Ten fingers
Ten toes
He’s beautiful
Cheeks aflame with rose and life
He’s perfect.

A baby’s squall
Those tiny fists
Hands that in one day
The whole world will fit.

The smell of earth
And dirt and hay
The cavalcade of pilgrim faces

Mary’s chest is one of treasure
Prophesy stored in a wondering heart
Who is this son,
Who is this Son?

Joseph stands aloft
His mind running a dizzy course
Who is this son-to-be?
Who is this son to be?

Who is this Son?

As time forms and dictates His outer skin
As brothers and sisters clamour to appear and graft into this lineage of kin
This One set apart whose Father’s business He gets in – a soul been fully forged before time began says
“My time is

Crowd. Trial. Crown.
Repent for the time is now.
Crucifix. Pierced. The breath is gone.
Forgive them Father as the veil is torn
Surely this was the son of God
surely the one we hoped for is gone surely the one we walk with we knew him not
surely the women afraid announce him wrong we visit the grave but He is gone we visit the grave He is no more we visit the grave and He says “No more. It is done!”.

Why seek the living amoung the…
Why seek the dead when He is no longer…

Whose is this



Ten fingers.
Ten toes.
Three nails.
One spear.
He’s beautiful
Cheeks aflame as he rose to life
Cheeks aflame as we too are rose to life
Hope aflame because now is life.

He’s perfect.


Mary: She of Grit and Mince.

Technically the tiniest
Form of new life
Two cells
Before the split
One flesh
And then it divides
But instead of mere halving
It’s a harvest that multiples
Becoming twice as much
And much more again
Exponential growth at a rate of knots
In the gelatinous slop of fluid

Christ the

I wonder if Mary had morning sickness?

After all, she didn’t float on clouds of glory so the Son of Stories could be given –
gut-wrenching, side-splitting, wall-tearing, earth-shattering, pelvic widening, heart-aching, oh GOD, is this God, oh the humanity, hold my hand, I can’t breathe,
Breathe –
birth to.

It was the immaculate conception, not an immaculate birth.

That stuff is messsssss-

I suppose Mary didn’t feel special beyond measure
in that moment
When the world seemed to shift and pitch under her

When at the outset she
eat certain foods

Or as the hormones from a tiny baby inside her womb pinched and wrecked her moods
(Is there such thing as Holy Hormonal Acne?)
Oh the indignity
Oh the humanity
Oh the mundanity
Of this average Diety-pregnancy

Author of the earth
Being written code by code
Christ the Embryo
Inside her.

But I bet sometimes she could sit
And feel
And listen
And hear
The tiny growls within her body
The alien shape of a Holy Somebody
Beneath her own flesh
The flesh of the One
Who was, and is, and is to come
Taking shape within her very self.

It’s sacrilege.

You don’t put a Bentley in an overstuffed shack.
You don’t put a rolex in a student’s backpack
you SHOULDN’T cram the
SAVIOUR of the WORLD in the WOMB of a WOMAN and when she’s pre-pregnant,
Just a random girl who loves the Lord wandering AROUND – let HER hear and divine the Divine Word of God

I’m a virgin, how can I?
Yes, Lord though I
Deeply troubled by the

Your will be done
Even I
Am your servant.

Like mother, like son.

And that poem that poured forth from her heart
Like speech from stars
Like Jupiter and Mars
And books and rabbis and streams
And choirs and Holy choruses for centuries since,
Well, she was the one of meat and mince
Who agreed to host
In the most
Intimate way
The one who had no home
And yet owns the universe.

Mary did you know
When that tiny zygote began to grow
That all your most private places, words and hidden thoughts
Would be put on display
In a thousand languages
For ages since?

You were a woman of grit.

And as you watched that full grown babe-now-man,
Hung upon a tree, his face turned upwards and then towards thee
Binding you with his last breath to a foreign son
My time has come
It hadn’t come then, woman,
But now it’s come,
And you wished to mop the blood from his brow, and back,
And lips,
And kiss that head with tenderness,
And you wonder in a quiet moan
In the hollow place
Where the treasure kept has since poured out on the floor of the throne room
Why, take, my, son?

