Saturday, October 31, 2015


What's next?
It's an interesting question Lord
One thing finishes
Leaving room for the next
Sometimes it's easy to decide
If there's a lineup of possibilities
But only one is suitable at that moment
Sometimes it's a challenge
With so many interests
But limited resources
Once in a while it's almost impossible
If nothing touches the heart
Because the heart has gone cold
May You keep my heart alive
Following Your lead for whatever is

Friday, October 30, 2015


Lightly catches up lives
Hope for future time together
Brings warmth


To hear and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's a language
Or a subject
Because there's connection
In understanding

To do and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's on the computer
Or creating something by hand
Because there's connection
In understanding

To be and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's walking with You, Lord
Or interacting with other people
Because there's connection
In understanding

Thursday, October 29, 2015


The wind has arrived
I can hear it through the tree
They warned us about yesterday
But it is only arriving now
Waves of wind
Then silence
Before another wave of wind
Once daylight begins to glimmer
I may find a fresh blanket
Of leaves on the ground
--Or maybe not
It's the end of October
And our tree is still green
By the time the leaves are yellow
It may require simply a gentle breeze
To bring them dancing
Toward the earth

What's On My Mind Today?

I come to the paper
Early in the morning
To write my journal of life
But sometimes a topic
Isn't immediately there
Clamouring for attention
So many different things
Can capture my interest
And yet the older I get
The more the variety
Comes together in You, Lord
--And in Your church

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Seven deer
Through the trees
Milling about nervously
Once I noticed them
Wanting to graze
But wanting me to leave
Finally they began to wander away
--Amazing pockets of wonder
In the city


Music for worship
Produced by a band
Needs musicians and 
The leader must sing
But must the leader also
Play an instrument?
I suspect the combination 
Is for convenience
Rather than necessary
Am I willing to step forward
To try?--
Organize and lead a band
As a singer only

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Music With You, Lord

A voice raised in joy
Being accompanied by instruments
Changing notes form melody
Declaring joy, praise, love or pain
Engaging the whole being
For worship
Gear up to express
Hope in You, Lord
In the tiniest details
Just as much as the broadest
Knowing You, Lord, through Your Word
Listening to the Spirit within
Motivates expression through
New styles and 
Old--always with You as the focus
Potential for unity as we have
Quality together as the church
Realizing we are a body
To sing and make music
Unless we allow it to be encumbered when
Vanity steps in
With rules rather than heart
eXtend our unity
Yes, Lord
Zero in on one body in You

Monday, October 26, 2015

Framed Words

"God keeps his promises!"
The words in the frame
And on the frame
Noah's ark
A constant reminder
Of truth
Being something to rely upon


To write my thoughts
My experiences
My wonders
To step out with confidence.
A life lived in You, Lord
Is filled with light
And lived in peace
Yet the rough places appear
Wherever we walk
Am I willing to be open
About recognized imperfections?
Is it not enough that
Unrecognized imperfections
Scream from the page?

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Fundraiser Karen style
--Singers traveled here
From different cities
To perform a concert
Audience involvement
Praised the singers
By burying them 
Under mountains of leis 
--Fundraiser fun style

House Almost Ready

A neighbourhood fire
More than a year ago
Left a family
Living in rented quarters
But the new house is up
The lights are on
The finishing details are
Keeping the builders busy
But soon
Very soon
Our neighbours will be back

Return of Singing

The songs were sung all week
The voice lessons were listened to
About freeing the voice
And living in the moment to reduce tension
Simple lessons
Silly things seemingly to practice
And yet (--the amazing bit)
I sang to an audience yesterday
--And enjoyed singing

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Walking Sticks

Exercise for me
Walk in silence of nature
Using arms as well


Across the road
A zip in the open
As quick as a flash of light
And gone


To sing without fear
Requires life in the moment
Relax muscles--breathe

Friday, October 23, 2015

Visiting Friends

A task was left to us
By Rebekah and Jamie to bring some
Closure to the wedding by
Delivering a few of their thank you cards
Express and personal
From the parents own hands
Going around the city
Handing out photos of the couple that
Included their thanks
Just a few that Andrew and I
Know personally
Letting them know we still care for them as we
Move into 
New avenues in life that
Open new skills and
Quests with You, Lord
To different cultures
Under Your one umbrella of church: the body of Christ
Vast breadth of cultures appear here as I
Walk by Buddhist temple to the west and Muslim high school to the east
eXcitement of cultures coming here--
Yet one afternoon together connecting with old friends
Zone of renewed friendship

