Wrongly assumed Jesus’ demise.

Who wove the thorn barbed crown?

Did soldier or priest push it down

Hard onto Jesus head?

What ribald mockery was said

As soldiers gambled for his gown?

Did artisan weave a harsh halo before?

Were bloodied fingers sore

From twisting spiteful spikes?

The serpent seethed with spite:

Death disputed, God settled old scores.

Bleeding brow blinded his vision,

Mockers spat with cynical derision

As Jesus hung on splintered wood,

Ground below spattered with blood.

Father forsaken: deliberate decision.

On the skull shaped hill death awaited,

Satan dervish-danced and celebrated:

Wrongly assuming Jesus demise.

Next came third-day surprise:

The borrowed tomb abruptly vacated.

Foetal Heart Beat Missing

Did unwanted visitor carry viral curse?

Unborn baby thrashed, parents suspected worst.

Scan stated foetal heart-beat missing;

ceased all sibling hugs, halted kindred kissing.

After ten tenuous days faecal-tinted waters broke,

in the isolated ward deathly silence spoke.

Nurses absent when her crushed head crowned

birth-corpse delivered, heart ran aground.

Mute cry shaped mouth, eyes held empty gaze,

face flattened, body floppy –  faint beauty to praise.

Quick-cooling listless limbs maternally held,

futile prayerful pleading, dumb tears welled.

Petal-peeled skin raw, her silver cord snapped,

tentative paternal embrace, heart handicapped.

dead babies don’t respond, grieving parents can’t speak,

later quickly-kissed her fridge-frozen cheeks.

Nappy changes unneeded now, funeral to prepare,

stoic parents sobbed, pointless any prayer.

Then her sibling spoke hope* – parents dumbfounded,

untaught truth uttered, feeble faith rebounded.

  • “The baby will be alive when Jesus comes back. Isn’t that right, Daddy?”

Easter Monday, 1942

Many eyes scanned wartime skies for German

Bombers on Easter Monday, 1942,

Allotment families forgot Sunday sermons

Heard in Pear Tree Baptist packed pews.

Doris was next door, sharing gossip and news,

husband minding Ron, younger son;

teenage Alan, cycled through rural views

Pushing roadster pedals, having fun.

Frank, the father, worked in Loco foundry

In spare spare time sung, played violin,

Then something snapped, boundaries

wrongly crossed  – caused that loner to sin. 

ill in bed, young Ron rested, bone-weary,

Whistling wireless boomed below

Frank depressed, easily teary

paced kitchen floor, to and fro –

then mounted the stairs with resolve,

son’s illness he could no longer endure,

With warped sense of justice, absolved

His evil action, a quick death the only cure.

Frank squeezed Ron’s throat tightly,

Young son thrashed, left this life; 

After dreadful deed was Frank contrite?

What would he say to returning wife?

Note on dead boy’s bedroom door

“Do not enter – call the police” –

Child corpse within, angels angrily roared,

God’s enemy, Satan, plundered all peace.

Later, on a canal bank Frank stood

Shivering, wrongly thought God-forsaken.

It’s never too late to make good

selfish actions rashly taken.

Instead, he tied the slip-knot rope

to flat iron, then tested noose;

Evil spirits erased faint hope

Doubt dismissed any trace of truce.

Did he linger before he leapt?

Did any one witness awful event?

Were late-repentant tears wept?

Did fish eyes follow his final descent?

A policeman’s torch later sighted

Frank’s floating Trilby hat, mortality marker;

After inquest, and joint funeral were expedited,

headlines reported drama so dark.

No scripture hope on shared gravestone,

date deception was deliberate,

I raged at discreet grave, refused to condone,

Records needed to be set straight.

A new headstone got commissioned

My suicidal grandmother’s name included

Once I got my father’s permission

All truth was stated, nothing excluded.

Patrick’s Blessed Bell

With gospel, goblet and crude brass bell

Patrick defeated weird Druid spells;
Christ’s forgiveness he presented unceasingly,

good news converted Celtic pagans increasingly.

God’s law and love was forbidden

by Ard Ri, Patrick’s bell soon silenced, hidden

Within an intricate shrine, gemstone embedded,

The High King of Heaven’s blessings were dreaded.

The sacred shrine survived for centuries, passed

Through clan-line from father to son, steadfast

Godly guardians, until one male produced no heir,

Then mystic treasure got buried with great care

In an orchard, safely hidden within an oaken ark.

Decades later bell and book unearthed, map mark

Accurate; anxious antiquarians sighed with relief:

Ancient object recovered but not biblical belief.

This shrine now in a Dublin museum displayed,

much aesthetic fuss of pretty filigree is made:

Through bullet-proof glass tourists blankly stare –
while pilgrims utter Patrick’s Breastplate prayer….


