a leaving song

Oh little heart
What mountains will you climb?
What vistas will you take in?
What heights will you tumble down from?
What snakes will you uncover?
What rock will hold firm, and
What sand will crumble below?
What blades will you cross?
What wings will shelter you?
What misty frontiers will you push?
What great and terrible things,
What horrors inside and out
Will spur you and haunt you?
But earn your scars and stories and tears
And come home safely
Wherever that is.

on glory

I’ve seen glory in Berlin. They keep their streets clean there despite the odd graffiti. They speak English there because why not. They remember their past because leaflets line the streetlamps saying Fuck The AFD. They remember their past because ruins grab rudely toward the sky alongside chrome towers, because the fruits of war need to be seen as much as the fruits of peace. Continue reading “on glory”

my kids

These are my kids:

One of them loves taking pictures. She’s really quiet, but if she likes you she’ll show you photos of cats and birds.

One of them dreams of joining the UN.

One of them reminds me of myself at her age, determined but a bit unsure.

One of them is a bit of a diva, she’s really smart, if only she could just stay awake.

Another one tries her best to stay awake but often loses that battle.

A few of them always look straight at me reassuringly as I talk.

One of them puts on a tough, sophisticated front, but now and again you see she’s just a scared little girl. She’s really smart but she gets tired a lot.

One of them always says what she thinks. She wants to be a vet when she grows up, but she has doubts.

One of them loves hockey.

One of them loves fencing.

One of them gets sick a lot and it makes her unhappy.

Some of them love swimming, and they always smile and ask me for help.

One of them loves dancing, and she writes really well.

One of them loves everything Japanese.

One of them is sharp as a tack but doesn’t let it go to her head.

One of them always steps up to try even if things sometimes go over her head.

Some of them really love Jesus. They try their best even if things get awkward.

These are just some of them, there are many more. They’re the kids that Dad gave me.

I’ll be very sad when they graduate.

homeric melodrama

When in the line of cruel battle

When the anguish and the fear and the cries to gods rise up

When the spears shatter and the knees buckle and the bowels loosen

When the ground is mud beneath and the longing comes to dig down and sleep and rest from sorrowful war

The man may stand and shout loud defiance

But when cruel battle continues its push

When companions turn and flee

When the man in an instant can suffer no more

And forgetting all pride he begs the bright gods with tears

No more, please no more

Will he turn, will he flee through the mud beneath?

Will his buckling knees carry him past the shattered spears and anguished cries?

Will the gods and companions call this man a coward

Who stands no more than he can

And flees and cries only when his warlike spirit has also fled

In the line of cruel battle?

Would that some god come and stand

In place of the man who flees and cries

Who speaks winged words instead of shaming and

Who wins the victory when none is deserved

When a man flees in the line of cruel battle.

on comparing jesus to lots of things

Jesus, you are warm, warm like sunshine on the grass at the park, warm like a nice coat on a cold morning.

You are playful, like a light drizzle in the winter, like the birdsong in the middle of the night, like a little kid taking his first steps.

You are sustaining, like a packet of biscuits on a very empty stomach.

You are gentle, like the older brothers who sit me down and listen.

You are dashing, like a warrior marching to battle.

You are soft, like the breeze on my face.

You are fierce, like a bear defending her cubs.

You are constant, like the smooth surface of the third pillar from the right at the entrance to All Souls Church Langham Place.

You are just, like the constant sunrise.

You’ll come back, like you said you would.

battle hymn

Son of God with flint-like eyes
Falter not though men despise.
Son of God, march to the fray
And may the King grant you this day.

a psalm

Blessed be the LORD

Who makes good what is bad

And new what is old.

Who makes wisemen out of fools

And fools out of wisemen

That both may laugh at what good has been wrought.

The LORD who promises justice

Who kindles hope because of what has been

And what will surely be.

The desert He waters with thirsty men

And shows freely whom asks to see

this Love that weakens the knees of mighty men

and compels the adoration of princes.

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