I hear
Birds call in trees
I once could see, water
Running beside me, maybe soon
I will
Run too
The lark rises into the sky
Her breast to the sun, sings
Her sweet song, hope

One day I too
Will rise, face the sun, sing
A song of triumph, sorrow gone,
Tears wiped
The sun calls me like the birds, shines
In my heart, warming me,
Do you see it?
Look now


Do some not fit?
Like a foot that will not
Go into a shoe
A broken piece of a jigsaw puzzle
Shouldn’t there bo room
For the broken ones
The torn ones
Raw with the red of their suffering
But together you huddle
Puting up your “No Entry” sign
Having enjoyed your banquet
To which some could not come
Empty invitations
Because you knew
Some could not get there thenselves
Because they are broken
You speak your empty words
Holding hands together
Some at the back
No peace for them
From you who give each other peace
Nothing to heal their brokenness
They gag with hunger


You gave shelter
When there was no one there
Who would make room for a woman
With child
There is still no room at the inn
For those untidy lives
That do not hit
The mark

Make room
For untidy
Ones who beg for mercy
For in truth they may be angels
Your path
Angels do not always have wings
But tangled hair, no shoes,

Judge not
Those whom you see
Who do not look the same
As you, who walk the streets begging
One day
You too
May find yourself in that dark place
May there be a stable
To shelter you
Give warmth

The world
Is untidy
Littered with lives gone wrong
Upside down people challenging
The right
Way up
Ones who really are upside down
A new world of mercy
Beckons us all
Greet it


A state of mind,
No prison bars can hold
Those who hold freedom within them,
Have legs
That dance,
Blind eyes see the wonder of life,
The created world sings,
Hearts are set free,
To live

Take up
Your freedom now
Tear down those prison bars
For in your mind you find all things
Take heart
And become the one whom you are
You were meant to be free
Rejoice my friend
And sing


This place I have been so many times before
And pushed on the heavy oaken door
Inside the darkness fills my soul with light
Eternity held within to Souls delight

A halo shines into the gloom of night
And here my blind eyes glory in the sight
Of things unseen by human eyes before
In this place I have been

The flame of love within my heart ignites
And rises with my song into the heights
How could my aching spirit ask for more
One day I’ll reach with You that golden shore
I see now with faiths eye beyond my plight
In this place I have been


Can I claim the land where I am now a foreigner
And maybe always was
As I sit beneath the rowan tree
That sturdily guards all souls
This place was always their home
The home I wanted for myself
For all eternity
That never in time was mine
Though when always so far
I yearned for this place that I called home
I heard so many names
Knew the folks from stories told
And through such tales
Felt one of them
And now I sit here
Next to death
And long to claim this land
Beneath the sturdy rowan tree


Fingers adorned
The lonely green grass verge
With violets and campions
So bright
Glorious were those summer days
Shining with love and life
Now in the dark
I shine

Scenes come
Into my mind
From wondrous childhood days
I knew
But always there was the shining
Nature taught me to love
In the darkness
And light


To wake to the growing light
In the shadow of yesterday’s pain
Breathing fresher air
With hope for a clear day
Is a joy unknown to those
Whose path is bright
And as the new day comes to birth
So does my soul awake
Knowing well the treasures
Of the darkened path
And the potential for the redemption
Of each piercing pain
Though this path is hard
It cannot destroy the valiant soul
And one day we will wake
To an endless day
Where pain is no more
And tears do not ceaselessly flow
Where pure peace is our reward
O march on valiant souls
Your day will come


She was well acquainted with the ground,
Mostly, it was all she could see,
Though now, even that was simply black,
She scrabbled daily with her raw bare hands,
She tried to cry with her voice,
But now her voice was gone.

