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Coastlines

September 21, 2016
blowhole

The Blowholes, Cape Bridgewater.

let us know our coastlines

the rough reaches of our cliffs

the sharp outcrops and salty scrub

and the crumbling edges of our soft sandy selves

*

let us examine our tides

the ebb and surge of living

let us listen for the roaring rhythms

and crashing cadence

and observe the high water marks and debris

gifts of moments gone

*

let us heed the streams of tears and loves

that gather in our heights

and make their winding way down

carving the courses of caring and craving

through our souls

to our valleys 

finding their fill and flow

released and met with the wide welcome of the ocean

a watery endlessness of embrace

*

let us survey our shores

sketching the enduring enigma

where our selves disappear

submerged

and yet ever emerging in the eddys

washed with waves of hope

that break in grace 

in droplet upon grain

spanning rock and cliff and sand and shore

reshaping, renewing, reconciling

in infinite terrible tender power

*

let us know and love our liminal lives

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Vulnerable and Wild

September 3, 2016

Don’t ever let me be so sure

Just from what’s been said before

That I don’t seek Your Very Face

And ask to know You more

Don’t let me trust the memories of words held in my head

But bring me to my knees to hear afresh what you have said 

44b7daf6e51b5d48b409af0988d795c0

“Trust in me

Come as a child

Vulnerable and wild

And free.”

 

If only there were pages with words in black and white

That I could read and confidently say what’s wrong or right

If only there was somewhere written down a list of rules

By which I could tell evil from the good and wise from fools

But Black and White together now for so long have mixed to grey

So bring me to my knees to hear  afresh what you will say

 

“Trust in me

Come as a child

Vulnerable and wild

And free.”

 

So all I have’s this Living Word still breaking into light

And the gusty Spirit that billows in, breathes out and blows my mind

And this company of sinners who are washing out their hearts

And listening for the whispered clues for where on earth your Kingdom starts

 

“Trust in me

Come as a child

Vulnerable and wild

And free.”

April 2004, 5 weeks into the first subjects of my M.Div, after an altercation with the lecturer, this was my poetic attempt at making a covenant of posture for studying – to be vulnerable and wild. 

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Sensitivity:it makes sense

August 25, 2016
rabbit080216b

 

the sandpapered soul,

the hair-trigger heart,

the psyche stretched

skin tight to resound

the slightest tap,

the alarm full wound…

 

twas every twitch of country rabbit

from long ago a life long habit

I cannot read your mind

but your soul is here on mine divined

and mirror matched

for mine was snatched

and grabbed and teased

and pounded, plundered

rubbed and then upon quite spat

and left, so leaving after that

evermore tis finely set

to feel the dry the damp the wet

the change away

barometer of your fine day,

it has no dial no switch to throw

so ever reading on I go.

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A Morning Confession

August 25, 2016

O God of all that is living,

and beyond whom no death can pass

here is my confession

yes, yes: I am corrupt, wicked, slothful, manic, obtuse and more;

but more than this

worse than this,

greater travesty than this

great Giver of Life,

I am dead.

Buried under layers of falseness,

entombed in foolishness,

decayed by fetishism.

If there is any mercy

any grace,

Forgive me,

and bring me

breathe me

birth-bear me

again into that life,

that really is life.

Amen

 

(May 2011)

Brussells Alleyway 2013

Morning Debris, Brussells, 2013.

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friend

August 22, 2016
how is it that all

my jolts and quakes

don't scare you away -

though I fear you stay

only in duty


how is it you see

the cracks and breaks

where nothing fits

my bloodied bits

as if beholding a beauty?

 

how is it beyond

my stutters and shakes

your patience hears

the truth in tears

and resonance rolls
 
between souls, 

bared

 

i sense your stomach turns

and your heart near fails

at my gruesome tales

yet you do not flee

but peer in closer and see

a thing to be held and healed

to be longed for and loved

a life to be whole

if dared.

friend










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when you can’t

August 12, 2016

 

empty_room_by_mimose_stock

God of the room with no windows

God of the walls closing in

God of the doors that won’t let you out

With no handles to let life back in

God of the roof caving slowly

God of the cold stone floor

God of the echo of empty

God of the not anymore

 

When you can’t see

When you can’t feel

When everything you’ve ever known

Isn’t real

 

When you can’t think

When you can’t love

When the sky is falling in from above

 

When you can’t cry

When you can’t pray

When all that you think is fog of gray

 

When you can’t do

When you can’t try

When all that you’ve done leaves you just wondering why?

 

When you can’t trust

When you can’t care

When even the self that you knew isn’t there

 

God in the nothing

God in the black hole

God in the abyss

That you call your soul

 

God in the pit

God in the shame

God in the shit

that has no name

 

God in it all

In it all, God

No ending or answer

but here I am.

 

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The Census and what really counts.

August 4, 2016

Census

What’s with christian campaigns like this one to try and convince people who ‘hold christian values’ to tick the christian box on the Census instead of ‘no religion’? I know they are a counter to the campaign that is promoting ‘tick no religion’ – but there we go again, with the christian reaction to threat to power, rather than confidence in a whole other kingdom.

Surely the call of this campaign to boost affiliation is something that christians should abhor? Aren’t we asked to carefully consider the cost of following Jesus, to reject coercion, and refrain from surface affiliation “holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power”. Don’t we reject the diminishing interpretation of christianity as simply moral therapeutic deism?

The ‘why is it important?’ spiel on the OliveTree Media campaign blatantly advocates boosting census data on the rationale that this will ensure there are federal $$$ for ‘christian’ interests. Where is the moral credibility in that?
I’m frankly pretty embarrassed by this.

I’m a life-long follower of Jesus, I believe, like Bill Hybels, that the local church (the vulnerable, cruciform, servant body of Christ) is the hope of the world. I don’t think that protected public funding and political power and cultural majorities are the hope of the world.
Government $$$ are not what we need.
Stacking the numbers to appear more christian isn’t what we need.

Doesn’t this cause confusion about what the gospel actually is and says and calls us to?

Truth-telling. Integrity. Humility. Giving up our power.
Is this not the way of Jesus? Or am I in the wrong religion?