And you remember holding him
His tender curls
His face by yours
The smell of life
The freshness of birth
Of a God born in a
human woman,
The remanant of your own flesh and blood upon his face,
Knowing your Flesh and Blood must
And become truly
Once for all
The source of all life

Your Father, Son and Spirit

Christ the Lord
My Word
he’s grown
Your will be…
(And it is…)
And it is
well with

Thou blessed among women.

Plastic Bag Trees

We deserve trees with only
plastic bags
for leaves

Great bare sticks
Stuck through
A supermarket throw away plastic sac
And the rustling of unnatural fabrications

Gently catching the breeze
Breathing like toxic jellyfish
A bag in the hand
Is worth 8 million tonnes of plastic in the sea.
Every year
I can hardly bear
To consider that

Don’t stand in that ocean.
Don’t bathe in that sea
Toxic waste.

Who will think of all
the plastic bags
Stuck in trees?
And underpasses?
And land fill?

A couple million years
They’ll be in better nick than
The human race will.

Consider the birds in the sky

They don’t toil or labour or spin
They just hang around, always scavenging
I wonder if a sparrow gets depression
I saw a sign at the train
Don’t feed the pigeons
Or the birds.

Ain’t they a bird?
Just a nuisance.

And those birds
So care free and free loading
(get a job)
Probably couldn’t live in these trees of plastic folly
These testaments to our human
The taste of bitter climate change
Really warming the cockels of our hearts
And our oceans

But God cares for them,
Petty thieves.
And even more,
Still gives us trees
of life giving power
Literal breath
From their green leaf tips
Rising like nature’s tongues
Stuck out in defiance

Of our ambivalence
Here, take mine,
They say
The kiss of life.

From every stick
And nook
And cranny
That undeserved
in the face
Of literal death.

So while my wholesale opinion
Is that humans deserve nothing more
Than the wholehearted oblivion we seem to be steaming ahead for
Well in the words of my mother
You’re lucky I’m not God
In my own words
Thank God for the Christ

Who thaws frozen hearts
Who restores broken dreams
Builds up deserted planets
Plants seeds in deserts

Gives us trees —
With her myriad
poky out tongues with which she mouths
‘life’ —
And he gently unwinds those plastic monstrosities

Those dry, manufactured
Man made artifical places
And says

Here, take mine.

Be renewed.

White Noise

I would have thought

that if you stacked up all my problems

Like jenga blocks

With all my shortcomings and frailties and failures and frankly all the crap bits

That this murmuring muttering stair way to heaven wouldn’t actually get this first-world-problem-leaden-heart any closer to his kingdom coz let’s face it,

it ain’t exactly world starvation is it?


And yet while we are on that subject (thanks for mentioning it) I would like to interject – (no seriously, cheers) – that the problems that beset the world on a global scale…

like an off-the-Richter how-we-measure-social-inequality scale –

like, ‘Do they seriously not have Facebook yet?’ kinda scale

Seem to be the silk buttend of a parachute slowly melting over my face and filling my nostrils

with too much fabric and I can’t breathe – clawing-at-my-throat and I-can’t-see-my-Samsung-Galaxy-to-ask-my-friends-if-they-wanna-have-brunch

kind of affair.

Written down, that would make a helluva run-on sentence

but I see hell-bent around the necks of those who cant yet write a sentence – be it sex or education or the region that you’re born in…

be it Christian Muslim Maoist – poverty at least doesn’t discriminate upon the lines of religion – and the restriction of women and the suppression of your freedom or the trafficking of bodies for the enjoyment of the heathen or the broken or the beaten or the whoever you wanna call them

but it can’t be



I’m not buying pornography.

I’m not buying clothes

made in factories

made in…

… where is somewhere poor again?


Where is somewhere where the climate of the country and the climate of the economy coincide in some kind of unholy matrimony of tropical weather and topical never-s and “The UN condemns strongly the actions of THIS country”?