Everything in her life had gone,
All she had now was the ground,
If only someone had heard her voice
And seen that she could not see,
Touched her with their hands
Pierced her world of black

She groped around in the black,
Her dignity now was gone,
Bleeding were her hands,
As she dragged them along on the ground,
How she longed to see,
For someone to hear her voice

She used to sing with her voice,
Now her songs were black,
Not only could she not see,
Her walking now was gone,
Knocked down onto the ground
She reached out with her hands

She still could use her hands
Though weak now was her voice
No one looked down on the ground
Left her there in the black
All her friends were gone
Now that she could not see

But wait……she above all could see
And touch now with her hands
That place which had never gone
She sang now with her voice
A song that was no longer black
From her place down on the ground

Down on the ground she reached out with her hands,
For she could no longer see, weak now was her voice
But she sang out loud in the black, for heaven had never gone


Scarred this day by wounds that bleed
Bodies writhe
Speech becomes paralysis
No one can tell such agonies
Platitudes do not even act as plasters
No bandage can stem the blood flow
Pillows soaked with the unredeemed
Becoming redeemed by suffering
And the bearing thereof
Alone such bearers dwell in darkness
Wondering when it will all end
Crying out to the God of Job
And Jesus too
“Where is my Father?”
In pure abandonment
The stakes are high
But who cares about stakes
When flesh falls from bones
And sinews ache
And bodies stiffen unto death?
In pure abandonment
The cry rises to Heaven
The answer is Silence


Take this day and live it
Break illusions, let them go
Wake to better things, and dance
Shake the world in your energy flow

Wear with pride your new self
Tear away old skins
Share your heart with those you meet
Dare to be the one who wins


The world is in motion
Nothing still
As the Dance goes on
Forming patterns like the crystals of a snowflake
Painting pictures
Creating stories
Is there really a time for everything
Or is everything in its time?
And is there a difference?
Soon, time will be no more
The Dance will end
As eternity calls
The picture will be complete
But how will the story end?
As eternity calls
A new book will be opened
A book called “The Book of Life”
And in this book
A day will be like a thousand years
And a thousand years like a day
And here, there will be no endings
Or even beginnings
For time will be no more
In a life that is eternal


Take my hand and hear the birdsong,
Smell with me the forest pine,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.

Hear the beat of the bird’s wings flying,
Raise your face up to the moonshine,
Take my hand and hear the birdsong.

Hear the fountain burbling, gurgling,
Taste the taste of wine so fine,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.

Feel the trunk of the old tree leaning,
Touch its bark from ancient time,
Take my hand and hear the birdsong.

Though without sight the world is teeming,
Unable to walk pure joy is mine
Take my hand and hear the birdsong,
Feel with me the dew of the morning.


No one could ever understand the myriad darknesses I have gone through since going into remission from serious and advanced cancer. I have gone through what I can only describe as a total stripping process. A process whereby I was left naked and bare before the Throne of Grace. If I thought cancer was bad, and the nakedness and stripping that I endured then, this was even more deep and profound. I remember thinking, when I had cancer, “Do I really want to fight this?” And I knew, deep inside myself that truly, I did not want to fight. Heaven beckoned, and it was there that I wanted to go. Had I known what lay ahead, I do not know whether I would have gone ahead and fought or not. I fully expected that if I fought and won, I would be living a ‘normal’ life again. I did not expect what happened.

It was strange – but one day, just after going into remission, I was watching a blind gospel singer and piano player on the television, and something deep inside me said,

“You are going to be blind.”

I did not understand at the time, but I thought that if this was true, I would have the opportunity to use it, and to show people that adversity does not have to destroy you.

Since then, I have gone blind. It happened gradually, and it has been a long process of saying “Goodbye.” Goodbye to faces, to the things of nature that I loved, to colours, and to much much more. I am not going to say that the process has been pain free, and indeed, there have been times when I have agonised and cried out. But that is okay. I am not going to say that I am happy to be blind, but that I try to be the best that I can be, as a blind person. I have met much misunderstanding along the way, endured many insults, many rejections, but despite the pain, have lived through them all. It was a shock at first, to be treated in such a way by so many, and it did not help that I am also wheelchair bound. But I have learned a lot.

