Friday, 10 January 2020

Measure of Love.

If I gave you the Earth and the Moon
that would not be enough

If I gave you Sunrise on the fertile plains of Mars
that would not be enough

If I gave you a distant Planet
where the rocks are diamonds and the sand is gold
that would not be enough

If I gave you Creation
all wrapped up and presented to you as a gift
that would not be enough

If I gave you a river of mercy
a fathomless lake of compassion
that would not be enough

If I gave you endless years
to live and thrive in health and vigour
that would not be enough

If I gave you my shame and my suffering
the blood from my veins and my death
that would be enough
that would be the measure
of how much I love you.

Thursday, 5 December 2019


Dream I was having when I woke up this morning.

I was living quite a comfortable life in a city,
another part of me was living outside the city in a detention centre.

I in the city did not know the other me existed,
but I in the detention centre did know the I in the city existed
and was desperate to reach me to make both our lives whole and complete.

That part of us called our humanity is locked in detention centres
and we don't even know that they exist.
Humanity is one, we are a part of other people and they are a part of us.
We cannot deny humanity to any other person without losing our own.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Awaking in a place where you are not.

I have killed myself a thousand times
and every time I have died in your arms

and every time a tear striking my cheek
awakes me in a place where you are not.

I have walked a thousand corridors opening doors into rooms

finding doors into empty rooms
all empty without you.

I have heard a thousand chimes
and have answered every call
and in all only to find
the faint resonance of you,

I have gazed toward a thousand stars
in vain to fill a sleepless void

in wonder could I find you there
clothed in light silvery blue.

I have cried out a thousand nights
cried out your name like a child

denying the rational consolation
when the hurt is all I have left of you.

Silvery Blue.

Monday, 18 December 2017

The Anvil.

The Anvil.

Rannoch Moor
Monday 15th December
8 O'clock                                                                                 

There's a wind coming across the Moor
would cut you in two
it's mixed wi' sleet
and is rattlin' off the side of the Trailer
like a snare drum
The Trailer is lifting
first one way and then the other
as though it's swaying in time to the beat
We have plenty water
but the gas has just run out
in sympathy with the coal
I do have some money
but it's the kind that jingles in your pocket
which is appropriate
as it's about ten days 'till Christmas.

But I'm not useless altogether
I have a lorry loaded with scrap
but would it start - not for it's Grandfaither
I begin to size up the farm
about half a mile away across two fields
But this farmer
has been stoppin' an' barkin' at us to shift
for the past month
and on a morning like this
he'll be in front of his kitchen range
with his tractor parked up in the shed.

I'm just about to step over the fence
when the Polis pull in
They tell me an anvil's gone missing
from outside a smiddy
and they want me to empty the lorry
to see if I took it
The problem is I do have an anvil
but I got it at a croft
about twenty miles up a back road
So they're goin' to have to take my word for it
or take me back to the croft
or take the anvil to the smiddy
to see if it's the one that went missing
Suddenly the young constable
punches me in the face
They like their Tinkers ignorant in Perthshire
grateful for any semblance
of unmerited civility
but I wasn't in a mood
to pander to the delusion.

4 O'clock

The cell door slides open
and the Sergeant informs me
it's all been sorted out and I can go
congratulating himself
for letting me out before the village shop closes
I get some messages
and the shopkeeper gives me a lift back to the camp
By this time it's dark but the wind has calmed down
so I take the back cape off the lorry
break it up and make a fire
I don't know if it was the sight of the cape burning
or the sparks going in the frying pan
or someone saying -
'If you hadnae painted that cape
it would never have caught fire'
But all at once we started to laugh
and we couldn't stop
we laughed until our sides were sore
It turned milder that night there was a thaw
and in the morning the lorry started.

Friday, 17 November 2017


This is not our life                     
or our time                                                          

this is an illusion of reality
composed of moments
when you still haunt me

You open a door
into a corridor within my mind
leading to another door
and into another life
a life lived in another time
mirrored in the memory
of what is to come

Time itself is an illusion
time is not outside us
time is within us
returning all things made
to the origin of substance

The body returns to dust
and the soul returns to God
we leave upon the Earth
the immortal human seed
and leap into timelessness

Where the past and the future
are remembered together
and the present invades all time

Where the light
floods the dungeons of hell
and the roar reverberates
bouncing off worlds

It is there that all are found Alive

Another door opens
and you are there
the love that never was 
and always is
the passion that never lived
and cannot die
captured in the amber of youth

Tainted, by being virtuous
Prodigal, by being dutiful
Lost, by being found at home.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


You do not form our thinking
or give light to the blind
but articulate the consciousness
of the common human mind

The metamorphic substance
of the feeling in the air
the offspring of a generation
born of splendour and despair

The Man is a greater art
than any lauded statuary
and the essence of his soul
his wealth in abject poverty

The Woman is more beautiful
than a painting or a bronze
A Child's laughter more delightful
than a great composer's songs

A painting's easily admired
a composer gains a fan
more difficult to recognise
The God within a Man.

Wealth of Art.

