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Tagged: poetry

Jun 22

Youthwork Summit 2015

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the Youthwork Summit on Re:verse – a spoken word poetry project for young people I run. Here’s my talk, with two of our young poets giving some amazing performances…

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Mar 18

These Are Things That Can Go Together


A poem inspired by a blog written by Danielle Strickland – http://www.daniellestrickland.com/2015/03/16/things-that-can-go-together/

I am in hospital corridors.
White walls, white floors,
Dropped jaws.
Good news, baby born.
Bad news, treatment withdrawn.
First breath, last breath ever,
These are things that can go together.

I am in prison chains.
Blameless, the only one to blame.
I walk free but I’m crippled with shame,
That sticks and stains,
Despite life regained.
Righteous judgement, grace unmeasured,
These are things that can go together.

I am on battle ground.
Broken, beaten I will not back down.
Weakness is where real strength is found.
In failure, in loss, when enemies surround,
Mercy will come and justice abound.
Hard as a soldier, soft as a feather,
These are things that can go together.

I am in wooden pews.
Abusers seated beside the abused.
Unity, oneness, polarized views,
Wounded healers, beautiful, bruised,
Teachers, preachers, prophets, fools.
Honoured kings, forgotten beggars,
These are things that can go together.

I am under a broken tree.
A man hangs, bleeds for me.
He gives, I live, He dies, I’m free.
God and flesh, crushed seed,
Emptied, defeated, victoriously.
Death and life, now and never,
These are things that can go together.

These are things that can go together.

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Jul 13

Grandad Hands

A poem written in memory of my Grandad, Lesley George Dolby.

I remember your hands, Grandad hands
Hands holding chalk in the classroom in which you taught
You stood tall, on feet that helped others find their feet
Feet standing on your shoulders and as you got older
Chalkboards were replaced with the digital age
But the impact you had would forever remain
Adults once pupils still remember your name.

I remember your hands, Grandad hands
Hands that toiled over plants and soil
Trimmed edges and once wayward hedges
Well-watered lawns and harvested veggies.
Not a weed to be seen, grass greener than green
Every inch of it ordered and clean
The most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen.

I remember your hands, Grandad hands
Hands holding a glass as you laughed
Reminiscing of days that had passed.
You told me about sports you used to play
You told me about skiving off school for the day
The places you’d been the things you’d seen
Made great bedtime stories when I couldn’t sleep.

I remember your hands, Grandad hands
Hands that held the boy that’s now a man
The man I call Dad, who made me who I am
He’s your richest biggest legacy
The most precious thing you’ve left to me
A Dad who’s always there for me
A Dad who’s Dad you were proud to be.

I remember your hands, Grandad hands
Hands grasping mine as we prayed you’d be fine.
God met our request and you were back to your best
With a smile on your face and a scar on your chest.
But this life’s end isn’t if but when
Because of your faith this isn’t the end
Your Grandad hands, I’ll hold them again.

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Apr 06

You

What if I really knew You?
You. The You that’s true.
If I could look into Your eyes.
Rip up the disguise I’ve made with my lies,
You see it’s easier when I make the real You hide.

What if I really knew me?
Me. The me that’s true.
If I could see me through You.
If I could just let you out of Your cage,
Have the courage to let things rearrange,
To let my view of You completely change.

You see You’re really all that I have,
And all that I am wants to know all that I can,
About this man they call Jesus.
You know, the one that freed us.
The one who heals us,
The one that came to earth to redeem us.
The one who still sees us,
Who knows what it’s like to be us.

There’s not a thing you’ve been dealt that He hasn’t felt,
Because no trial or temptation from Him was withheld.
He knows pain and shame and disgrace and blame,
He knows screaming and bleeding you see that’s why He came.
He overcame.
Now the debt’s paid and we’re being remade,
Into the light and out of the shade,
A fearless people no longer afraid.

Knowing all this, what can I say?
How can I possibly live the same way?
How can I ever just walk away?
There’s nothing I can do that will ever repay,
No gift I can give that would help to convey,
No word in any language that would help me to say,
Not a masterpiece painted that would rightly display.