Blindness is so isolating. Relationships with people change. It is possible to go to a place where there are many people, but to be isolated from them all. When you are blind, you can hear people, but you cannot see where they are, and you cannot therefore go to them and start talking to them. If they do not come to you, which often happens, even in a church, you can leave having spoken to no one. The isolation is the worst thing that a blind person has to bear.

I am not glad that I am blind, but I am glad that I have learned how, more and more, to drink from the well that is deep within me, and that I have discovered the “treasures of the darkness.”


Bring to light that which is hidden
Nestling deep in the darkness
Sing into being that which should live
Wing your chosen way onwards

Do not fear the deep waters
You were once held in this ocean
Too many times you stood at the edge
New life is yours for the taking


At the place where the rivers meet
I dream
Vast open space where fresh winds blow
Within this space I walked
In times gone by
When love was young and bodies strong
And now I cannot walk nor even see
And dreams are all I have and memories too
How long it seems since when I walked with you
Looking back is all I have
And past years stretch
As long as the river and out to the sea
Is it really that long?
The future now holds only pain for me
I grieve the passing of the years
And fear takes hold
As the unknown beckons me
And kindness seems to be the rarest thing
I walk alone now
Above the great rivers
No one to hold my hand and guide me through
No one to offer comfort in this world
Today the vastness draws me in
Today I walk alone



Soft streams of gentleness flow
To comfort those who weep
Bathe in their healing waters
That disturb your grieving soul
Let them caress you tenderly
Bind your wounds
Kissing you with deepest love
Oh yes
There is love for you
Love too deep for words of poetry
Only the waters can heal you
We were meant for the water
Conceived in the wetness of Divine Waters
Bathe your body and your soul
Gently in the waters
Oh my child
Be healed


Dizzy, I stand at the gate of time,
Knowing not where it all will end,
Is it a circle or is it a line?
Is it an enemy or a friend?

I push, the gate opens a little way,
Stretching into the distance a path,
I hesitate now, will I go or stay?
If I go through the gate will I cry or laugh?

I do not know where the path will go,
But it seems to me I cannot stand still,
Standing there, I hear the cock crow,
Have I been betrayed by time’s iron will?

Time sucks me into its fickle arms,
Something veils my sight, but there must be more,
Am I deceived by its fatal charms?
Can I ever reach eternity’s shore?

I walk through the gate, see a golden haze,
It draws me on, I cannot now stall,
There’s no more time left to stand and gaze,
In the silence I hear eternity call.


I know today
That I know nothing
And as I shrink,
You grow
Once I could see
Now I am blind
The path ahead was clear
Now I see nothing
If I look forwards
I learn nothing
Except that I am blind
And so I have no choice
Except to look inwards
For in looking inwards
I do not need my eyes
And yet
Without eyes
I see far more looking inwards
Than ever I could with my eyes
And as I travel inwards
I see
That I know nothing
Except that by grace
I will be saved
And what is better
To see the path ahead
And feel sure
Or to travel inwards
And know that I know nothing
At all
And thereby
To find my true self?


A woman cries,
Hunched low,
In rhythmic sway,
Cradles the child
Who danced
In celebration fields
Of gold.

Soft days
In gentle sand
Lapped body’s shore,
While sunny stories
In darkening crook
Of summer’s arm.
A woman moans
Her last goodbye
To childhood’s startled innocence
Then slowly turns,
In ever widening circling dance
To greet
New sunlight’s
Golden dawn


Than your own breath
Is the comfort you seek
In Love do we have our being
Though pain
Our spirits, we reach out and touch
That which is deep within
And find that Love
Dark nights
Of weeping leave
Us weak, our hearts open,
In our weakness we find our true strength
In love
That will never let us go, holds
Us safely in strong arms
Absorbing tears
That fall
You will find rest,
Deep peace beyond measure
It is not far away, but here,
Your heart
Knows it,
Go inside your heart, dear child, lay
Your head down on Love’s breast,
Cry your tears and be soothed,
Trust in this Love,
So deep


First impressions always count, they say, and mine proved to be right – but I could never have imagined what was about to happen. My whole life was turned inside out, and upside down. Fifty three years virtually disappeared, to be replaced by two and half bittersweet years – a roller coaster ride of stomach lurching highs and lows. Even now all this time later, I feel in a daze about what happened. I wake in the morning, feeling as if I am not really where I am, and full of fear. I have to force myself, by sheer effort of will to do the most ordinary things. Even on the most beautiful of days, with the sun shining, and everything to live for, I find myself drawn to that most awesome rock face, our trysting place – a place of death.