Manipulate and exploit
the need and labour of the poor
and thus grow rich
And use that wealth
to buy what was a poor man's work
but is now called Art
and from it try to find that which you lack
the generous feeling of a poor man's heart.

By wealth pursue
in paint or bronze or clay
the Aura Trail of what the poor 
think and feel and pray
until at the end
the labour of the poor man's soul
is in the rich man's pocket
to keep for his amusement
or sell to make a profit.

Knowing Art.

She has a heavy fringe
two layers of lipstick
miss-matched clothes
and Grannie boots

She must know a lot about Art

But I've got a feeling
she'd present a dog's breakfast as art
if Cosmo said it was

She would consider a pile of bricks to be art
but the men who built her house
Too ignorant to know about art

I know where she bought her Grannie boots
they also sell Jack boots

She is in her element
She is with her clique
she knows her genre

You've got to hand it to her
she does function well
within the boundaries 
of her own personal delusion.

But then again, don't we all.

Sounds of Art.

It is generally accepted
that people who listen to classical music
do not brawl on the street

These people are much too sophisticated for that
These people wouldn't get their clothes dirty
These people would say "Tut Tut"

Some of these people only sign papers
That cause the deaths of untold thousands.

Looking for Art.

"Are you, looking for Art?
Well, it's not that
It's not on this or any other floor
it's at the back door
There is a pile of rags
within them is wrapped
a man attempting to sleep
and there is more Art etched on his face
than there is in this whole Gallery
But are you, looking for Art?"

Thursday, 31 August 2017

An ambiguous leopard.

An ambiguous leopard
leapt in the air
choosing a moment of glory
before a life of despair
The man brought it down
down in a heap
at his feet 
on the street
He told the reporter
"The leopard was ambiguous
I had to bring it down"
The keeper said 
"It was like a kitten"
The headlines read
"Hero slays wild leopard
in Kensington"

I wrote this poem in July 1981
I remember the date because I had it in my pocket
written on a scrap of paper when I watched the wedding 
of Charles and Diana on tv.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017


Careless Words.

They talk about them
like they are not there
they talk about them 
like they do not hear
they talk about them
with a wink and a nod
as though everyone agrees
and everyone knows what they mean
when they say "traveller"

They make grandiose statements
career ending statements
hounded out of public office statements
if they made them about any other group
any other group in the world
apart from "travellers"

They would gladly load the cattle trucks
all that's lacking is a law
all that's lacking is the paper work
the corporate abdication of personal responsibility
and the police would obey the law
and the army would obey the law
they could muster an Einsatzgruppen in a day

And if you stand perfectly still 
in this slip of the lip
you can feel humanity slip
you can feel the earth slip
toward oblivion.


Give up your Jews
Give up your Jews
Give up your Jews

And your Gypsies too

Give up your Colleagues
Give up your Neighbours
Give up your Friends

Give up them All
Give up Control
Give up your Soul

We have a Law...To make you Obey
We have a Law...To take you Away
We have a Law...To kill you Today

Law is Might...Wrong is Right
Dark is Light...Blind is Sight

No turning back at the Mississippi Turnpike

Now for Evensong.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Room and other Poems.

The Room and other Poems.

I walked through the door
into an oval room
forty feet long
forty feet wide
completely square
except for one octagonal side

In the far corner was a chair
beautifully designed
skilfully made
an obvious Chippendale
on the wall hung a sign
"This chair is not for sale"

Upon the chair sat a boy
laughing as he read "Plato's Republic"
he lifted his eyes
with an embarrassed look
I smiled assent
knowing it was a funny book

Two strangers walk into the room
we greeted each other 
like long lost friends
and as the day wore on
much in the past became outmoded
we talked we sang
and we planned for the future
as the missiles exploded.

The Stand

Dark times are coming
but do not despair
God has numbered every hair
a time will come when you will say
'I am glad I was there'

This is the Day
to live your Testimony
to express the cry within your soul
'Liberty' 'Autonomy'
Arrayed against imposed control

Live a lifetime of Freedom
in this one gallant leap
Free in the air or Free in the deep
Face the Tyranny
Break the unholy alliance
The brutality of evil men
The complicity of silence

Grasp the straws of Life
while you can
take the chance be your own man
Make The Stand
if only for a day
Live how you want to live
Say what you want to say.


A dark day is coming
darker than a moonless night
and bitter in the wail of tears
flowing from the wellspring
of a Mother's lost delight

Standing in the place
of desolations awesome dread
and the only flecks of light
are moments of relief
for those already dead

A thousand rabid rottweilers
with nothing left to devour
except each other
not one man left standing
not one man who hated his brother

The sea is boiling
super heated steam
gushes from the wound
of an exposed reactor core
writhing like a creature
casting mighty ships
like driftwood along the shore

The Skies are empty
in a World wide no fly zone
conscience can no longer
abdicate to duty
missions already flown

A day of ending
with nothing left to begin
A day of knowing
why the Father turned away
when the Son bore our sin

And the good man will know
And the righteous man will know
And the sanctified man will know
The sinfulness of his sin.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Stand.

