Saturday, May 6, 2017

Equine Rest

Glad to be here
With many of like mind
Friendly breeze rustles
The limbs above
We have this special time
When chores and pulling
Are forgot
When summer’s scorch
Or winter’s white
Must not deter
From this appointment
The Quiet Folk inside
And Psalms and helpful words
Issuing forth
They seem different
Once released
Their smiles and straighter backs
Happily we’re off again
Clopping with style
And teamwork
And oh those Sunday oats!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Distressed Flock

Drudgery in this walk
And dry the place
I know that we are tired
The bugs, the heat
The grass turned brown
Oh for those days inspired.
We left the fold
And village cheer
Our Shepherd on ahead
With hopes of high
And verdant times
No sense of doubt or dread.
The Man before
Would sing and march
And watering holes unearth
Quite safe with Him
As wolf lurked round
We thrived in second-birth.
Then clouds had come
And drizzling tests
The path turned mud
Quite slick
And some would fall
Their lungs awash
And most lost heart when sick.
The Shepherd still
Would share this test
And doctor when He could
And bring to mind
Much hallowed verse
As we knew that we should.
A single day of sun
Told us His hope
Could not be quelled.
But soon a drought
Burned off all damp
Parched bellies
Ached and yelled.
So this the goal?
We asked ourselves
A string of stretching trials?
Where gone the song
And sky-blue hopes
Sweet fellowship and smiles?
But then He comes
Right in the face
Caressing stricken heads
And points beyond...
The high plateau
With stream-fed grassy beds.
Each sheep takes heart
Their Man before
Has brought them
To the goal
And worth all trials
His healing smiles

His rich empowering Soul.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Open Up the Heavens

No these are not mere words
We’re done with games
Done with prescribed religious talk
Our gut growls
With the unsated hunger of searching
We’ve searched your Book
We’ve searched on our knees
We’ve searched the experience of friends
And your footprint shows
But not your face
Not your kindly embrace.
You inhabit the praises of your people
You’ve told us that 
You inhabit abandon
And brokenness.
And expectation.
And now “by prayer and supplication
With thanksgiving”
We come, and we come together.
Show us Lord, the reluctance
The unforgiveness, the pretension
The testiness and impatience
Pull out all stops.
The diaphragm quivers
The face is wet
The phrases come with melody
And we are released
Into You.

Monday, October 12, 2015


The blueing of alfalfa
The golding of the bean
The swaying of the cornstalks
By country roads are seen.
The mounding of potatoes
The cabbage colonies
The checker of the Holsteins
The bursting apple trees.
The romping of the lambkins
The heron at the creek
The Clydesdales all in caramel
The nursing foals still weak.
The corduroy of planting
The auburn harvest yield
The splaying of the hay bales
A giant billiard field.
This banquet of the senses
A patchwork ‘neath the skies
Commending our Great Artist
Who looks with knowing Eyes.

Note: I live in a district where Mennonite farm wives pride themselves in their quilting stitchery. Perhaps they identify with the Lord of all beauty as they lay out their tables and frames, and go to work with colourful patches, needles and thread, singing as they collaborate.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sound Hope in the Bleating

Would to God
I knew the answers
Save you from this present pain
We are damp
And risking footing
Up this slope despite the rain.
I have watched you
Bow to others
While they butt and bleat out scorn
I have not
The plan nor power
To reverse such days forlorn.
But the Man
Up at the forefront
Knows the way to peace and rest
Once He held me
On His shoulders
Broke my leg to know His best
And for days
I sensed His heartbeat
Saw Him calmly help the flock
I will never
Stray rebellious
He has cleansed my hope and walk
And He will
So shepherd, help you
As you gain your dearest Friend
Truth, these wet
And woesome dark days
Count so little at the end.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anointing My Head

Can't stop the restlessness
No, not at all
Up on this rock face
Where I might fall
Bugs all around me
Eyes, throat and ears
Gone to distraction
Brings me to tears.
Shepherd is coming soon
Bringing the oil
Sweet-smelling savour
Ending turmoil.
What is there in it
None of us knows
Simply apply some
And how trouble goes!
Then comes the comfort
Then comes the calm
Doctor and guardian
Helps us along.
Special His words seem
And settling too
Kindly our Shepherd
Who helps us come through.

Friday, December 5, 2014

And Sheep Will Follow

And sheep will follow
Loving the noise
Loving the crowd
And warmth of togetherness.
Just give them a word
A bright, shining word
And say it often
Throw in some music
That pulls the heart
That touches a chord
Of former green pastures
And they are yours.
Even made to butt
The non-compliant
The questioning
The looking-for-more.
But comes an occasional
Battered lambkin
Who spots the One Shepherd
Tall and true
Silhouetted by sunrise
After a long, wet spell
Approaching tremulously
Bleating but once
And carried up
To shoulders of safety
And provision
Ever after traveling the ways
Close to that
Heartbeat of Love.