March 2020 Writing

The Garden

In the garden
New growth, leaves and buds and scents of spring
Of citrus, of herbs, sage, borage, rosemary
Fragrant flowers and the heavier fragrance of lilies

In stark contrast
The sepulchre
A tomb hewn from rock, unused, simple,
Empty!

In the new light of dawn, Mary came first to the tomb, distraught and weeping
Grieving sorrowfully for the Lord she saw cruelly crucified.
She stooped to look inside,
Two angels seated in the place where Jesus had lain
They asked
“Woman why are you weeping?”

In anguish she turned away to see a man waiting
“Woman why are you weeping
For whom are you looking?”
The Lord she loved, unrecognised through the tears and misery,
Until He spoke her name
“Mary”
She knew His voice
The first to see the risen Lord, she cried out
“Master!”
With absolute belief in His resurrection, she was obedient to his command.

Whenever He calls your name
Will you know His voice?

Will you listen?

© Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts March 2020

Beautiful Moments

“She leads a seedy life”
The Pharisees murmured disapprovingly
Mary knew that!
Today she didn’t care
The crush she had on Jesus
Now was absolute devotion
She poured the costly oil of Nard
Burial oil over his head and body
Absolute love in a single act
Wiping it with her hair
Soon again expressed at the foot of the cross
Risking all for the world
Tears welled up again three days later
As she preceded the others
To Jesus’ tomb in that garden of beauty
But she looked around and saw nothing
In that desolate veil, only an angel
Then she turned, behind her a figure
A half familiar face
The gardener she surmised
Tears welled up again
He spoke unexpectedly, “Mary” he said
The tears ceased
She looked up
“Rabbouni” “Master” she cried
Then she knew that love had come again.

© Rosemary Orr, Kingdom Arts March 2020


In the garden

What’s happening Lord?
You who understood everything I’d ever done
You who gave me hope, hope like I’d never known
You who gave me peace and love so tangible,
My life transferred from misery and mediocrity?
Promise of eternal life, with you the Son of God
The Son of God, the promise of the Father,
Crucified, this eternal life drained from him
Hung on a cross ’til Death came and took him from us.
He who healed and raised the dead
Now dead himself.

How can it be? We, his followers and his mother
Looked on. Powerless, we watched
Until he breathed his last. Our hearts broken
Shattered into a million pieces.
Pierced with a sorrow like none before.
So, we took your body and with great care
Prepared you for burial,
Our tears wrapped up in your linen cloths.
Everything we longed for lost and and buried
With you, as you were placed in the tomb. Secure.

And so, I came today. I knew not what to expect
But wanted to be close to you. To sit by your tomb
And remember… remember all that was good.
All that was … gone
Now even your body is gone. The tomb is empty
There is nothing left. Just empty promises
—- and SILENCE —-

Where are you? Where have you gone?
“Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
“What, who is that? Do you know where he is?”
“Mary”
“Master”
And thus, the revelation came
Scales not tears fell from her eyes
She could see Him
He is risen. His promises are true
There is freedom
And life forever more in His presence

HALLELUJAH!!

©Ruth Campsall


Why do I weep?

I ask myself the same question
My broken heart and life
Touched by your gift of acceptance.
Your eyes have pierced my soul
And you see me… the real me
And so, I weep…
For you. my loss. my friend, the man who captivated My heart
And set me free
Why would I not weep.
I weep for all the women who
Have not yet touched you,
Who are still suppressed
I weep because I have learnt to express My heart…
Where have they taken you?
I weep because I can
You see me. you know me.
Catch my fears in the bowls of
Your hands….
I weep ….
Because I can.

© Shefalie, Kingdom Arts March 2020


February 2020 Writing

Moses

The water flowed
The bitumen and pitch safeguarded the basket
Loving watchful eyes
Saved the child
As God protects us in our ever changing lives
Cradled by moving holy water
And weeps for our lost ones
Those who never see light
But are life-long shadows
Ever flickering on souls
Some with short glimpses of life
Leaving footprints so deep
No tears can ever erase
Others left in strange “receiving homes”
Struggling to find their true identities
In their bewildering world
But their cries are heard
By the reconciling loving God.

