Tagged: poetry

May 02

Who’s That Lady?

A poem written in memory of my Grandmother, and read out at her funeral.

Another Christmas Day came,
This one not the same.
We didn’t want you alone in the old people’s home,
So we gathered all together at my brother’s house
And you sat in the corner as quiet as a mouse.

By then dementia was doing its thing
You’d point and say “who’s that? There, him!”
“Do you know that lady? Look there’s a baby!”
The long-term memories you seemed to retain,
But shorter term things were like treasure mislaid.

So I knew what was coming as I sat by your side,
You asked “who’s that lady?” I replied, “Gran that’s my wife”.
Your face filled with shock,
Eyes locked, jaw dropped.
You laughed “don’t be silly, she’s not, you what?!”

I began to worry you’d reject not accept me,
Or worse still rebuke and correct me.
Or say being gay just wasn’t right in your day,
Despite years ago telling me you thought it was ok.
Instead you took my hand as your eyes filled with love,
And said ‘as long as you’re happy dear, well that’s enough’.

Relief flooded through me, the conversation was done,
Christmas resumed with food, presents and fun.
I didn’t know minutes later the same question would come,
Then every twenty minutes till the day was done.
I’ve never come out so many times in one day,
I should’ve worn a t-shirt saying REMEMBER I’M GAY!

So now as it’s time to say goodbye,
I think often of that Christmas gone by.
How that moment is perfection in its reflection of you.
Your unedited acceptance of the person I am,
I won’t ever forget it, or you, lovely Gran.


Nov 02

The Same Fire

The same fire that inspires me
To burn bright
To change lives
To not lose sight
To shine like a light

Is the same fire that requires me
To stop before burning up
To not be too hot to touch
To light up the sky but not too much
To resist the self-destruct

How can fire be held in a human heart,
Without breaking it apart?


Oct 02

Let Me Be Like Autumn

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Born from mighty oaks.
Rooted in the unseen.
Feeding, nourishing,
Provoking growth.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Unbreakable but bendable. Dependable.
Aware of all that’s nourished me,
But able to let it go.

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Falling with grace at a gentle pace,
Unafraid to change, unafraid to leave.
Letting go, moving on.
Staying near, but in a new place.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Formed from the layers of before.
Every season shaping and making me,
Good and bad, sun and storm,
I embrace it all.


Aug 02

The Simple Fact

It’s a sitting back,
Shoulders relaxed,
Lungs contract at the simple fact…

You have been with me each day that is done,
And you will be with me each day that will come.


Jun 02

What If?

What if I didn’t have to close my eyes
To see the things I want to see.
What if they were right in front of me.
What if I could begin to believe
What if I could feel my lungs breathe
What if I let my heart dream.

What if things turned out better than expected
Profits higher than projected
Application accepted
Contingency plans rejected.

What if everything broken could be reconnected
What if everyone in danger could be protected
what if everything dead could be resurrected.

What if…


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…


Mar 18

These Are Things That Can Go Together

A poem inspired by a blog written by Danielle Strickland –

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.


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.


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.


Jan 24


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.