I heard a man speak words that were quite true
He’d done his research and his facts were straight
And yet, it seemed his words were all askew
For as he spoke his words were filled with hate

No love no grace no mercy did I see
In what he railed against those he opposed
Perhaps he thought “the truth will set them free”
But doors he might have opened he had closed

And then I thought, “what words might I have said,
That although ‘right’ were mere self-righteousness”
If I can’t speak the truth with love instead…
And if I cannot find a way to bless…

Then I’ll be silent, for there’s nothing worse
Than truth devoid of Love which is a curse

Psalm Sunday – Psalm 3

As I read through and meditated on Psalm 3, I kept being drawn back to verses 4-6,

“I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.” (NIVUK)

My poetic response, therefore, is based on these 3 verses. I tried to write a poem that has the feel of a children’s poem.

A little child in his bed
Had scary dreams go through his head
That had him wake up in a fright
How horrifying seemed that night!

But Daddy soon was by his side
“My son I heard you when you cried,
So tell me now what visions keep
You from enjoying restful sleep?”

A warm hug made fear’s tremors cease
And soon the child was at peace
He knew his Daddy’s love was sure
And so he fell asleep secure

The child could be you or me
The nightmare: trials that we see
Daddy is our God above
Let’s rest – secure in His love.

Parables of Earth – Part VI

“The grass withers and the flowers fail, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The crops that grow will struggle to survive
in those years when the sky seems hard as brass.
When rain is scarce, how can anything thrive?
All fades…withers…like the flowers and grass

But if you watch the Farmer, you will see
that he toils all day long, bringing pail
after pail of water from the stream. He
won’t willingly allow his crops to fail

Around his land, the earth is cracked and dry;
The Farmer’s fields, though, are fertile and green.
It’s when rain clouds don’t appear in the sky
that the Farmer’s work is most clearly seen

Though our lives often don’t go as we’d planned,
the Farmer won’t let things get out of hand.

Seven Words from the Cross – Part VI

Before my poem, I would like to briefly discuss the final two words (sayings) of Christ from the cross

The last words of Christ from the cross as recorded in the book of Luke differ from what is recorded in the book of John.  Luke 23:46 says,

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”When he had said this, he breathed his last.

John 19:30 says,

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Why are there two seemingly conflicting reports?  Did Jesus say one, or the other, or both?  The discrepancy can likely be attributed to the fact that each is from a different eye-witness account.  It is probable that Christ made both statements, but which came first is impossible to say with certainty.  I have chosen to use Luke’s account for Part VI of my series, and I will use John’s account for part VII, as I feel that “It is finished” is an appropriate phrase for the conclusion of my series.  And now, here is the poem inspired by Christ’s words:


He took our guilt upon himself that day
the cross’s pain eclipsed by pain of sin
He wore our shame to take our shame away
a torture greater than his broken skin

He loves us, so was willing to submit
to torment that the world had never known
“Father into your hands I now commit
my Spirit,” he called out with a loud groan

A loving Father’s arms and strong embrace
are where an anguished child longs to be
The death that Christ died that we might know grace:
how could there be a greater agony?

Even in death he kept his eyes above
Upon his Father, trusting in his love.

Seven Words from the Cross – Part III

Christ’s 3rd word from the cross is found in John 19:25-27. I believe that this story is included in Scripture to show that even while dying on the cross, Jesus’ love for his family and friends was forefront in his mind. He knew that his mother would need someone to care for her, and so he assigned that task to John.

The first two lines of the poem are a paraphrase of Matthew 8:20

A note on the words Christ said in this story: due to the constraints of the poetry form that I have chosen, I have taken some poetic liberty with the exact wording. Please read the story directly from the Bible to get the complete and accurate story.