© Helen McNicoll Kingdom Arts February 2020

Moses

Born but separated
From all that is familiar
Smell of mother, of home
Voices
Warmth of womb, holding darkness enclosed
No sounds, but warm, encased, entombed
Smell of mother’s linen surrounds me, comforts me
Water running
River upholding, sound of wind
Alone, drifting separated, waiting
Found!
Crying, wailing, an unfamiliar touch and voice
Soothing voice of sister, saved for a purpose for all I know
Yet separated
Mother’s arms, Mother’s breast, now safe, familiar for a time
Born at such a time as this for the greater good?
Possibly
But I miss my Mother and family
Born into one world separated into another
A purpose carved out, a basket, a river
A journey
A destiny for a people

© Shefali Hollis  Kingdom Arts February 2020

Giving Back to God

What is this cradle that holds so small a child?
Strengthened on the outside, placed amongst the reeds
How long? How long will it last?
Will it float away?
What will happen to my dear baby boy?
My longed for child will you be safe?
Have I really let you go? My heart aches
Dear God what plan do you have for one so young?
Surrendered to you as I let him go I look to you
My daughter calls what’s that you say?
Will I come to care for my son?
The one I released just moments ago
Already returned to me
My God how can this be?
Truly your goodness is beyond measure
This must be part of a bigger plan
I take him back for now but he is given to you
And I, his mother will watch to see his life unfold
A deliverer of your people you say?
Just as you have rescued him he will rescue them
I gave back to you the gift you gave me
So now I wait and watch.
© Ruth Campsall  Kingdom Arts   February 2020

January 2020 Writing

Waiting and Worshiping

Waiting. Not a popular word in our 21st century society of instant gratification
Where seemingly all we need is just a click on a screen away
Where marketeers convince us we need things we’d never considered, and need them NOW
Simeon waited
Anna waited
What was the difference?
They knew God
They’d heard God’s promises, quietly, uniquely, individually
They both knew his voice
They trusted him
But how did they wait? What did they do with their time?
Were they passive? Were they bored?
Were they discouraged? Frustrated
NO!
They believed what God had promised, and they gave thanks in advance
They waited prayerfully, but also with a heart of worship.
They were fully convinced, confident that God would be faithful
They knew he would do what he said he would, and the time scale didn’t matter
(After all for God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is just a day)
How are we waiting for God to bring into being promises He’s made to us?
© Alison Moore  Kingdom Arts   January 2020

Anna

There is a saying; you’re a long time dead.
But you were such a long, long time living.
Living In the temple for many years you waited,
For many years patient in prayer,
For many years fasting in faith,
For many years trusting in the Lord,
Watchful until the Holy Child was revealed.
Your faith rewarded you praised the Lord
In certainty you proclaimed
“Look no longer for redemption, for I have seen the Messiah.”
©  Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts   January 2020

Simeon’s Prayer

Oh Lord, my soul has yearned to see your face, to live in your courts with praise.
I have feared for future generations and have asked daily to see the Messiah.
Your people have suffered at the hands of others and I have such love for them as well as the Gentiles.
But today you did a great work.
Today I saw the Messiah and now I can leave this world in peace.
© Frances Burton  Kingdom Arts  January 2020

Patient Waiting

Simeon and Anna
The Holy conception from God
Then a time of waiting
As Mary pondered and prayed
Birth within the stable
So long ago
A Saviour to awaken the world
Shake the unbelievers
Fully recognised by the patient
Simeon and Anna.
Leading the way to full belief
Young and old being united
Can we stay the course?
However long or short
Hard or smooth
With patience for the unfolding grace
Spreading the fragrance of belief
To others far and wide
Calming minds and bringing
Helping the unfathomable Godly peace
To hover over the world.
© Helen McNicoll  Kingdom Arts  January 2020