You know it’s the funniest thing.

It’s on the tip of my tongue.

It’s on the lips and the rings and the shackles of daughters and sons.

See I could write a poem, pretty and bright or witty and trite – a bio of the bio-hazardous waste and illogical waste of life that appears like a red scree of dammed names in a roll of dames and dudes in slavery

across the planet who I can flippantly allude to, and together we could collude to feel moved for a minute or three or two or however expressive I’m feeling at





But I’m not that crude.


At least I hope that I’m not – that it’s not for me to wield a pen rather than a sword – when my allegiance is to Christ and his word and it’s power and strength and at length he will return

in flesh

and see me

in flesh

and his church

bereft of the ones we were too middle class on a good day to reach out to.


I’m not in the blame game.

I’ll cut those heart strings that we are both worried I’m pulling and won’t pull the card of religon to try catch you all up in.


But I will play the – “widows and orphans.”

I will play the – “for all of creation.”

I will play the cello of sorrow for the aborted tomorrows of those lost to Famine. Infanticide. War. Neglect. Abuse.


But to those who still have a heart BEAT in their chest and a slight sheen on their brow though their back may be broken and their limbs are all bowed

to the ones who cry ‘justice’ and justice has not come

to the ones who cry justice and justice has not come and to the

ONES WHO CRY ‘JUSTICE!’ AND JUSTICE HAS NOT COME: I say I will claw this fog, this luxurious silk

and all it’s cloying, destroying ilk from my face and ask:


JESUS give me the way the heart the eyes the ears to say

I’m coming!


I’m coming. I hear you. We are coming. I hear you.

We are coming.

No secondhand holy.

What do you say

When words have lost their meaning?

How do you live

With a heart that’s not really beating?

How do you belong

When the saints have already begun their meeting, now,
And you’re waiting outside, to be allowed,

And a uniform or the brass band or your life group isn’t the same source of life that you once found
When you began

What do you do
When the only blaze in blood and fire are that they’re emblazoned on the flag now?


What’s in a NAME when

salvation and


are just two words written on the stage and the pages of a song book or maybe your nana’s grave
And what do you say to a little girl only four years old
Asking her grandma what do soldiers do?

What do you do
When mere words
Faulty words
Short circuit and
they fail you?

Where do you go
when church just means that building on Sunday?
How do you pray?
you pray
How do you pray?
When you feel there’s a right way and a wrong way
And youre afraid, nah you’re pretty sure
That no matter which way you pray
It’s always the wrong way

How do you know… JESUS
When at school he is a curse word
And at home, the invisible teacher telling you not do things?

How do you know… God
When you only know what you’ve been told and the songs you sing, but you haven’t been bold enough to ask him your own questions you been wondering,
Coz you’re worried they’re too tough to begin with and there’s no way he can answer em.

How do you respond

when people ask isnt this just another religion?
What makes you a soldier in an army of salvation?
How can God let bad stuff happen?
When people say what do you believe in
Describe yourself in three words
And all you’ve got to give to them is
‘I think, Christian?’

The dodo is a bird
maybe you’ve heard of them
It became extinct
hundreds of years ago
And we only know
what we think
we know
Feathers wing ugly beak
Is froma collection of sketches
And a couple of bones
Left behind in the sediment
Here lies the dodo
Our knowledge is
A monument to a shadow.
No flesh and bones.

Theres a reason we didn’t find Jesus’ bones.

Theres a reason we didn’t find Jesus’ bones!

Because his testament is NEW and he testifies to being raised to new life.
And that means we don’t need sketches from scholars
Or men with white collars
No shifting shadows or half baked promises
Others telling us what they think they know they know
Avout God
But we get to know
For ourselves
In technicolor
Real time
Flesh and blood
And revealed
In one another.