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Worship Culture

A church with two worship cultures
Became a church with one pastor
Complexity ensued as two
Different service times became reality
Endeavouring to work with one pastor
First solution made one culture second class and
Generated a serious test for loyalty in worship band culture
How to deal with swinging start times and 
Inability to travel with friends from the other service
Just because someone will consistently have to wait
Keeping young parents waiting every week for children
Lacking a friendly flow at one service
Momentum is lost every time flow is lost
No flow is caused by complexity
Ordained by the need for a solution
Perhaps change is needed now
Quest for unity requires flow in worship
Requirement for both services
So how do we
Tackle this lack of
View the two cultures as one church
Weave the unity back in with a single start time
eXtend equal honour to each culture
Yet treat all as one church for ongoing
Zest in worship

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Three deer
Grazing in the field
Watchful of me
As I approach
To watch them

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Just Keep Writing

A jumble of thoughts
Grow messier by the moment
Just keep writing

Words on paper help to sort
Through to find the truth underneath
Just keep writing

A cacophony of voices
Cause chaos all around
Just keep writing

Until a single voice is heard
Your voice, Lord--direct and quiet
Just keep writing

Monday, October 19, 2015

Scattered Thoughts

I am cold after yesterday's snow
Yet it melted by noon
Today will be what?

Lord, nothing's happening with poetry today
Are my thoughts too scattered from
Two days of not writing?
We visited family on Friday and Saturday
Then I slept in on Sunday
But now I am beginning again
--With little focus


A little piece of England
Transplanted to Canada
To put down roots and grow

Friday, October 16, 2015


Old redesigned for
New dreams as then reworked
With now first in mind

Bicycle Path

Path curls by river
For walking, cycling through green
Draws community

Crouch Library

Neighbourhood centre
Where welcome for each is real
Resources for growth


Bricks and windows give
Space for children to grow strong
Roots before wings spread

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Favourite Stories

What sets a story apart
To be remembered?
The characters?
The teller?
The story itself?
The moment it's told?
The audience?
Each element would play its part
So how does one try to predict
What story to tell?
Or is it simpler than that
Are we simply made up of many stories
And so we simply respond
To stories?
But that answers why we listen
Rather than how we find favourites--
Perhaps the words of another are true--
"Stories find us when we need them" 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Active Waiting

Active waiting
Brings the story to life: As metaphor
Could this show You
Desire of us active waiting?
Even as we wait
For life to develop to a point of bloom
Going forward
Has many threads
I can pursue even now
Just passively waiting
Keeps the mind and heart
Lost in limbo
Many options stand before me
Only Your
Path draws me to balance action with waiting
Relaxing which
Settles my heart is combined with
The active learning which
Undergirds my
View that life involves growth
eXcitement or peace are before me
Yielding to active waiting provides
Zest for today

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Another day in history
Before I reached today
Challenges loomed in front of me
Defeated me when I had not begun
Everything that pulled my heart
Found a frown on the face close to mine
Growing deeper with time until--
Hope surged through me in spite of disapproval
I chose to follow the
Joy in my heart
Knowing You approved even if another did not
Lord, Your quiet voice
Motivates from within
Overpowering, yet
Quietly, consistently
Ruling my thoughts and my dreams
Showing me my talents and joys
Through long walks alone
Under Your watchful protection
Viewed through the eyes of hope
Walking became the gate to overcoming
eXactly in the fields I had dreamed
Your guidance, Lord, brought
Zest to the journey

Monday, October 12, 2015


Thoughts fill the mind 
Erupting through the heart 
As lines, notes, beats, movement--words 
Our language contains so little of who we are 
As we work to convey our understanding 
Our feelings are exposed 
Through the variety that creativity provides 
To each of us 


