On {strike}

strike it once,

strike it twice,

what’s so wrong in striking rock


talk at table

of striking miners

and Fidel Castro


strike it once

strike it twice

what’s so wrong in striking rock


politick of youth

so very long ago

no work on Maggie’s farm


strike it once

strike it twice

what’s so wrong in striking rock


perspective and reflection

two powerful God given tools

left and right, nada


strike it once

strike it twice

what’s so wrong in striking rock


clarity attained

it’s God’s will in His way

No only ever could


strike it once

overstate with twice

stretch your neck out on the block


Moses what were you thinking

Disobedience at the end

Sad but painfully true.



Sky Path

Who worked the path

That I traverse

To make it easier – for me


I love to look up

Into the inky black sky

A rainbow collar around the moon

White shiny dots

Outline the plough

And the guy for archery


Sometimes even planets

Are seen but I know nothing of these

I see only pinhole camera dots


Filled with wonder

Full of awe

At the hands that threw those lights into space

And who made my heart His home

Someone told me about the deathstars

Bright shining lights signalling death


One night two years ago

I saw a shooting star

Drop from the sky


Billy sang it was a satellite

And he wished you cared

But I saw it shoot

And I did not wish anything

As it fell down straight.

To you though, my love, my friend


I look forward to spending time with you

Your mission field was a small patch of land

Seeds planted in each new child


I wonder do the others

Bear their seeds on their path

Maybe if I looked horizontal and not up

I would see across the meadow

Or see pairs of oxen too

Evenly yoked through history


The people came before and are yet to come

The ones who surround me now

The crowd of witnesses from the field


Bringing us all

Closer to Thee O Lord

Closer to Thee.

Following the boat

I had an epiphany on the M50 yesterday. I suddenly wanted to do something different. I wanted to start following the boat. It was on a flatbed, an old cranky boat with a ripped starboard.

It was older than a starboard boat. I remember playing a game called Port or Starboard as a child with bruised shins. I don’t think the game came from centuries ago but I think the boat might.

I was driving so I don’t have a picture. Smudge tried and failed to get an in focus picture of the boat but got a lovely side view of my melanoma and double chin. We had been to the hospital and had new hope and a new doctor. Things could change.

We discussed what the doctor said and the procedures he wanted to perform on Smudge. I mentioned the daily injections and that is when he hit me. Not literally… he said he might not go back to college.

The boat came passed, we were going to Dundrum to find Jamie’s restaurant for a massive treat. But I started following the boat. And I asked him, “shall we just follow the boat?”

He said, “we can’t do that, we have to go home, you have things to do.” But I just kept on following that boat. Every now and then he tried to persuade me that going home would be okay. But just for that moment I did not want to deal with church stuff, home stuff, college stuff. I just wanted to follow what looked like a Viking longboat and never deal with my stuff again.

I had been studying Psalm 46, with the intention of writing a sermon. But it all went south, yesterday. I know God is with me, I know I can be still and let God work in situations, I know he is ever-present and I know being Christian does not mean everything becomes easy.

But just for that moment I wanted to follow the boat and never go home. A few weeks ago I was at a coach station in a European city and I {almost} got on a bus going anywhere else but home. Then I was at an airport and I wanted to fly away to anywhere.

There was just so much to think about , so much to deal with and now Smudge may not go back to university. My lovely ring-fenced days off are gone. Hospitals, doctors and canteen coffee loom on the horizon and beluga caviar. I just want to follow the boat. And the empty nest Sean & I were looking forward to became technical once more.

I thought of the story told of the God who dances in potato chips and I remembered. I remembered who I am, I remembered why I was at college, why I had been fired, why I bend like a reed to help Smudge, why I have become protective of people, why I have been placed where I have been placed.

The transient thought of following the boat passed and I turned to go home. Smudge went to sleep. All is quiet, all is well. “Be still and know I am God.”


{lonely} boy

No messages, you have no messages

the sanitised voice revealed.

No messages, no friends, no life

Thomas concluded in his head


He imagined pressing the button

the proclaimed the number of friends

no friends, you have no friends

Thomas moved through his house


Once more he imagined the button

the shrill metallic female

Shouted, don’t you get it – loser boy

no message, no friend, no life


Thomas had been here before

in the aloneness of loneliness

he stood by the window

and cried.