I thought I’d introduce you to eight of my poems, all written over the last few years.
Simon the nationalist bigot : April 2010
This one was inspired by a single line from the Jesus Army blog:
Jesus’ original followers were a ragged crowd – illiterate bumpkins mainly. Life’s rejects; the wrong sort of people.
I chose to write to several of the ‘rejects’ in this ‘ragged crowd’, narrating their responses to Jesus’ call to them and how they variously responded.
And me? How should I respond?
Jesus is in the ghetto : May 2010
I was captured by the power of Jesus’ metaphor (Matthew 25) when he said that whatever we do (good or ill) for people in need is done for him. I imagined Jesus already working today in the mess of this spuffed-up world through his Spirit, calling his people into the dark places to meet him there in them and join him in his work.
A poem about a couple of friends : June 2010
Shock. Do you know the feeling? The cold shiver down the spine when you hear the sudden bad news. The best poetry comes from the heart and is about things that matter.
Life is staggering : July 2010
Blesséd you who can’t pay the rent : September 2010
Philip Yancey in his book The Jesus I Never Knew talks about the staggeringly revolutionary and counter-intuitive paradoxes that Jesus came out with. A lot of these are in sound-bite form in the beatitudes, which Yancey says seem to pretty much say “lucky are the unlucky and unlucky are the lucky”.
A glimpse of real life on the other side of death, on the New Earth : August 2012
This poem was inspired by a Jesus Army track called Flowers Fade.
Oddly I very rarely consider a poem to be finished. I think this is my most ‘incomplete’ poem though, as I decided to not put any more work in to it as it’s incompleteness spoke to me; it’s impossible for any expression of the other side of glory to come anywhere near that great reality, it all falls short of the sombre brazen joy to come.
May I be rich enough to know my poverty : January 2013
One of those poems that says a lot with little.
Dreams… January 2013
The poem We Are Too Safe was the first fiery burden, the first thread of a wider envisioned tapestry, the start of a conviction that grew and continues to grow. I wrote it in several sittings, each time having to overcome a reluctance and a lump in my throat. What I wrote scared me. Sorry to sound arrogant, but if it doesn’t scare you you probably haven’t read it properly. Read it again and consider its implications.
For some reason I don’t consider the poem finished. Maybe it needs an older brother or sister to write the old patriarch’s response? All submissions welcome.