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  • 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!

  • Mid-morning Moon

    Mid-morning moon
    reflecting candle at both ends
    go to bed, lovely
    see you along evening's way.

  • Angels ... for Christ's Sake!

    It was one of those days. I had decided that I should join the 8 am congregation at The Chapel of Unity and so set off for the Cathedral only to discover that my usual car park was closed for the Olympics - delegates only, no locals allowed. So parking elsewhere, I arrived late and discovered that the morning service was a Roman Catholic Mass and knew therefore that those of us not properly baptised would be denied. I knew they would offer a blessing, but that is scant compensation for worthlessness and as usual I refused - irritated.

    I had some time afterwards before I was due at St. Andrew’s to lead Morning Prayers. So I parked at Hearsall Common to ponder this letter. I had been playing with ideas leading on from Summer School and General Assembly about belonging to a United denomination that is struggling to hold differences in tension, manage a budget deficit, create radical welcome and maintain a national identity with the theme “For Christ’s Sake” - so piously said in so many places but which I only hear as a cry of exasperation.

    And then my radio switched off. With a heavy heart I turned the ignition - nothing; stranded, powerless. I rang St. Andrew’s to apologise, rang my breakdown - but that was a call too many for my mobile battery. disempowered, unconnected. I walked to a phone box; no handset. I walked to a friends house; no reply and then to St. Andrew’s where at last I could get the help I needed - a phone line and hope of recovery!

    All of which was minor irritation in the great scheme but a preaching poet needs inspiration for the muse and this weeks diary quote  from G K Chesterton brought a little more, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly” and the result is the poem that follows.


    Angels lightly fly from chained gate to bounded heart;

    and are denied boarding, refused entry by earthly tensions

    .... for Christ’s Sake!


    Angels brightly smile at irritation and broken order

    and are diverted around closed routes by powerless guides

    ... for Christ’s Sake!


    Angels gaily gather disconnected worthless blessings

    and are recoverers of hopeless under-charged unity

    ... for Christ’s Sake!


    Angels carelessly flit from crafted resolution to contested decision

    as shapers of beautiful struggling unfixed community

    ... for Christ’s sake!


    Angels delicately disentangle needles from brambles

    and so their liberation is tethered to our rooted rootlessness

    ... for Christ’s sake!


    Angels lightly land on 

    gateless hearts, irritating order, ungathered hopes

    contested crafts, entangled shrubs

    and enable cracks where the light sneaks in

    .... for Christ’s sake 


    Craig Muir

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