Music rises 
From within to be set free
To the winds
(And the ears)
All around 

Words bubble up 
To be put on paper 
And released 
To the world 

The elements of life 
Find expression 
Through words and emotions 
Music and freedom 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

A year later 
Is approaching quickly--
Family Thanksgiving was difficult yesterday 
Without Debra 
Lord, life on this earth always ends 
You've designed it that way 
Yet it is so difficult to lose loved ones 
To death 
We know of life beyond death 
We believe in eternal life 
But that makes it only a little easier 
Yet life with You, Lord, still draws us 
Back to hope 
That life beyond death is reality 
That we are free to release loved ones 
To You, Lord 
And move forward 
In faith  

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I can choose
Lord, You have given freedom
And so I can choose
To live the life I've always lived
To strike out on a new path
To share my time with others
To be alone with You
A simple gift to every person
If we will truly accept it--
We can choose 


A lilt in the voice
A smile on the lips
A light in the eyes
When despair passes
At the return of hope

A hug to another
A kiss on the cheek
A deep breath in the lungs
When the darkness ends
At the return of hope

Thursday, October 8, 2015


A disconnect 
Between the two groups
A break in community
Start times are different
When people arrive together
Someone is early for one service
Or late for the other

Such a simple solution
--Have the preacher preach
Only once on Sunday
By using video camera and live projection
Have that sermon in two locations
At the same time
Both services begin at the same time
Both congregations know they belong


Of good
Even when surrounded
By pain
Because You, Lord
Hold my hand
Each step of the way

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Attempts

An old ditty from childhood
"Can't think, brain dumb
Inspiration won't come
Poor ink, bad pen
That's it Amen"
Expressed my frozen brain
But life includes overcoming
Instead will learn to relax that attitude
To allow the flow of thought once more


You, Lord, as the only
Provider of breath and beauty

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Language Learning

As I begin
To practice more and more
Speak the language repeatedly
To learn

A Room

A room of my own--
With a door that closes
That makes such a difference
After years of being on call
It's true the door can be knocked upon
Or shouted through
But somehow the closed door
Makes the space feel more solitary
A desk
A chair
A daybed for naps
With shelves and shelves of books
A window looking east
Out onto a tree
A space of my own
To dream by

Monday, October 5, 2015


"Life distilled"--
Flavour infuses
Aroma captivates
Melody haunts
--Poetry tantalizes

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Class Participation

See what the text expresses
About the subject at hand
Then spend time putting that
Into poetry
Lord, is this the next
Assignment to try?
When I ask the class
To tell the story
It's like hitting a brick wall
Is this because I'm demanding sentences?
Would poetry avoid the internal brakes
The mind imposes when the perfect answer
Is out of reach?


Blank pages
That remained empty
Until I threw away
My mental guidelines
Of what a journal should be
Then I began
To use poetry
To simply express
What is


Tomato chopped
Cucumber diced
Avocado for creaminess
Lime juice sprinkled over all
Freshness of summer
Anytime of the year

Saturday, October 3, 2015

To Learn

To learn without a textbook
Is a challenge in a society
So dependent on written instructions
But other ways to learn are real
Take a deep breath
Accept the challenge
Jump right in to the experience

Gerber daisy

A  single flower
Poised on a long sturdy stem
A pop of colour 
On a dreary day
To brighten the moment

Friday, October 2, 2015


As simple as water above the air
That bring rain
Or cooling shade
Yet shape, colour, density
Lend themselves to moods
Whether frivolous or overpowering
That texture our lives
More than droplets of mist
Could predict


Oppression of the many
For the greed of the few who succeed
In the struggle for power, wealth and luxury
The equation set by the fall of mankind
In the beginning

Oppression of none
Was the original goal
As man and woman faced the garden and battles together
A partnership intended to produce joint power and success
From the beginning

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Clogged Drain

In the sink
That remains unmoving all day
Requires a plumber's


How does poetry
Differ from prose?
Why do I enjoy writing my journal
This way
But balk at full sentences?
Somehow this expression
Works for me--
But why and how?
Here I can focus on a word
Or a phrase
To illuminate an idea
Without concern for every bit of punctuation
Topics vary greatly
As life presents new questions.
Thank You, Lord
For providing variety of form
For sculpting thoughts
Within our languages