Tears shed

Tears, what are they?

Made up of water and salts

They cascade down her face

No time to dry one before another forms

Streams of salty water roll down her cheeks

Their shape, a rivulet, bursting through

A tiny aperture,

pressure creating

What is their purpose?

Leaf shaped buds of emotion

Floating endlessly to her neck

Joined by two candles of snot


she cried out

Not in words from her mouth

But direct heart to heart.

And in that moment she glimpsed, or perhaps

Imagined her unsaid words

appearing on each tear.

Are tears really heaven sent speech bubbles?

For when the words don’t.

Releasing the pressure of a heart

That doesn’t know whether to sit or stand

Lie down or crawl under a rock.

Are tears a coping mechanism sent from God

To help the helpless

To provide for the needy

And emotionally spent.

For the times when the only sound

Is a resounding natter

Of: any language will do.

For when rock bottom

Is hit with a thud

Rise: City of mine

Friday began the moanfest From the delightful “he” number one

A concert he didn’t want was coming to town.
The other he, was excited he loves to sing

And dance weirdly to any music

He loves the atmosphere of a live concert.
Saturday moanie moan set off

All the way to the capital

Such a long way to The Pale.
Sunday he moaned about the train

Full of children going to a concert

The same one he was travelling to.
The other he, got up and danced

To the tunes of the young American

And ignored the girl children on the train.
Another concert in another town

And I remembered the girl childs 

No longer screaming the words of songs.
Wailing, screaming in the violent times

The city that rocks determined to stand

The kindness of strangers pervade.
My city will not cower or hide

In my city the people will rise

On a flood of lovingkindness.
The tragedy has floored “he” number one

As he realises it could have been his town

And the girl-children on his journey.
My city, the world is determined not

To be defined as hostages of fear, 

In a disconnected disassembled life.
My city rose not in anger or fear

It offered beds, food and drink

To the stranded and lost.
My city loves you see, there is

No judgement in Manchester

Only love, pure love. His love.

It started with a …

hairband. Never thought it would end up with me in a supermarket car park praying for something, a word out of sight, a notion, a piece of wisdom carved in rock I could carry with me. I was fleetingly plumbing the depths.

I lost my hairband. I lost my identity. My life was that hairband. I threw it on and people thought I had groomed and the bits that stuck out were a new coiffure style not yet encountered (on the planet).

Hairband was less than a month old. I probably wore it every day for two weeks and it became a part of my morning routine. Dress, throw hairband on, grab keys, gulp coffee, go. I have this down to five minutes but I can do it in three if pushed.

I had cast hairband in a starring role. I have done much visualising of my future, casting a net over buildings and imagining me in those architectural nightmares. It is part of the coaching, life skills, communications guru stuff I have gone through in the last while.

Hairband was supposed to get me ready. It is part of the routine except that on Wednesday in Dublin I left it behind in the guest house and arrived at college sans hairband. Everyone noticed. Well actually that is a slight exaggeration, no one noticed. It was in my head that what was on my head mattered. But it is my head so to me it mattered.

I missed hairband, it added structure to my exterior. The hair is a woman’s crowning glory and hairband was my crown. Because it was all about the paintwork. It reminded me of the Year of Self Control. I learned so many things in that year about other people and their perceptions and also after nine months discovered why I was to focus on self control.

It wasn’t about the money, clothes or coiffured hair. It was about sitting and listening to some news that rocked my world without reacting in “old self” ways. A number of years previous to this I had not learned this valuable life lesson and sought out numbness in all the wrong places. I remember the morning I so wanted to go to church but family ties meant I caught a plane instead. I guess I did have the beginnings of knowing where to turn but not the gumption to halt proceedings.

My world rocked on its hinges, fell off the axis and smashed. The history I had built my life on disappeared and a new history began to appear. A history that took time to form and questions raised and answers sought. But it is formed now.I didn’t need a hairband for that.

What is it about talismans, necklaces, brooches and hairbands that make us feel more confident? And was this what I was pinning on that hairband – confidence? Surely not, after life coaching and guru communication sessions. Surely now was the time to stand confident in Christ alone. For an hour or so I smugly agreed I did not need a hairband.

And then I left the confines of the building into a howling Dublin wind and realised the real reason I needed a hairband was to keep my hair out of my eyes. So I bought a new one and wore that to the meeting. It was not about hairbands.

So what brought me to the supermarket car park? I lost focus, and navel gazed too long. I was remembering a similar journey three years ago. Could my pride allow me to go through the door? I sent out a prayer request for urgent covering as I sought God’s opinion. The answer I got was yes there will be humility involved but He would protect me from humiliation.

I continued on the path that would teach me more about humility than I had expected and with no massive cost of face. I was just myself and fielded the questions and answers with the ease God has given me. Confidence comes from God not a hairband.

Jeremiah 17:7

‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him’

Such confidence we have through Christ before God.
It is with His confidence I continue walking along a precarious path. I was reminded of the delicate veil between old and new when talking to someone stuck in a moment this week. On one day this week I met some struggling and someone hiding behind a facade of propriety. And I looked at myself through a different lens, where was I on the line of “in it” and “over it.” This took me down a few different routes of self discovery and awareness.
And I got here ….
on God alone, Christ alone, Spirit alone
and all those “troubles” will stay clear.
through writing this piece I realised I sang and stole lyrics or concepts along the way so …
It started with a kiss never thought it would end like this
stuck in a moment
stranded at the drive thru – branded a fool
brain drain

The Christmas Bauble

Bauble shards glimmered in the cold light

Tinsel strewn in ancient ritual

And only an hour before they all arrive

Mary sat amongst the broken glass

Her arm skewed in a ragdoll way

The rainbow of colour danced across her face

In a cruel waltz that reflected her life

Jamie stood in the doorway

Smirking down at the mess

And his wife broken before him.


The family arrived into a tidy, clean house

Mary’s arm strapped up for now

Even the gravy did not belie

The undertones of the house that day

They chatted and gossiped about sundry and all

Jamie was mine host extraordinaire

Mary the cook, barely sat down

When it was time for the contingent to leave

The tree looked elegant sans baubles this day

As everyone ignored the nuance and tone.


Please think of those not having a “Happy Christmas” this year


Love {arrived}

van-gogh-nativity.jpgThe thing is …

No that won’t work


Joe, Joey, my beautiful man

God says I’m pregnant

O Lord give me the words


I get it, the whole angel thing

I really do -but Joseph


Lord he’s a chippy not a theologian

How is he going to understand?



Mary, my Mary my sweet angel girl

She is still sweet


The angel dude he visited me too

Explained it all so even I could take it in.

We are having a baby… Whoo hoo.



two thousand years of literal and liberal,

of conservative and radical


there are some who believe the incarnation

and there are some that doubt

just as some scoff at creation


and here’s their deal – the argument they say

Mary lied to cover an indiscretion


How could the Messiah be born

In such a lowly way

To a peasant girl in Bethlehem



Me – I’m all in, believe the whole thing

Creation, Fall, Rebellion, Redemption


And the best bit, as in any story

In the last few paragraphs …

Of a city, a hill and no more sorrow.

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.

{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.