Poems & Prayers
The tree sprouts up out of the ground
like an oil strike. Beneath I'm spread out
exhausted, drowsy with lunch and reaping.
My family sit proud on laid out sheaves
eating bread, soup and wine. The Lord's
been generous this year but to store it all
we'd need bigger barns. I see a vision.
The children in the village are playing
their games on the green. The older boys
parting the corn fields like a golden ocean
are dragging up jars from the green valley.
The whole view from the corn field down
across counties to the sea is in harmony
but clouds are building on Green Belt hill.
The church bell blows its persevering wind
down among the corn hissing of summer
blessings and good storage for winter sleep.
Men and women are working their shifts.
One reaps, the other bundles fallen corn
and sets each one up against another.
They look like teepees, or tents, or booths.
It's back breaking work, the muscles ache
but I'm done with reaping having been
bitten on the knee by a sickle last summer.
The offender, overtired with desire lost
aim and concentration at the corn stalk
when the industrial dew rose in the heat.
Earth-rooted, the seeds reach up -
their will: born to be wheat.
Possessed and pulled between earth and heaven
and the rain’s suckling teat.
Into the earthly cot leans the sun
to feed his growing family
and the wind in the wheat’s ear whispers
‘You’re the first among many’
Reaper, ripe fruit easily bruises
but shake the tree and most fruit will fall –
straight, bent, bruised or blemished
God made them all.
Sweep that scythe, thresh and press
The wine from the word, the word from the wheat
The wheat from the land of plenty
Where man takes his seat.
God sows the seed. Man reaps the fruit.
God gives it free. Man sets the price.
God knits the soul. Man buys the suit.
God writes his will. Man rolls the dice.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
We thank you Loving Creator God
for all things bright and good;
the seed time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food.
Loving Creator Father,
You have given so much.
We want to give back to You
the love of our hearts,
the service of our lives
the offering of our money too.
Intercessory Prayer (http://www.ctbi.org.uk/pdf_view.php?id=371)
this earth is miraculous and beautiful.
Forgive our confusion and inaction as we confront the challenges of climate change.
In the light of Your truth,
seen so clearly in the life and teaching of Jesus,
help us to re-examine ourselves and our lifestyle choices and see clearly the implications of how we live on all that sustains life on this earth.
May we follow Your leading
in caring for every aspect of this precious world,
which You made, and love.
We pray for world leaders to agree a new, just and radical treaty in Copenhagen that they will protect our fragile world for future generations.
Throughout history You have moved people to do amazing things for the sake of their neighbours.
Inspire us now to work together, as Your people, to change priorities in the way we live, so that we build a fair and safe world for all Your creation; a world where Your will is done as it is in heaven.
How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare Your glory,
the arch of the sky displays Your handiwork.
In Your love You have given us the power
to behold the beauty of Your world,
robed in all its splendour.
The sun and the stars,
the valleys and the hills,
the rivers and the lakes
all disclose Your presence.
The roaring breakers of the sea
tell of Your awesome might,
the beasts of the field
and the birds of the air
proclaim Your wondrous will.
In Your goodness,
You have enabled us to hear
the music of the world.
The voices of loved ones reveal to us
that You are in our midst.
A divine voice sings through all creation
God created the world, so we commit ourselves
To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air
By the Son, all things hold together, so we commit ourselves
To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures of the air, the sea and the land
At Creation, the Spirit moved over the waters, so we commit ourselves
To celebrate the seas
To rejoice in the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars
God, Three in One, created the world, so we commit ourselves
To recreate human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children
We join together,
as diverse expressions of the One Loving God,
to work for the healing of the earth
and the renewal of life.
We watched the sealions
Lumber across the rocks
In clumsy, comic solemnity.
Nudging each other in excuse-me embarrassment.
Those awkward air-breathers
Were changed in a
Spiralling, streamlined, in free-style exuberance.
In their element.
And I thought
Maybe all we air-breathers,
Lumbering through life
Dream secretly of our home-sick souls
Spiralling through eternity
Bathed in glory and infused with joy.
Soaring towards our
You were the first poet.
You spoke words and created a world, a universe, totality, possibility.
And then you lay back on the soft, green grass
And looked at the stars
And laughed with a joy resounding through all this space and all this time.
If I listen very, very carefully
tuning my soul to you
I can still hear your laugh
of joy, of victory
Mending this broken world.
THE LORD GOD BENT DOWN
The Lord God
bent down to touch my face.
He is a very tall gentleman.
Stepping through into the now
He asked “may I?”
I nodded, in awe of
His touch burnt through
Searing my soul.
If you look, you can see the scar
Branded beyond love
Branded beyond time.