So maybe I’ll just do what You do.
You gave Your life so I’ll give mine too.
Die to myself and live only for You.
You. The You that’s true.
The You that’s not through, with me or with You.
You see there’s some stuff for us to do.
People that need to know this too,
Who’d be helped and healed if only they knew,
That the kingdom of God is breaking through.
The now and not yet like yeast in bread,
As creation groans for all that’s unsaid.
The cancelled debt, all our regrets,
The effects of our mess that he just forgets.

What if they really knew You?
You. The You that’s true.
If they could look into Your eyes.
Rip up the disguise we’ve made with our lies,
And see they don’t need to run or to hide.

So help me show You.
You. The You that’s true.
In all I say and all I do I’ll be a light that shines for You,
A broken vessel You’re making new,
A wounded healer that You move through,
So in my weakness they’d see You.
You. The You that’s true.

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Feb 16

You Restored Me

Well who’d have thought it?
In the midst of all of this shit I’d find my perfect fit
Rescued from the pit and now God this is it
My destiny calling no more tripping and falling
No more hearing “her behaviour’s appalling!”
You see now I’m determined to live for Your glory
And tell the whole world this amazing story
Of how at my darkest you saw me
And you didn’t ignore me.
God, You restored me.
And even now you go before me.
Yeah You’re the one that healed my heart
And now I’m here with this brand new start
And these words only help me express it in part
What You’ve done and who You are
Rescue, restore, redeem, repeat
Yeah you helped me get back on my feet
When I’d accepted defeat, when I was all but beat
When I was shattered and battered and calling retreat
When my heart was open and I was bleeding broken
And I cried out for help but there was just no one
The shame, the blame, their ridiculous claims
Took things from me I thought I’d never regain
And I reached my darkest
But You saw me. And you didn’t ignore me.
God You restored me.

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Jan 24

Silence

Why do I hide from the silence?
Because in the silence I find you.

It’s like this mirror that’s held up to me
And most of the time I don’t like what I see
So I duck and I dive and I run and I flee
Well that’s better than facing my inadequacy.

Why do I hide from the silence?
Because in the silence I find you.

It’s like this light that shines in my dark
Revealing the bitterness and pain in my heart
And all the ways that I miss the mark
And how I constantly need to restart.

Why do I hide from the silence?
Because in the silence I find you.

It’s not just the bad it’s the good stuff too
Everything you are and everything you do
It overwhelms me and if I took it all in
Well I know it’d change everything.

So why do I hide from the silence?
Because in the silence I find you.

This world it creates so much noise
With all our technology, gadgets and toys
Staying plugged in is an easier choice
Than to act on the challenge that comes from your voice.

Why do I hide from the silence?
Because in the silence I find you.

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Dec 20

I See Miracles

This one’s for all you festival fakers.
You spiritual high chasers and miracle makers.
Now I know you’ll write me off as a liberal,
Say I’m a little over critical even verging on political
But I see miracles.

Now I’m not disputing what you say you’ve seen
Not saying you’re too keen not trying to be mean.
But I’ve sometimes seen that what we think is mystical
This weird metaphysical is nothing but egotistical

I see miracles.

Not in the stadium shows or front church rows,
Or preachers who teach us how prosperity grows.
Or hyped up, psyched up emotional groans,
Or prophets and healers sitting on thrones.

I see miracles.

In the single Mum with three kids to feed,
Failed by a system of unspeakable greed,
Who chooses work instead of weed,
Despite her need she will succeed.
Or the teenage lad without a Dad,
Who sticks at college when it makes him mad.
Or the bomb blast survivor confined to a chair,
Who’s forgiven her attackers, shocked they just stare.

Greater things than this you’ll see
I know who said it but what did he mean?
The promises on God TV?
Or real people, you and me?

So this one’s for all you festival fakers
You spiritual high chasers and miracle makers.
Now I know you’ll write me off as a liberal,
Say I’m a little over critical even verging on political
But I see miracles.
Yes I see miracles.

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