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Poems - Page 5

  • from Psalm 29

    Heaven praise, earth sing

    Give glory, praise Gods name 

    Bow down, holy ones

    Give ear to the Holy One


    We listen as you thunder across oceans

    We cup ears as you echo around the globe 

    We tune in as you whisper through forests

    We catch the rhythm as mountains jump like prancing calf’s 

    We prick up as wisdom flashes like lightening

    as Word shakes the land 

    as creation sings glory. 


    May you rule over the waters

    May you rule over all creation

    May your blessing strengthen your people 

    May your blessing sing with peace


    May mercy shower upon the earth

    May we know forgiveness, 

    for misdeeds and inaction

    for hate-speak and trash-talk

    for shit-holes and holy crap

    for bare-forests and plastic seas

    for cheap glory and poetic claptrap


    Heaven praise , earth sing

    Give glory, praise Gods name 

    Bow down, Holy ones

    Give ear to the Holy One





  • A lifetimes wealth

    I have 12 sabbatical days left, so I'm reaching the point where I'm thinking Oh meant to do that ...

    Amongst those things was a hope I would find time to write some poems and hymn texts, but on the whole the creative block is still there. However, I've managed one (and some bits that might emerge into something). This is the first - and might be the only one - in a series of poems which will tell something of the diversity of 21st Century Rochdale life. It is my privilege to hear lots of stories and so if the series continues it will include stories that begin in Rochdale and Congo and Pakistan and Ukraine and Manchester and merge together in modern day Rochdale.

    This tells one story from the wartime generation. It is a story that I have heard on many occasions in pastoral visits, arranging funerals, from siblings born 8 years apart, from carers and from faded photographs.

    Tune: Deep Harmony

    A Lifetimes Wealth

    Edith fusses for husband James
    who smiles and booms “Hello, young man.”
    He’ll forget I’ve been, once I’ve gone
    We’ll enjoy a moment, share some fun.

    Married in the autumn of ’39
    Second child born late ’47
    Roomful of memories, keep smiling down
    A life well-lived, for earth and heaven.

    One week pass began married life.
    First child born as Singapore fell.
    Nursing their babe, James fate unknown
    He marches fearful into hell.

    Just once he told of Changi days
    tears streaming down, men left behind.
    She tells of a letter, long time wait
    for young Jimmy a father to find.

    They love to tell of children’s lifes
    grandchildren spread around the world.
    Success and peace in all they’ve done
    in much laughter, good life unfurled.

    Edith won’t let James go again
    watches o’er his failing health.
    Holds him close for final years,
    love providing lifetimes wealth.


    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

  • Silent Garden

    In the silent garden,

    we stood with graves laid out

    as if disbelief could turn back time.


    Sometimes, silence is all we have to express ourselves;

    awed, astonished, ashamed, ashen,

    silent as the grave.


    In the hushed corner plot,

    woeful folk quietly plant raised beds

    as if peace could descend with new blooms.


    Sometimes, silence sings collusions victory dance;

    soft, scented, scared, scarred,

    hushed with inaction.


    In the secret terrace, 

    weans play a raucous hide ’n seek

    as if solemn tongues could break into laughter.


    Sometimes silence is the comma, as life explodes -

    caught, caressed, carried, carved,

    gleeful Easter’s fête.


    In festival garden,

    world-weary ones feast on merriment,

    as if lament will be heard no more.


    Sometimes, silence proclaims extravagant garlands,

    plaited, pretty, presented, pricey 

    fanfare of rebirth.


    Craig Muir  March 2017

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

    I wanted to write something that viewed Jesus’ burial site as a garden - as that would be the natural place for Mary to meet with “the Gardener”  But I found myself imagining a park where different activities go on alongside one another and yet still told a story that takes a community from despair to delight.

    In one corner is a burial area, - so often there is little to be said  after the formal words - we say little but are reluctant to move away.

    in another corner people are gardening - finding some healing in doing so - but it also contrasts the way silence can be companionable with the times when our failure to speak out colludes with injustice.

    In another corner the children (heard but not seen) play (weans is not a natural world for me but it allows the part rhyme of we/wo/we/wo to begin each second line) children really allow life to remain quiet for long - they are the reminder to us that life goes on - that so many moments that seem like a full stop - are really just a comma, as the story unfolds. (And couldn't resist the homophone of fête with fate) 

    In another corner, it’s time to party, parade, feast, festival - Easter time!