A fox might have his den, a bird her nest
but Jesus had no place to lay his head
in worldly goods the Lord did not invest
but into people poured himself instead

About his final testament and will
He only had a few brief things to say
from on his cross upon a skull-shaped hill
Two items only would he give away:

to his disciple John, he said “I give
my mother as your mother from now on”
and then he said to Mary, “while you live
you’ll need a son to care for you – take John”

He lived his life in love with every breath
And love still marked the Savior in his death


I thank you Lord that I am clean
and that my clothes are white
That I don’t walk in places dark
but only in the light

God sent his Son into this world
a stinking stable stall
was where the Saviour of the earth
came here to start it all

I thank you Lord that I am clean
and that my clothes are white
That I don’t walk in places dark
but only in the light

With fishermen he spent much time
and when the catch was done
he helped to clean those stinking fish
this man who was God’s Son

I thank you Lord that I am clean
and that my clothes are white
That I don’t walk in places dark
but only in the light

And near his final days on earth
they crucified the Lord
with whips and nails they bloodied him
then pierced Him with a sword

I thank you Lord that I am clean
and that my clothes are white
That I don’t walk in places dark
but only in the light

The Saviour came and said to me
“my son I love you so”
and then he tried embracing me
Appalled I shouted “NO!”

“My Lord, I’m clean! My clothes are white
Your garments are a mess
if you would touch me in your state
I couldn’t stand the stress!”

“My child, hear me when I say
don’t be too pure for me
for only washed in my red blood
can you be truly clean

I thank you Lord that now I see
I’m neither clean nor white
You came to save me from my dark
I fin’ly see Your Light


Today in church, our pastor spoke about some of the things that that can quench the fire of our relationship with God. The first thing he spoke of was pride. The poem above was inspired by what he said.


“Your doom’s declared! You have just forty days!”
the prophet spits his words with wrathful glee
with vitriolic hate in ev’ry phrase
he calls down curses on the enemy

But then the King of Ninevah decrees:
“Come! All my people weep and fast and pray
for maybe if the God of Jonah sees
He’ll grant us grace and turn his wrath away.”

“Too Late!” the prophet shrieks, “your fate is sealed!”
but God in Heaven has a different plan:
While there is breath, it’s not too late to yield
So Jonah sulks that God’s withheld his hand

The love of God he helped that city find
how was it then, he was, himself, so blind?


almost everyone knows the story of Jonah in the belly of the fish…but that was not the end of the story. My sonnet speaks of what happened a little while later. (Based on Jonah Chapter 3 and the first part of Chapter 4)

Jonah 3:1-5 and 10 is one of the readings for this coming week in the Revised Common Lectionary…and at my church this past Sunday, we discussed the phrase “speak the truth in love”. These influences made me think about how Jonah might have spoken the truth…but love was the last thing on his mind. How much better for Jonah this story might have been different if he had spoken with compassion, grace, and love!

Ode to a Travel Mug

Oh travel mug, my shiny cup
I love you when you are filled up
with coffee and a little cream
the flavour like a favourite dream
and when your space is filled with drink
I sip from you to help me think
and with your lid, if you should tip
you do not even spill one drip
but when I drink the last drop down
I look at you and with a frown
say “why can’t you be still full up
you’re empty, so I hate you, cup!”


this is a response to NaPoWriMo‘s prompt: The Poetics of Space – where we are invited to write about the emotional response to a small confined space that has meaning to us. This made me think of the inside of my travel mug and how I feel when it is either full or empty (my emotions might be exaggerated slightly…but not by much)

Bricks and Mortar

bricks and mortar, glass and steel
are the things of structure
sconces and chandeliers, and even candles
bring light to dark corners
plants and paintings, sculptures too
lend beauty to the place
chairs and couches and tables of food
bring comfort and conversation

but all will shake
and fall to pieces
if the pilings are not sunk
deep into the bedrock of love

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain – Psalm 127:1, NIV


for dVerse, where we are using poetry to construct buildings

Give Hate a Chance

Give hate a  chance

most likely, you are hated by someone else
so return the favour and hate in return
repay evil with evil
and war with war
or better yet
assume you might be hated
even with lack of evidence
be preemptive
when attacking
lest you be attacked first

Give hate a chance
(and ignore the fact
that hatred
has never helped before)


Sharing at dVerse for OLN