The Temple

At Bethlehem the shepherds were watching their flocks
They were lowly, humble men, no ladies I think, and their job was to protect the sheep from wolves or robbers then.
A sheep’s job is to eat grass;
Sheep’s wool grows then when they are shorn, their wool warms people. Maybe those shepherds who came to see baby Jesus had a sheepskin in their packs to give to Mary for a blanket
Mary had been waiting 9 months for her baby.
Right at the beginning, with the Angel, she had agreed to have a most irregular pregnancy. Anyone who is pregnant has worries; will the baby be alright?
Will I be alright?
She waited whilst maybe the people in the village tut-tutted and stared.
So afterwards, when she and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple.
The words of Simon and Anna must have given her so much encouragement,
Affirmation that God was in charge
Perhaps she hugged them.
I hope so.
©  Janet Kingdom Arts January 2020

Waiting in the Temple

Waiting, always in the waiting room,
How long…
Praying, asking, seeking, searching..
Remembering
Sitting in the shadows of your wings… closed away, waiting
How long?
Shall I give up, give in, will it ever happen whilst I live. Is it true?
Will the answer find me here?
Come… My heart waits in silence…
Only to you God do I yield… I live to serve.
To Pray, asking, seeking… looking.
Up from the shadows.
My heart races, light streams in.. a baby is born..
Rivers burst within as I look upon his face..
Truth rises up, a song dances from my lips and for all the long years of hoping, trusting, weariness, doubting and faith
Waiting is over and the answer to life,
My life, your life… every present and future citizen of this world will find themselves in you..
Waiting is fulfilled.
Fulfilment
It is over.
Relief, joy. I dance in the streets..
It’s been fulfilled… Waiting is over.
©Shefalie Hollis  Kingdom Arts January 2020

October 2019 Writing

Goodbye is not the end

Today people will gather to say Goodbye
You are no longer with us in body

But …….

Every time I walk past your house
Every time I see Charlie or the children
Every time I look at the photos
Every time Judo is mentioned

You are alive.

That laughter is there to bring you back
Just a memory away
Good times live with us for ever

© Pam Summers
Kingdom Arts October 2019


I will go with you

I will go with you
I know in my heart and with my whole being I need to stay faithful to you
Show me the way
I’ll journey with you to your homeland
I’ll put my trust and faith in your God
My God
You show me the way
I will go with you.

© Barbara Rolison
Kingdom Arts October 2019


Two together

Two walked together along the dusty road
Both carrying a heavy load
Unseen to human eye but known
To the one above whose plan is working out

When humans see hope and despair
God sees his plan working down the ages year on year
Naomi and Ruth are looked on as a hapless pair
His plan will come to fruition no matter what or where

Boaz owned the field where Ruth went gleaning
What attracted him to her we don’t know
But it fitted with His plan
In due time Jesus was born
Who benefits all mankind

© Les Linton
Kingdom Arts October 2019


 

September 2019 Writing

Lydia

I wonder if in the early morning
You saw in your inward eye
Myriads of crocus flecked with gold
Those wonderful petals now crushed
Purple dye flowing in profusion
That another use to colour the cloth
You sold on market day at Lystra.

Today you waited: trade was slow
Paul, a Jewish scholar came over
We talked of spiritual things
Exhaling the creator god
For a moment God’s bounty amazed me
And I saw again those crocuses
But now in that garden
Where the stone was rolled away

Jesus as Paul explained walked here
He wanted to bless me by Baptism
Later after the ceremony
Paul entered my home
Life would never be the same again
Then I saw those crocuses
With the purple dye flowing
And I drank of the water of life
As evening light faded into night.