And Jesus says that our dry bones WILL come alive
He just says the word
and the Word
will bring the dead to life

And He ays that this Army of dry bones
will awake
By blood and by fire
She will go on to take new ground
That you wont have to wait or second guess or get secondhand holy interpretation
But by the power of the Holy Spirit will rightly divide the Word of God and go on to overpower satan,
be given the words for every occasion

And it’s for right now
Not some future destination
You’re never too young or old
The water is
For any
who hun

For the broken bread of

And how do I know what I think I know?
Because the Bible tells me so
you will seek and you will find, call and I will answer
That you may know that when the word made flesh came down and chose to walk amongst us it was

Immanuel god with us
amid Imago Dei

let us make them in our image

Word made flesh wasn’t just a metaphor
It means

Every time you run out of WORDS
you cant find the thing to SAY
To God
Word made flesh came down
Breathes fresh life into dry bones

I am

I am
Dont worry
I am the way
The truth
the life…

And we’re an army of belonging – its te ope whakaora – the army that brings life, an army of restorers

So if you’ve lost and lost and lost
and you’re too tired to even come
And you can’t face putting your game face on
Know there is one
Who is the Word
when we have none
And this Word never fails,
Falls short, or breaks
He never breaks his

He is the first word
And he is the last one.
It is done.

Do you have dry bones, friend, hidden under layers of old sediment?
Do you have fossilized mistakes that you’re pretty sure you just can’t repent
A museum of frames and beautifully arranged bones
In the shape of a dinosaur or dodo?
Here lies Jesus Christ.

Its time to let go of
All the things you think you know you know,
About God
because you’ve been afraid
– Nah, you’re pretty sure –
That he’s not going speak to you
No more?

Hold your tongue.
Here I come.
Flesh and blood.

I am the way
The truth
I am the way
The truth
The life

Let me show you:

I say to this
Valley of dry bones
Go from skeletons to holy homes
Flesh of my flesh and bones of my bones
A body made up of holy believers
A Bride made up
Christ waits to receive her,
A boundless salvation, so rich and so free
An army of salvation, is calling to me.

You want words?
I’ll give you three:

Come to life.
Come to life.
Come to life.

Come to Me.

Is there not a better way

‘What I have written, I have written.’
Said Pilate
The accusation of a leery crowd
Weighing loud
Against the ruler
Given so violently and just as easily taken
‘If you crucify him not, you are no friend of Caesar’,
And with that weasley threat
Mixing with confusion and sweat –
‘There are one hundred thousand strong witnesses!’ Pilate plaintively cries –
Take this beam and crucify
This Man
Who sets himself up as
our king.

Write not that he is,
But that he SAYS
I am.

Write not that he is
That is
The king
But that he says
‘I am.’

Head in my hands
My wife’s note crumpled and shoved
Down the front of my robe
What would she know?
What does she know?
‘Have nothing to do with this
Innocent lamb
This sinless
I’ve washed my hands but they’re still

It is be-
I, the Lord, love justice
And yet there are two criminals hanging
Left and right
Beside me, like so much washing
Life ebbing away as the morning approaches evening
And I do not rebuke them
One is insulting
The other is broken
‘He has done nothing,
Remember me when you come to your kingdom.’

I have come for captives’ freedom
I have come to restore new Eden
I have come that there is no word ‘heathen’ but blessed, redeemed and the price paid
as they take their pound of flesh
(Plus one hundred and fifty more)

The butcher’s blocks
Hoisted into a cross
And the pounds whipped off
By the cat-o-nine
Nine am when they hung me
Three on a hill
Three in the Trinity
One crying still
Why have thou forsaken me?

A crown plaited well
No daisy chain
But shredded palms remain
From the frenzied forging
Of rabid statesmen
– thorn, barb, spear –
– kill, lie, steal –
Sharp objects
No beauty Laurel
No job well done
A deeply gouged brow
Sweat drops and real blood
My eyes are bruised shut.

The oil of joy
Is so far from me
I hear the distant thump
Of war drums
Or blood rushing in my ear drums
‘This day you’ll join me in paradise.’
The woman of Bethany
The woman of Mary
Their oil heralded victory
A king is born
And so a king must die.

Hebrew, Latin and Greek
The accusations run deep
Or testimony
The writing is on the wall of heaven
The King of the Jews
Surely this was –
Surely I am.

