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A small selection of my poetry. If you’d like to read more pieces, have a look at my book Treasure in Dark Places: Stories and Poems of Hope in the Hurting.

DO YOU KNOW HIM?

In the beginning was the Word
And the word crafted worlds
Spinning galaxies and weaving stars
Through skies of explosive light
An echo through eons of nights

The Word became flesh,
Wading into our mess
Exploding into history
Wrapped in sacred mystery
The eternal unknown in a temporal home
Do you know him?

They say he’s the way, the truth and the life,
They say he is human all meshed with divine,
Do you know this love that blazes through time,
And traces our pain
With drops of holy rain?

Have you met him before,
this unlikely Lord,
This God-man who stands and knocks at your door
Who made the first last and made the last first
And quenches your thirst
With rivers that burst
Through desolate earth?

Do you know that he loves you like cascades of rain
And the sound of his name sings through your veins
And his love-drenched power shatters your chains?

Hear the whispers of hope as he draws you higher,
And unlock the secrets of your heart’s desire
Come and know him, this Jesus, this dazzling Messiah.
#doyouknowHim#doyouknowhimtelford

May be an image of sky and text

SATURDAY

Hope seems lost today
wrenched into swirling mist and
lost in the in-between
shadows too deep and
mountains too steep.

I sit in a lonely garden
and wait.
Signs of life dot the earth,
but they chime discordant,
on this day they should hide their faces
and leave their spaces
empty and void.

I cannot look
at where he is,
shrouded in darkness
like my soul.

Yet something stirs in my wild deeps
a spring of water,
a gush of colour.
I look again,
enticed by a place of death
yet shivering with divine breath

Hope is here, after all,
Streaming through a lonely garden and
weaving its mystery
through all of history;
breathing glimmers of glory
through all our ragged stories

So I will wait.

#eastersaturday#HolySaturday#thegreatinbetween

SHIELDING FINALE

They say it’s the end
time to celebrate and
grab life by both hands and
forget all that’s gone before.

But locusts ate the year away and
fear crowds into all our days
the world is too big now;
the streets are shifting and the sky is too high
shops are monsters and
crowds press into our dreams

We are safe now, they say,
when inside we are still afraid
One day is no time
to find ourselves in life
to tether ourselves to the great unknown
to cross through shadows and fly from our homes

Shielding is yielding,
but we are lurching, reeling
joy and sadness
all mixed up
in waiting for the healing

WORLD POETRY DAY

Sometimes words
are not enough
when we are frozen and
days are too tough
when laughter has faded and
life leaves us jaded and
words must carry us
through time’s aching caverns

Groans too deep for words
interceding;
for us.

Sometimes words
dance with life and
sparkle like rivers with joy and
wide-open skies
where ribbons of light
shatter dark nights
where anthems of day
resound in your pain

Eternity’s poetry streaming through history
interceding;
for us

Words about worlds and worlds about words
skipping through ages and surging in twirls
of uncontainable hope
through life’s trembling flow

#WorldPoetryDay

THE END IN SIGHT

Are you reeling at the feeling
Waiting in sorrow for the healing
Are you alive with news of hope
Or lost in bonds of lockdown lows
Dancing to horizons of light
Or curling into remains of the night

Are you mourning at all the loss
Staggering at the heavy cost
Are you broken and weary inside
Or running to the hills to hide
Where shadows cloak the day
Where things are not okay

Are you locked into cages of fear
Where locusts stole away your year
Where every hour was drowned in tears
And devastation stings and sears?

Do you want to shout with gladness
Yet your heart is sore with sadness
All mixed up in bittersweet mess
Seething with unquiet unrest

This is going to end, they say,
But will the world stay locked in grey
Will joy and healing find a way
I walk the valley and there I pray

I pray for those who’ve lost too much
For those who’ve lurched through covid’s touch
For all who stumble in pain or deflation
May your winter yield to exultation.

A LAMENT

You didn’t choose this walk
didn’t choose to wear these shoes
and walk through aching doors
to fuse your head with weary floors
to lose your breath at heartless walls
to lose yourself to desolate shores
where your feet are sore
and you can’t take more
how long how long how long o Lord

How many days til the sun finds its rays
til the night is delayed and mourning erased
til morning blazes through skies of grey
how many days o God
how many days

I sink to my knees and
rage at the dawn
I sink to my knees and
praise in the storm

How many days must they try to do
the Unimaginable

You didn’t choose this song
we will walk with you through days that are long
and nights that are wrong
we will hold your hands
as you traverse defiant lands
walk through aching doors
be found in desolate shores

We will cry the words for you
and join the Lion’s roar
we will hold the torch for you
and say, how long O Lord

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