©Rosemary Orr

Women

From Adams rib
And God’s blessing
Came eve
Bone of his bone
Flesh of his flesh
To cling together
The woman in her naivety
Was tempted
To taste the harshness of life
Tasting the juice of the fruit
Shouldering the guilt and pain.
But like the waves in the sea
Rising up, filling oceans
With colour and bravery
Then becoming the chosen vessel
Of Jesus earthly beginning
Strength to comfort Him
Giving power to womanhood
Despite scorn, degradation, rape.
A burning candle of hope
Bravery, example of goodness
Reflecting the love of Jesus
Courage to conquer prejudice
By trying to create
A more compassionate equal world.

© Helen McNicholl

June 2019 Writing

Look up and let the light flood in

{Inspired by a headline from interior design}

In the midst of the storm
When the wind is raging
And the rain pours down
Look up and let the light flood in

When the fog has come down
And you can’t see the way forward
And you don’t know which way to turn
Look up and let the light flood in
Jesus is the light
His delight
Is to flood us with His love, His joy, His peace, His help
As we look to Him
He pours out His light
Falling as gentle rain,
Washing away our fears
He rescues us,
Placing us on solid rock.

Look up and let the light flood in
It’s a decision, a device we make
How easy to look down and be like grasshoppers,
Yet how wonderful to wake up
To let His light shine into our lives
And show His love, His help, His friendship.

When clouds and storms come our way
Let’s decide to look up and let the light flood in!

©Alison Moore Kingdom Arts June 2019

Surrender

Can I have a place of my own
Inside my thoughts
Plus all the support I need
With facilities including swimming and Jacuzzi?

Maybe I could have a line
As a woman on the edge of time
A sort of bush telegraph
Bringing missives of love and understanding
Even more in this luxury
Would you fall into my arms
And shield me from all harm?

Then I’d settle into that real place of ours
Bricks and mortar
Equity or do I mean equality
Deep, deep, peace.

© Rosemary Orr Kingdom Arts June 2019

May 2019 Writing

The Beach

The first time I went to the beach
It was crowded.
At midday the ice cream van settled near the promontory
A queue formed, children running up and down licking their lips
Others with bikes and beach balls

The last time I came to the beach it was dawn.
Out of focus stood a stranger
Near a rough bonfire which cracked and spit
A group of us local fisher folk came closer
There was something vaguely familiar about him
Then he said “Have you caught anything lads?

I noticed a fish sizzling upon the fire
As I saw Jesus the fisherman, prophet, Saviour, King Lord of life!
Then he said “cast out into the deep”
My heart plummeted he had penetrated body and soul
As others obeyed into the sea went the net
Until it broke with the weight of the shoal

We cooked more fish a regal breakfast
Their conversation, food and laughter
Maybe the ice cream van and children will come soon
Vibrant with even more life

© Rosemary Orr  Kingdom Arts May 2019


On the Shore

The blessed time of resurrection
Jesus stayed to spread His comfort
To the bewildered and confused

He poured His lasting forgiveness
Over doubting minds
A healing, soothing salve

He came down to the beach
With His holy perfume
Watching his beloved

Their first catch was few
As those who struggle
Unwilling to fully embrace His love

Man in a voice loud and clear said
Cast the net to the right
Then with the power of God came 153 fish.

Peter covered his nakedness
Clothed himself in full belief
And pulled ashore with divine strength

May we ever have the belief
Feel His strength and comfort
And the sweet scent of His forgiveness.

So that we have Godly strength
To pull in our nets
And share the fish and bread.

© Helen McNicholl  Kingdom Arts May 2019

Listen to Helen reading her poem:


Believe

I believe I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher of men.
I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher of men.
And I’m a fishing man, a fishing man, a fishing man I am.
And I’m fishing, I’m fishing, I’m a-fishing for men.

It don’t matter a jot just what colour you may be
If the Lord wants to catch you, see
It’s a different kind of free!

If you want to ask or
If you want to seek
When you find the door you just greet the Man
Knock and take a peek.

You know it don’t matter a bit just who you are
Or what state you’re in
If you’re like me you’ll have that song in your heart
And that heart’s gonna sing.