Dark times are coming
but do not despair
God has numbered every hair
a time will come when you will say
'I am glad I was there'

This is the Day
to live your Testimony
to express the cry within your soul
'Liberty' 'Autonomy'
Arrayed against imposed control

Live a lifetime of Freedom
in this one gallant leap
Free in the air or Free in the deep
Face the Tyranny
Break the unholy alliance
The brutality of evil men
The complicity of silence

Grasp the straws of Life
while you can
take the chance be your own man
Make The Stand
if only for a day
Live how you want to live
Say what you want to say.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016


When we look at 
a refugee or an asylum seeker
if we do not see a fellow human being
in need of and meriting our help and support
then we need to look at ourselves 
because the fault is within us.

We need to have compassion
for refugees and asylum seekers
We will all become refugees from this world
and asylum seekers at the gates of heaven
How will it go for us
if when we were confronted
by people in the same condition
we just didn't respond to our duty of care. 

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Menin Gate.

I'll meet you at the Menin Gate
You bring Free Will and I'll bring Fate.

You bring the Annals of human endeavour
And I'll bring Nancy, Wayne and Trevor.

I'll meet you on the mountain
in your moment of choice
to roar with the thunder
or to hear the still small voice.

I'll meet you in the forest
cold and dark and deep
and rouse you from slumber
before you fall asleep.

I'll meet you in the wilderness
where you have gone astray
and be with you beside the tree
where you begin to pray.

I'll meet you at the Crossroads
you cannot be early or be late
I have already met you there
and know the time and date.

I'll meet you on the Bridge
I will not cross without you
and you will know on that day
I did not ever doubt you.

Friday, 4 December 2015

A Beautiful Heart.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.’ 1 Samuel 16:7.

A Beautiful Heart,

Gracious, Loving, Forgiving,
Compassionate, Kind,
Thoughtful, Generous.

Saturday, 19 September 2015


Sectioned: The mental health act is applied to people
who are posing a danger to themselves or to other people.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

'Have you got the Scrolls' - 'No I always walk like this'

 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up,
 and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
 Revelation 6

Is the universe a two dimensional mathematical equation
projected as three dimensional to the observer?

Is the observer also a dimension?

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Past

Catching a glimpse of a time yet to come
is not seeing the future from the present
but is seeing the past from the future
it is not looking forward but looking back.

Glimpsing the future is from looking back over time
from a place where all time is history.

Thursday, 19 March 2015


       I look through a glass darkly
       darkened by my fallen sight
       the images are blurred
       but O my God I can see light.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Milk for the Road.

Milk for the Road

Subtle sickly sweet hypocrisies
turn them sour overnight
xenophobic by morning
Police and men from the council
demand that we move on
from their picturesque village
and neighbourly people
We are breaking the law
of aesthetic ambiance
causing the people
to become transmogrified
by our vicinity
to their cocoon
of acceptable association

This is one of the first poems I wrote.
It's about my family being moved on by police and council men
which was a regular occurrence.

What is truth?

For many people
If the personal delusion of who they think they are
were removed from them
then their personality would collapse
in a blithering heap of disorientation.

The truth of who we are is in how we are seen by God.
The truth is not in our own judgement or opinion or criterion or fantasy
the truth of who we are is what God sees when He looks at us.

By nature we compare ourselves with other people,
and by nature we need to find someone or something to be less than we are.
But at the end of the day it's all a human folly that can and has become an evil.
We are already witnesses to what can happen when the flaws in human nature become a political dogma legislated into law.
The beginning of knowing the truth is to see ourselves as a sinner in the sight of God.
This is the first photo in the album of seeing ourselves as God sees us.

Thou God seest me. Genesis 16:13.


From the corner of my eye
I can almost see
in a recess of my mind
something dark is watching me
Moving in shadows
but not caused by light
emanating darkness

Held at the gate
by the keeper of the keys
kept in quarantine like a disease
Endlessly pacing
the confines of it's cell
Glaring defiantly
with the venom of hell

Here is
The accuser of my soul
the robber of my peace

Here is
The hand of iron
fashioned in a cross
fashioned to deceive

Here is
The God of racial supremacy
the master of the master race
the destroyer of worlds

And from you where can I flee
to the highest mountain or the deep blue sea
I will take you there with me.


As you get older you tend to see or have more of a handle on things as they are.
When you're younger you're full of ideals, you want to change the world.
Then one day you catch a glimpse in the mirror you don't like and realize this is the you that's just as bad as all the people you had wanted to save the world from.
Then you know you're not just the victim of all the bad stuff that goes on in the world you're also the perpetrator.
I suppose that's got something to do with the young being full of ideals and people who are a bit older receding into resignation.
Jesus said to his disciples - "you have more to learn but you cannot bear it all just now." I think some of what they could not bear was the truth about themselves in the sight of God.

Does this mean we should do nothing - No, we should still try but to me - not to change the world but to change one heart at a time beginning with our own.
What we need to find within ourselves is not the "good" but the "Jackbooted Goose-stepping Nazi." Subdue this part of ourselves first then the good will come.

Reposted from Friday 21 October 2011.