Darkness breeds in the shallow pool of deep despair
An emptiness that holds nothing and all life is gone
Exhaustion can’t swim any more with the tide
And the emptiness pulls at the soul
The Long Sleep awaits and nothing remains
Just the darkness of night and the coming of death


It was the bright red lipstick that was the telltale sign. It didn’t quite fit with the rest of her. She was looking at me as I walked swiftly up the garden path to the front door, and it was as if she was trying to smile but couldn’t quite manage it. She was real enough, dressed for the task – trousers of a nondescript colour, with a bright blue anorak. Her lips were thin and wavy, and the lipstick stood out on her pale face. Despite the smile, she looked wan. She paused, foot resting on the spade that she was about to drive into the ground, and looked at me almost with a pleading, as if trying to transmit who knows what horrifying message to me. Even then, there was a menacing feel about everything. I knew that things were not right in this place. She seemed to be almost a non-person, the life gone out of her, the lipstick a disguise for what was really going on.

It was a long time before I saw her again, except in the distance. Gardening – she was always gardening. She was like a phantom, there yet not there. It was when I was invited to dinner one day that I got to know her a little better. This was her place, it seemed. This was where she came into her own, if in a rather embarrassed way at first. She was at home in the kitchen, as she put together a meal of bits and pieces left over from Sunday’s lunch. It was obvious that she found talking difficult. The meal was eaten for the most part in silence. Later, I was furnished with an explanation for the flatness in her. For most of her married life she had suffered severely from depression, and the drugs dampened her emotions. And yet I sensed that she lived constantly on the edge of fear. It was her eyes that told me, and her body language. She seemed to cower, and it was as if she wanted to disappear completely. But the bright red lipstick remained. What was she trying to say with it? What terrible message was she trying to convey?

I visited often after that, and always, she wore the bright red lipstick. When she went out, which was quite infrequently, she put on a bright blue trouser suit, and perfume. It seemed odd that she should wear perfume, but it was the most expensive kind. Despite the effort that she put into her appearance on these occasions, things were never quite co-ordinated. For my part, her appearance jarred. Always it seemed to be signalling that there was something not quite right here.

Later, much later, I discovered what it was. She was getting the ice off the freezer walls – hacking away at it with a fury that I had never seen before in her. Her movements were fast and hard, and the noise was frightening. Just like the sobs that rent her whole being when she eventually sat down, exhausted. I had never seen her like this before, but I had sensed the tension building up in her. It had been building for days – she had gone on a cleaning spree, dusting and scrubbing everywhere. Even the tops of the wardrobes were cleaned, something that she made a big show of. And when eventually she sobbed, I held her in my arms. She was like a little child. I stroked her head, and was surprised to feel how wirey her greying hair was. I had expected it to be soft, almost like a baby’s. But it was tough – oh so tough beneath my fingers. We were close in that moment, as she began to unwind and tell me things that she had hardly known how to tell anyone before. I felt that she had hardly dared to admit them to herself either. It was all there – jealousy, resentment, anger, fear. And then, the final words, “Something has died inside of me.”
(To be continued)


Was harsh that year,
Ice covered all the ponds,
No birds could feed beneath the ice,
They died.
We thought that all was lost that year,
There wasn’t any hope………
A kingfisher

This bird
Survived despite
There being no fish to eat,
We wondered how it clung to life,
And sang.
And then
We saw it eating bread, it learnt
A new way of eating,
Hope lived again
That day