The garment of praise
Is less luxurious mink
Than a technicolour nightmare coat
The father’s favorite son
Torn apart by wolves
I had a dream, brothers – you all bowed down and worshipped me
The choir must be warming up
Holding breaths
Waiting for the conductor
The harmony of Heaven
Hung on a tree

So this is Victory?

Sometimes I wonder why I keep looking to see
Success as marked out by modernists
Or historians
Rather than what my Saviour says
A rooster crowing
Knowing my three-time denial and yet
I am still a rock that gets to build the church.
Sometimes I marvel at Pilate’s
Ineffective chess moves –
Pawn takes Rook-ie
Bishop takes King

‘What I have written, I have written.’ A final act of defiance.

Sometimes I wonder that the robe of purple and crown of thorns that assaulted my Saviour as he was slapped and
Still didn’t come close to the crowning glory
Of a dirty burial shroud
And a broiled fish
I am flesh and bone
Touch me.

Take this cup from me and yet not I but
‘What I have written I have written’

And now I am writing to say
I agree
And so also,
In the same way
Write me.

Thank God for common unity


Curtailed eternity
By marking it
(At least in the minds
Of human)

God authored
Before we
Before sin took root
To stand defiant, opposite, the poison to the antidote
Before the sacrifice required
Love himself
To be torn apart

God authored hope
Before we knew
How to hope

God began it into being
With inevitability
Newton’s cradle
Before the cradle that held the saviour
Before the wood that made the manger
Before the wheat that became the hay
Before the zygote begot the babe
Before the virgin saw the heavenly being
Before the first creature blew out its first breath and then
The first woman and man blinked, his heart rejoicing
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh – never will I
Be lonely again

Dot dot dot…

Before the first pen was picked up to inscribe holy words on holy tablets
Holy edicts on holy hearts
Holy marks on holy hands
The author of all began it again



Strange free spirit.

‘Side eye Chloe’
Is a meme of a little girl
Looking askance
At her mum
Filming her
And the disdainful scorn
Belied in her eyes
Captured many a heart
Many a moment
Of incredulity
That only a Facebook Gif
Could correctly summarize with
‘Side eye chloe’.

The Holy Spirit
Strangely translucent
Achingly strange
And brutally familiar
The breath that sings through
Screeching wheels of trains
And tiny mouths of babes
And the croaking prayer
Of an old faithful prayer warrior
Treading familiar paths of hope
A breath in their trachea
‘Tis Christ
‘Tis Christ
‘Tis Christ

Foxes have holes
And birds have nests
He said to a follower
Stalking out the highest and lowest of dwelling
The closest to heaven
The closest to earth
If I make my bed on the heights
Or in the depths
Still the Spirit finds me
And the son of Man finds no place to rest.

Oh Holy Spirit
Come let me tame you
Parade you like a
Seeking to gain the world
And lose his soul
But you dance askance
You laugh riotously
You twitch uproariously
You bid us to follow
A motley crew
A grateful alliance
The highest and lowest
Following you.

So let it be with greatest joy
And gentle humility
And open grace
That we traipse and dance and pledge and trudge
In the light foot-kissed earth of your remembrance

Let it not be as
Side eye Chloe
Or as the ‘child catcher’
With our tazers and nets on alert
For to try to truly possess you
Is to truly not know you
– But let our freedom be from your freedom
Our strangeness from your strangeness
Our familiarity from your family
And together we will dart
And fly
And flee


He shall bruise your heel
Bruise your heel
He shall bruise your heel
And you shall
Crush his head

Oh Lord
That my head
And Your heart
Would be one.
Begotten Son; that this body
This bread
Would be broken
And know where it is buttered
Thine is the kingdom
Did I stutter
For thine is the kingdom
Not mine
To conquer
That the yeast of the pharisees would not give rise
To an uprising of religion
In my heart
An uprising of
‘Barabbas, Barabbas release to us Barabbas’
Because Barabbas gives us status
(At least the crowds all know his name!)
And Christ
Is a curse word
Cursed on a tree
Breaking the sentence.