Come into our hearts Lord Jesus
Fish out what we use today
Yesterday and every day,
Forever and ever with us.

Amen

©John Pugh   Kingdom Arts May 2019

Listen to John reading his poem:


April 2019 Writing

Water

The child with no shoes
The homeless unwashed feet
The throbbing old person’s toes.
But
The child laughs
The homeless has a heart
The old man lived.
God
Pours purity into the child
Washes the homeless clean
Restores the elderly frail.
With
The blessings from Heaven
Caring
Loving humanity
The scent of heavenly eternity.
From
The never dry well
Spiritually blessed water
And God given love.
© Helen Mc Nicholl, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Passiontide

Two rows as if in processing
Waiting for washing by the man who is God
Grey skies, pattering rain, spring clouds
Whisking outside in the cold as Passover approaches
A meal; lamb, wine, olives, flatbread, water and wine
Feet sweating for washing
Hands dipping bread in oil,
Jesus their servant caressing
The lumps and bumps of life.
While that sunset for Him
Draws into night and one last day.
© Rosemary Orr, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Cleanse me Lord.

In the knowledge of death through betrayal
Jesus washed their feet and they were clean.
Such humility in his action, love and friendship in one simple act
He cleansed them to keep their Spirit whole.
Knowing his fate.
Cleanse my soul Lord
Refresh my feet to walk with you.
© Barbara Rolison, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Water

Water, so clear, cleansing, rippling, still, so silent
Waiting to be used.
Whose needs can I satisfy?

Water contained in a bowl.
What use have I?
No servant to pour for me.
Towel ready to dry me.
What shall I do?
Feet hot and sticky,
Where is the servant?
Disciples are waiting.
Where can he be?
Water all ready.
Jesus hands so steady,
How can this be?
© Anthea Spurling,  Kingdom Arts April 2019

March 2019 Writing

Healing

My eye was dim like my heart, mind and body. Then the man with the sparkle in his eyes set them on me. The eyes and words penetrated into who I was.
Then the electric words did a bone scan on me. The nuclear energy infused every bone cell until I bounced on my feet. Thirty eight years of doom were dissolved in his words.
How beautiful are my feet that now bring good news!

© Rodney Dow
Kingdom Arts March 2019

Just One.

Look at me. Do not pass by.
I sit here year after year, hoping, praying but no one sees or hears.
I am invisible, but still I wait.
What did I do to be left helpless, ignored and lonely?
What do I have to do to be made whole?
Perhaps one day someone will stop and … and… I don’t know what, so I wait.
Another year and still I sit here, thirty eight years now.
Wait! Someone is talking to me.
He wants to hear my story. He listens.
I expect him to carry on by but he is telling me to stand up, roll away my mat and walk.

He has a way about him
I feel his strength and faith in me.
I will try to do what he says.
Do I have the strength and trust in him?
What is the worst thing to happen, people will still walk by and I will still wait.
But it happens, I can stand
Try gingerly on one foot then the other.
I am walking!
I look to thank him but he is gone.

Just one person noticed me, listened to me had faith in me.
Just one
I will try to be that one for someone else, because it only takes one.

