Poems / Spirituality


Poems / Spirituality

1. Acceleration and appreciation

I’m moving on,
I’m moving on,
Escaping from the past?
But then when all
Is said and done
I’m getting nowhere fast.

I’m standing still,
So very still,
Gazing out in splendour.
And so, it’s true
Transported through
Empty into wonder.


2. Grammatical Desire.

Is it more desirable
To be an object of desire
Objecting to desire:
Or a subject with desire
Subjected for desire?
Or instead, desire to do,
Or not to do,
And be the verb,
And ignore words,
Forgetting ad verbatim.
For is desire
No more a sentence?


3. I can’t stay on the Mountaintop.

Taking the car from St Sannan’s Church
Down to Rock
Is like coming down the mountain.

At the lane top a cemetery.
A place of death to fix life’s ending?
Feels more to me
Like a gateway to show life’s changing!

This one lane
Is where time
Discovers history
In no chronological order,
But makes a record of times
And human hopes.

At the first sight,
Through gaps between the trees,
Not far beyond the gravestone top,
Are the turbines
On a ridge
That stands before
The Ebbw Vale.

They stand as two,
Tracing graceful arcs
Across the sky.
Sweeping in unison
Like synchronised swimmers,
Minus practised smiles.

And in their cycles
They sweep up prayers
With giant arms,
And then their downward waves
Broadcast God’s graces.

Like Jacob’s ladder,
‘Wrestling messages’
Move up and down
With each rotation.
In Jacob’s words,
‘Surely this place
Is the gate of heaven’?
Such a hope for human life!


The windmills,
And their beautiful transcription,
Hide behind the hedges
As we pass the Ancient Well.

St. Sannan’s well
Sustaining a community
Since David’s time.
Joy left flowers here
On Easter day.
A few days later
They were gone.

St. Sannan had yielded them
To someone who
Had more need of them than he.
Maybe to a pilgrim
From the nearby hostel,
Once a hostelry.

But in the place of flowers,
An upturned hedgehog
Unable to find his feet
In the water of the well.
Awaiting Joy, who
Aided by an old jumper
To protect her fingers
From the spiky spindles of his back,
To be restored
To a future life again.

St. Sannans well.
Once again; a place of gift
And a signal of distress and refreshment.
Such a hope for human life!

So, down the lane,
Past Maes Manor,
The Chartist Bridge
Startles into view.

Like the turbines,
Another beauty
Of modern architecture,
Held in place
By pyramiding cables
Reaching up to single focus
That points towards the heavens,
Yet spans the otherwise
Un-crossable river down below.

By looking up
The un-crossable is bridged.
Such a hope for human life!


The lane
Turns suddenly
To confront us with our history.

The Methodist chapel
Of Calvinistic hue
With plaques to date
From Chartist times.

In chartist times
A son of Argoed
Zephaniah Williams
Lived a mile away.

He helped lead,
The Newport Rising.
The same year that this Chapel
Was first built.


The chartist revolt
Found later ears
In Methodist classes.
Bible study led to reading and writing.
Class tickets to group organising.
Giving tools
And ways and means
For Trade Unions
To flourish.
In a fresh beginning
Of the quest
To free people
From the shackles
Of drudgery and danger.

A date on a plaque on a Methodist chapel
Calls this to mind.
Such a hope for human life!


What a journey
In one lane!
From St. David to our modern times.

A journey home,
Coming from the church,
Speaks of how
We are led
From the mountaintop
To the valleys of our world.

Such a hope for human life!


4. Becoming Spiritual.

My soul is cast out
Among those I meet.
It’s nothing deep down
It’s around in the street.

Don’t look deep down
In my heart or my reigns
But amongst the pain
Where souls should complain.

It’s empathetic hope
Against all the odds,
For our ‘spiritual’ sits
With the prayer to our Gods.

Love and forgiving
Are exhibited here,
Where anguished living
Is prompted by fear.

Waiting for new life
Waiting for food
Shelter is welcome
For will God intrude?

Soul’s made alive
With God confessed,
Amongst the lonely,
The weak and obsessed.

This is when prayer
And adoration get true,
Becoming aware
And prompted to do.

5. Seeing and Believing.

I saw him on a wooden cross,
I saw him carved in stone,
I saw him in his mother’s arms,
I saw him pray alone.

His empty tomb was staining glass
I saw his wounds and sacred heart,
I saw him leaving in a cloud,
In flames I saw his spirit dart.

And now I see his sacrifice
In people’s love – outshining much,
I see his healing, spread with
Comfort words and humble touch.

I see his body gathered too
In bread and wine each day,
With tortured doubts and more, forgiven,
Baptismal waters wash away.

I saw him in depicted art
In a very moving way.
Then I believed!
– when I saw again

in every day to day.


6. Adoration

Where your treasure is
There your heart shall be.
Belongings and desire:
Longing to belong.

Where we long to be
Or where we hope to be;
Is where we long to belong.

Longings and belongings:
Can treasure become;
Become a belonging.

Belonging with?
Belonging to?
Making old
Something new?

What was new
Was desire and fresh.
Taken for granted
Old and true.

Taken for granted:
Sure and trusted.
Faith in you-
Could it be
Forever new?

A treasure
I belong with.
In every day to day.

7. Give us today the Bread for tomorrow.

I’m shopping for tomorrow,
It’s communion at church,
Going to the superstore
Buying bread and wine.

“Customer Service” signing says,
True today, anyway,
Not the same with church tomorrow
Other patterns there.

Sunday mornings; not a shop,
No ‘customer service’ notion.
Its communion, community
And communication.

“Bread?” “In aisle fourteen” she says
“Wine, you find, in twenty four.”
“Wholemeal rolls are two for one;
Shiraz, about a fiver.”

Standing boldly
Bread graces hand
In what we do on Sunday.

“Sit down Craig”
“And do not touch!”
A passing trolley pusher bleats.

Is eating bread touching God?
Or am I being touched?
Does touching mean I am touched?
Standing. Hands outstretched.

“Sit down Craig”
“And do not touch!”
The passing trolley mother pleads.

“Stand up! You!
And please be touched.”
Comes the heavenly bidding.

In the wilderness of car park space,
Recalling days of Moses
God has given us today
The bread for tomorrow’.


8. Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Come hide among
The life of prayer,
Come lose yourself
In space to spare,
And shelter from
The places where
The only answer
Is despair.

Come seek the God
Who hides as well,
Among our time
Of hopeless hell.
Come seek the God
Who calls the Son
To love us true
Where we’ve begun.

Come hide among
Those who are poor
And share their lives
And sense there’s more
To love than this;
They struggle through
All they miss, and
Things they cannot do.

Come and hide
Beside the poor,
And gaze, abide,
As you adore
The God that sees
Through tear-stained eyes,
Thread-bare knees,
And heart felt sighs.

Come and seek
The God that’s found
In prayer filled Home,
And there abound.
The God who’s stark,
While life’s in fear,
Unjust, and dark;
But God is near.

Making Space
Means be austere,
To be in place,
And be sincere.
Disciplined prayer,
With patterned life;
Making sense
Despite the strife.