Strips right back
Stripes in his back




‘Blood memory’, I read,
Runs through the veins
In tribal religion –
Calling to mind
Of lost generations
Ancestors in ancient gone-nations
Spilled blood of Abel.

Crying out for justice.

DNA at a crime scene
Cut me and I bleed Jesus
When Rosy speaks is it in the key of
Lord let me be the servant well pleasing

Forgiving what I just

Let your blood not just be memory
But now
Messing up my clothes
Messing up my ‘perfection’
Open the blind-ers
And let the Son in

Let me see the Head of the church
No pope
No general
No man made appointment
But the Divine Child of the one whose ointment
Of anointing came from an alabaster jar of a woman
Whose kingship and his son ship
Was heralded by death and ressurection
That your divinity came down that in death we might arise to live again

So then turn
Your eyes
Upon Jesus
When your boots don’t fit
And the trail is long and unwieldy and the GPS is still searching for your location
Know whose blood memory your history is situated in
And let down you hair
To wipe his feet with your tears
Announce the Good News
Run from the tomb
Even as you are despised, called crazy and they have to go see for themselves.

Victory for us
Isn’t yet triumphal marching
Victory for us
Isn’t yet a walk of celebration
Victory for us
Is our incessant soldiering
Knowing the battle is won
Is won
Is won
And we gotta keep fighting.

To she who overcomes:

‘Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.’

That’s in Revelations
And you shall have the revelation
That while he might bruise your heel
The blood vessels heal
Just as spiritual vessels heal
We have been healed
Will heal
And you
will deliver
Like Your Deliverer

Signs of the timez

I am a Geiger counter

Am I crazy?
I wonder daily
Testing old scars
To judge the weather

But it’s not sore knees
And torn Achilles
Or an old football injury
Because let’s be frank
My line of battle
Is more along the lines of carpal tunnel syndrome
Or eye strain
Or a poorly-worded email

But it’s a bitter taste
After a word seemingly
Doesn’t bring life
And the Gospel’s sight
Is not one-sided
Bringing life to the many
At the expense of the few

There’s just one
Might readily claim that honour.

They say that dogs and animals
Have a keener sense of everything
Which is maybe why they dislike me
Because I desperately long for them to love me
And maybe that’s repulsive
To the average soul –

Let alone a human one.

So when the beast lifts its head
And pricks its ears
Shouldn’t we too take notice
‘What is it, girl?’
A sensory alarm more
Sensitive than our own.

So why is it now
When the leafy fig tree
Bearing no fruit
Quickly withers
From the scorn of the Lord
When the inhospitable Christian
Slamming prison doors
And food larders
And heart … whatevers
… What magic Invisibility cloak do we think we have
To not discern the signs
Of a wayward life – our own?

When did we become enthralled with the idea of table flipping Jesus
(Or at least the flimsy rock star heathen version)
– Divorced from the tradition of a life steeped in righteousness
And perfect unity with the Father –
As we wait for our place we paid for quietly
To march in and set up shop in the temple
While the other sellers gather their goods spilled by the saviour onto the floor?

The prophets are the Geiger counter
Counter to culture and cultural gain
Shedding the lime light and embracing pain
As they give birth to a word
That labours heavy on their hearts
Discerning the times
The vapour in the air
The seismic shifts as the tectonic plates shear
Rock off each other
The Richter Scale
Announcing the movements
In the bowels of the earth
Before the eye
Can see.

So will you hear, friend
When we have every test imaginable
To categorise the journeys of blood cells and baby penguins and the charting of planets
When the word from the Lord is not static
But we hear through the prophets
The moving of the Lord
Nor despising the day of small beginnings
The depth of the plumb line
Laid before
The foundations of the world.

So go find that treasure
Buried in the field
Use your metal detector
And the sword of the Spirit
Sell all you have
Rush and tell all your friends
Behold ‘Come and see! Here is he
Who told me everything I ever did.’

‘It is you, Nathanael, who were under a tree’

The Lord sees.