So death is out

walking our streets again,

don’t follow him to see where he goes,

don’t catch his eye or touch his clothes,

just look away and let him by

and pay your respect with a silent sigh.

Know that in time your heart will soften,

you’ll recall the person, not the coffin,

and in their place new hope will rise,

it’s always the way when a loved one dies.

The night bus

The night bus 

dropped me off here

nearly seventy years ago,

I watched it go, it’s warmth,

the smell of diesel

and it’s golden windows

disappearing into the night.


It wasn’t long before

the dawn came and I could

see where I was, but it

took me much longer

to work out why I was here.

I’m not complaining,

by and large  I have

risen to the challenge,

it wasn’t always easy

but I’ve had a lot of help,

now when I sit in the evenings

I sometimes think I can hear

the old bus coming to pick me up,

growling over the distant hills.


It’s got a way to come yet

but still I find myself

checking my pockets

to make sure I haven’t

lost my ticket.



At first he was delighted,
delighted at all the things he could do.
But as time passed
he found that much of what he did
caused distress to others
so he did less and less.
It took a while
but eventually he ended up
like the rest of us here in the woodland,
sitting with his back to a tree
just watching the autumn leaves 
falling gently to the ground.



The trains don’t stop here anymore
but I can see them passing through,
and sometimes in the winter
I step onto the tracks, into the slipstream
of one that has hurried past
to feel the warmth it leaves behind,
the scent of the people, the coffee and the oil,
listen to the sound of the wheels fading
down the valley and into the distance,
then I just stand there and let the peace
envelop me again.








The Breeze

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When the trees started growing

the first thing the stars did

was to teach the leaves to sing,

how be like them, how to be in harmony,

together and apart.


The stars knew that one day

their brothers and sisters

would want to visit the earth,

but they worried that when they did

the sheer beauty, the power and drama of life

might cause them to forget where they came from,

and this is what happened.


So now they send the breeze

to whisper in the leaves

and remind us

who we are.




Don’t tell me,

don’t talk to me,

don’t stand in my way.

You think I don’t know

that even on a good day

I am morally ambiguous?

That’s because I need to see,

to find out for myself what is

and what is not.


Don’t ask me to

agree with your views,

believe in one thing,

behave in one way

or join your gang.

I can’t, I won’t,

it’s not for me.


I don’t believe that God

favours Clubs or Churches,

or Temples or Synagogues anyway,

or lives in signs or statues either.

I believe God is in the wild places

the difficult places, the places

where His Light is needed.


And the most difficult place I know

is my own heart, a heart that trembles

with fear and anticipation

in the face of what life brings.




The sky is clear and dark,

the air is cool and I am here,

waiting in the garden

for the earth to turn.


Waiting for the light of the sun

to creep across the oceans,

over the farms and the fields

and through the buildings of this city,

waiting for it to turn the clouds pink

and fill the tree above me

with golden light.


I know of no other thing

that I can rely on as much

as the turning of the world.



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As usual I woke up

feeling sad this morning,

now I am in the garden,

it’s 5.30am, dark, windy and balmy,

and I have thirty delicious

minutes all to myself,

here in nature, here with God,

the only one who knows me

well enough to heal me.


But it’s not really a healing is it?

It’s just that in the sound of the wind

rushing through trees and in the stillness beneath it,

I remember, just for a few moments, who I am.


Not the wounded man, broken by life,

caught between the impossible and the implacable,

depressed and angry at the wrongs meted out to him

and waiting for the sweet release of death,

but a man for whom life and death are unimportant

because they are secondary to love.