©Pam Summers
Kingdom Arts March 2018

 The Man at the Pool

The seed in the desert
When will rain fall
Or dew drops start growth

The homeless all lost
Cold shivering damp
Will warmth revive the hopelessness

The beaten wife
Humiliated bruised unloved
Can refuge restore

The shunted child
From home to home
Who will give hope

He was by the pool
Thirty eight years
All belief gone

Jesus came by
The right touch and word
The man walked

Do we sit and wait
Tomorrow will do
The effort too great

Problems paralysing one
Voices sickened
Buried grief

But Jesus was there
He gave the man a chance
A fire was lit

He believed he tried
Supported by Jesus
Washed with the Holy water

We too can make that walk
Never alone
Upheld by Jesus throughout life

© Helen Mc Nicholl
Kingdom Arts March 2019


Waiting by the pool

Years I lay there by the sheep gate pool waiting to be healed.
In the beginning I had such belief and determination to be healed and that sustained me.
I tried so many times to get to the water when it fomented.
Years of failure followed as I lay there; no one to help me.
Sadness overwhelmed me; bitterness grew in my heart, in despair I turned away from God.
Years of self-neglect as courage and strength ebbed slowly as if with each stirring of the pool all hope was washed away, until the stranger spoke.
“Do you want to be made well?”
Did I? No one had asked me that before
Oh to be restored!
Feelings of profound despair, rejection, self-loathing were gone.
“Stand up”
His compassion filled me with such a surge of well-being; I knew I could!
“Take up your mat and walk”
My new life had begun.

© Barbara Rolison
Kingdom Arts March 2019

Waiting

I have been waiting in this waiting room of life for so long and I think it is making me sicker, angry frustrated and helpless.
I am waiting, hoping, listening to the water, bubbling, stirring, washing over others.
Not me though, never me.
Can’t move
Paralysed by fear, failure, mistakes, guilt, regrets, rejection………self-pity
Year after year, wasted years just lying here
Others given up on me, no one to help me reach this water of life
Thirty eight years of waiting…. for what? for whom?
Who sees me when they look at me what do they see?
I am overlooked, without healing I am doomed to stay here
I started with faith, but the long years eroded that and I am stuck in negative thoughts chaining me down.
The water stirs and within another chance for hope the waiting is taking my life
When you see me and speak directly to my soul
What are you waiting so long for?
All I can say is the familiar rhythm of words that have grown through the years.
No one to help me, someone else gets there before me, never me, I am paralysed.
True statements but in front of him they now sound weak, like me.
Have I become too comfortable in my excuses?
Have I stopped believing?
Doesn’t he understand waiting is so hard?
“Stand up take up your mat and walk.”
I hear the words and begin to make my excuses.
“Get up, Get up, Get UP”
And I feel the river of life stir in my limbs and I move.
Thirty eight years and I begin to move! The waiting is over.
His words are the water of life flowing over me.

© Shefali Hollis
Kingdom Arts March 2019

February 2019 Writing

Living Water

Your first sip of water after an operation
Or giving birth
Or running a Marathon

Bathing a new-born baby
Having come from water the bath is a happy place for a baby

Backache getting into a warm bath of water
Perhaps with colour scented bubbles?

Going to the loo
A luxury!

Thank you Lord

© Janet Hastings

Living water?

I am dry.
In the wilderness of loss and grief
Finding life hard to swallow, let alone water
The streams of life have dried up from within.
You say drink; you offer and invite me to come

Living water you say
Can it reach the areas in me that have dried
That have become like waste places
Can Hope be restored?
The insides of me echo a barrenness and I feel a light smouldering and in danger of going out.

Living water you say
It has the sound of many seas that once flowed but have now ebbed and not returned.
Is this living water greater than our Sacred River Ganges?
Mother Ganga, that gives life to all who step into her waters and drink of its source
Once flowing pure from the mouth of the Himalayas and now polluted.

Is your living water from a stream that is pure?
Untainted.
Will it touch the pools of sadness and turn them into blessings which others can drink?
Will I live again?
Different, changed but alive.

Show me how to drink.

© Shefalie  Kingdom Arts February 2019

Water

The source of our flowing rivers, with small bubbling beginnings
Beneath our scorched challenging deserts, refreshing cool canals of water
Our deep needful frightening wells needing containers and pulling force
Water to replenish our human forms
Some having plenty, others crying out in need

Lord you know our needs
Fill us with your spiritual water
However small our beginnings
Or hard or frightening our lives
Needing no bucket or pulley
Washing our inner beings clean
Receiving our souls with joy
Giving hope and power to our praise
Bathed in everlasting faith

© Helen McNicholl