‘Ard Ri’ translated means High Kings

‘High King of Heaven’ is a metaphor for Lord Jesus

Ukraine Feb. 28, 2022

Tank treads on tar threateningly rumble

bombed out buildings burn and tumble,

seemingly unstoppable a Goliath advances,

who can cause him to stall and stumble;

plucky underdogs take their chances.

Thousands escape war in cars or trains.

In smoke plumed skies bomber planes

bully-pummel this half-forsaken nation,

never again Soviet-stolen golden grain;

home-grown heroes show no hesitation.

The Ukrainian army an onslaught awaits,

some people pray for this invaded state

remembering evil intent, when millions died

from Stalin’s satanic hate;

citizens starved, *Holomodor genocide.

Will families escape from city and village

Will clockwork soldiers rape and pillage?

Will some *Gideon repel this Russian horde?

Ukrainian soldiers don’t fear blood-spillage;

strong their spirits, freedom their reward.


* Holodomor – a term derived from the Ukrainian words for hunger (holod) and 

extermination (mor).

* Gideon – see Judges 7, three hundred soldiers “slaughter” their enemy (the Midianite army was vast, perhaps 135,000)

A Fact-Checked New Year

On garden branches bright bulbs climb,

Left up lights from Christmas time,

digital displays, regimental as rhyme.

Booms and bangs scare household pets,

And older people get upset,

babies waken, parental epithets.

Drink will flow, clocks count down,

off key choirs in every town –

You must be merry, don’t dare frown.

Unsanctioned parties burst at seams,

Loving couples kiss and dream,

Fireworks explode and briefly beam.

Midnight revellers stop and stare,

Bread and circuses: devil may care;

Smoke and cordite pollutes the air.

Then home to bed and hopeful sleep,

The young will laugh, the widows weep;

Let’s pray to God good health to keep.

At dawn, wind sweeps away all litter,

Heads will hurt, tongues taste bitter,

Turn on the telly, scroll through twitter.

Politicians tweet: better to come,

But in the distance dystopian drum –

War machines menace, ugly thrum.

Tyrants attempt changing static maps,

Trust and truth close to collapse,

Fact checkers lie and absurd laws trap.

I bow my heart, banish disbelief,

I pray God’s protection from plague and grief:

Tender His love, mercy His motif.

Fact Checked New Year video-poem


* God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. – part of Psalm 103

graphics: katyazhu.com

A Complex Christmas

Political paladins ceaselessly advising,

hands chapped raw from over-sanitising.

Will vaccines ever have this virus acquitted?

Will social gatherings again be permitted?

How many jabs will it finally take

To get zero covid or circuit break?

Many show medical compliance,

But megaphone marchers yell defiance.

Goal-posts keep on being moved,

Peer-reviews remain far from proved,

Our autocrat leaders are over-reliant

On vested interests & pseudo-science.

Lock-down laws, clenched iron fist,

Logic forsaken, questions dismissed

While virus mercilessly mugs.

When last did we long-hug?

Such a high price to pay!

Some stupid diktats we should disobey,

So many do’s and don’ts displease –

Let’s celebrate life! Buy evergreen trees!

Festive bells and childhood dreams,

Heaven’s hope trumps any vapid vaccine: 

Endless God’s empathy, His love is near –

What uncertain fate do we now fear?

Second Chances

Such cruel political policies without just cause,

lives loaded down with impossible laws;

police bash protestors with angry whipping rods;

don’t make us take a knee to fallible false gods.

Some have rolled up sleeves, once or twice,

doubters decline the jab and roll the dice;

many fear for families, their futures uncertain,

they can’t shut their eyes and won’t close the curtains.

Dissenters get gagged by “fact check” dictators,

then social media shamed, tarnished as traitors;

sceptics get rewarded by a hounding and hating,

democracy is dying, it urgently needs ventilating.

Human rights cancelled as politicians compel, 

mandatory medicine, welcome to hell;

over-reach authority, see saviours salivate,

Big Brother bully loudly and proudly berates.

Where are humble leaders to heal our weary nation?

Where impartial reports and conciliation?

Debate long dead, gone kind-minded stances;

let’s all press pause and proffer second chances…

A Covid Lament

Unstoppable sirens spook our lives,

helicopters hunt from scowling skies,

police checks query and advise.

Reporters intone death updates

officials admonish and quote R rates –

Who will deliver us from this slave state?

Don’t dare question higher authority,

don’t defend the agnostic minority,

overlords get free-pass priority.

Deterred all hugs and tender touch,

Vaccines and science promise too much,

at straws in wind we vainly clutch.

None admit creating outbreak,

nations shaken by evil earthquake –

God embraces each horrible heartbreak.


Photos: upsplash.com