A Slow Defeat

Times like these prove life to be

nothing but a slow defeat.

We’re losing ground each passing day

as peace and justice fade to grey.

We injure love and ruin all

with senseless wounds and hurt and gall.


In these sad and broken days

our hearts are mourning Christ’s delays.

Come swiftly Jesus, Kindly King,

set wrongs to right, and healing bring.


We long for what we’ve never seen

a realm of rampant harmony:

where all are welcome, all are heard,

where hearts are mended, and the world

is free from wrack, and free from strife

and each breathes to each a vibrant life.

Praying for Rain

When I posted “Creation Song” a few weeks ago I mentioned that it was something of an oldie, but compared to the poem below, it’s still young! “Praying for Rain” came out of a poetry writing class I took as an undergrad in February 2001! I’d been writing poetry for several years at that point, but it was the first poem I felt truly proud of–proud enough to share it in class, which for an introvert like me is saying something. It mingles images from my childhood home with a vivid dream I had not too long before writing it. Even after 15 years, I still like it and I hope you do too!

Praying for Rain

Home, with its azure skin
painstakingly applied
in the searing summer sun,
and its shaded jungle of a yard
overrun with vines,
and protective hummingbirds dive-bombing
the cat, killing his curiosity,
and the blossoms of the silverberry tree
strewn across the yard
like ashen fingerprints –
all this is home,
all this is my world,
all this is burning.

Creation Song

So, here’s another poem. It’s a bit of an oldie (it looks like I wrote it about five and a half years ago), but I still like it. So, with a few minor tweaks from it’s original form, here’s “Creation Song”.

In dappled sun and softer skies
I saw six angels flying by.
And as they flew
in voices new
they praised,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

In webs of wonder, woven bright,
a spider sat all through the night,
and as she ate
with time to wait
she sighed,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

On open sea and sunlit wave
three ships await the breaking day,
and when it comes
with voices one
they’ll cry,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

No lasting rest and no reward
awaits us on these mortal shores;
we’re sinners still,
we hurt and kill,
and yearn,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

In hearth and home, with wood and bone
I’ve scraped a life from barren stone.
My race now run,
my toil done,
I moan,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

Engulfed in glowing, golden light
our feeble faith at last made sight,
where loud and true,
through me through you,
He sings,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

Mothering Day 2016

I love the way you care for us
And seek to meet our needs.
I love the way you parent them
And do it on your knees.
I love the way you love our boys:
You sing and dance and play.
I love the way you show them grace
And teach them how to pray.
I love the way your heart is soft
And aims to know their frame.
I love the way your heart repents
And doesn’t pass the blame.

Just don’t shoulder too much grief
Don’t carry too much sorrow.
His crimson grace will cover all
His love be new tomorrow.

In Memoriam

So, I like to compose poems and stories in my head as I walk and living here in England with no car I walk a lot. It’s a nice way to pass the time without just letting my mind wander (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) all the time. It’s a kind of prayer where I invite the Lord to write a poem with me. So I did that today on my way home, and apparently the sunshine and hints of Spring all around had me feeling a bit Seussical. So, I hope you enjoy the following poem. Imagine it illustrated in the wild fashion of Dr. Seuss and all will be as it should.

Rest in peace
You will be missed.
No, that’s not true.
You’re off my list
Of things to hold on to
And eagerly seek.
Don’t come back tomorrow
Or even next week!
Next year feels too soon
Let alone this December.
Your darkness is past.
I don’t want to remember
Your gloom and your cold,
Your nights without end.
All growing things hide
When you round the bend.
So stay far away
Don’t you dare show your face.
‘Cause Springtime is here!
Winter, you’ve been replaced.

From Fantasist to Son

I have seen the ice dragon rise
glistening and glittering
from the depths of the western sea.

I have seen the rusting hulks
our forefathers left us
power still thrumming through metal limbs.

I have seen the wolfman shift
and slide from man to beast
and from beast to nightmare crowned as king.

I have seen man’s mangled body
made whole
sewn and bound with threads of light.

I have seen you, my son,
nuzzling your head into my chest,
content to let me hold you as you sleep.

And that is the magic that stirs my soul,
no less powerful for being common,
no less beautiful for being simple,
no less wondrous for being true.

This poem was written shortly after the birth of my first son in late 2009 and originally appeared in the print edition of Jabberwocky back in 2010 alongside such excellent writers as Genevieve Valentine and E. Lily Yu (whose 2011 short story ‘The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees’ was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards) and can still be found on the Jabberwocky website.

Anniversary Sonnet #12

So yesterday was my twelfth wedding anniversary. It has gone remarkably fast, probably because I dearly love my wonderful bride. She is compassionate, gracious, thoughtful, and kind in ways that I can only aspire to. This sonnet was a gift to her yesterday and hopefully it will be a gift to you who read it now.

Our kite hasn’t always been flying so high.
Rough winds and cold rain–too heavy and dark–
have kept it at times from soaring the sky,
have stifled its shining and smothered its spark.
Sometimes there’s no wind. The air feels so stale
that no dashing about will give it a lift.
Its frame feels flimsy, its paper too frail,
its string cut short, yet we know it’s a gift.

The gusts when they come, so fresh and so fair,
lift our kite higher to shine there so strong.
Each piece proven sturdy and lighter than air
We find we’ve been soaring the heights all along.

High winds or no winds our kite will not fall.
Our pilot’s too skillful, he’s Lord of us all.

For Chris(t)

July 10th will mark the 1 year anniversary of Chris Mitchell‘s death. Chris, in addition to being a C. S. Lewis scholar, a pastor, and a teacher, was also a friend and a mentor. It is fitting, I think, to remember Chris this week with a poem I began composing the day after I heard of his death. A special thanks goes out to Malcolm Guite who, four months later, helped me find the rhythm already present in the words and let it out.

For Chris(t)

You’re safe my friend,
at last you’re safe,
not from but for
each living soul
you’ll meet from this day forth.
No doubt each sees
your joy alive
in kind and gentle eyes,
your soul unbent,
your spirit full,
your heart ablaze, afire.

How could they not?

The One you love
has called you up:
out of darkness.
Into Kingdom!
Between two breaths
you stepped
from life to Life.

We feel your flight–
the ache of loss down deep.
We miss you here
and want you near,
yet you’re at last Alive.

O Bright of the Sky
lighten our mourning.
Warm our hearts with your dawn this day.
May we see his flight
from darkness to light
as a gift of your glorious grace.

Lux et Love Aeterna

O Lux Aeterna, Uncreated Bright,

kindle our hearts with flame unperishing

that we might shine, refractions of your light

aglow in your eternal cherishing.


May our love, as yours, be bright with splendor:

a beacon of hope, a torch in darkness,

that all may find your embrace so tender,

so welcoming, so kind, so free in us.


May our love lead home the lost and broken,

that seen and known their freedom they may find,

that they might hear afresh your love spoken,

that your love and light might unblind the blind.


Grace, let us be for them a lantern, a

window to your heart: Amor Aeterna.