beyond all fear,
I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,
and pass, with you, into the coming year.

While all the powers of Good aid and attend us,
boldly we’ll face the future, be it what may.
At even, and at morn, God will befriend us,
and oh, most surely on each new year’s day

The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening:
the long days of our sorrow still endure.
Father, grant to the soul thou hast been chastening
that Thou hast promised—the healing and the cure.

Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving
even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,
we will not falter, thankfully receiving
all that is given by thy loving hand.

But, should it be thy will once more to release us
to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,
that we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us
and all our life be dedicate as thine.

To-day, let candles shed their radiant greeting:
lo, on our darkness are they not thy light,
leading us haply to our longed-for meeting?
Thou canst illumine e’en our darkest night.

When now the silence deepens for our harkening,
grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise
from all the unseen world around us darkening
their universal paean, in thy praise.

While all the powers of Good aid and attend us,
boldly we’ll face the future, be it what way.
At even, and at morn, God will befriend us,
And oh, most surely on each new year’s day!

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his final poem, written for new year 1945

The Vale

                Through her eyes a welcome glimpse 
                of that pristine garden long past.
                A vision, a signal of purity - 
                all is not lost. 

                We open together in contour, 
                shade, curve and light. 
                Rising in boundless movement,
                at rest in perfect stillness. 
                Where words are small, 
                she becomes vast, 
                holding and quietly healing.  
                The ancient ground and I await, 
                a moment joined in longing.  

               Wiltshire, England, September 2022. 


His Pilgrimage

"Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage."

Excerpt from Sir Walter Raleigh's 'His Pilgrimage' to mark the unfolding  of decade number 
five on the ever narrowing path of NS. With love and gratitude.

I did not know

I did not know 
that I could feel
real joy from unseen cause -
I had not let 
my mind be still
with clever thought on pause. 

I could not hear
beyond my wants,
my fantasies and fears - 
I did not sense
the present peace 
for striving, strain and tears. 

I had not touched
the heart of faith 
for I lacked humble poise -
I could not take
the emptiness 
below self’s faulty noise.

I had not held 
the offered hope
of imager, our role,
but then the good news 
force of truth
was poured into my soul. 

And now I taste
true gratitude
the more I cease to steer -
in yielding up 
the reigns to God
it's alright to be here.
A ditty from Wiltshire, England, 2.2.22

Turn in

Turn in, turn in, the leaves dance and sway
like terminal lovers beguiled by decay.
In ochre and amber the autumnal edge 
with coloured collapse keeps its annual pledge. 
The now lonely branches, stripped down, unadorned, 
hail heaven with bare limbs, green garments yet mourned. 
Their stilled presence marks time to rest and repair, 
to lean into winter’s quiet swathe and prepare
our cloistered hands, hushed minds and poor yielding hearts,
in silence of wholeness to be set apart. 
11th November 2021, Wiltshire, England.