The Wedding Surprise

The Wedding Surprise

A man, a king, invites us all to jump
to make his own world great again, not ours.
Tyrants by all names, Putin or called Trump,
Imagine the world subject to their powers.

We first seek God among the many decent,
Who find their names inscribed on the king’s floor-plan.
Their gold-edged invitations the king has sent
To let them think they’re different from the poor man.

But the poor are there, waiters, homeless sons,
Ice addicts, women trafficked, trapped and cowed,
Like ‘Where’s Wally’ we watch the poorer ones,
Try to see God hidden among the wedding crowd.

Look! That person who may be from the slum,
God, roughly dressed and humble, has finally come.

  • Matthew 22:1-14
  • Jesus begins his parable, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like a man, a king, (anthropo basiliei)’, perhaps warning the reader not to identify God with this human tyrant.
  • fabbi-fabbio-wedding-procession

    The Wedding Procession – Fabbi Fabbio (1861-1946)


For St Francistide

We’re still in the Octave of the Feast of St Francis, so I post below my poem, in a lighter tone, for this year’s feast. 

[You can still buy copies of Sonnets for Sunday here (or scroll done from this post.]


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It’s no bad thing
to celebrate the feast of St Francis
with a dog and no-one else.

I called the dog
‘God’ last night.
She didn’t mind. It suited her.

I’ve missed Mass today
and played with the dog.
She finds joy in a chewed-up old toy.

I wept a little reading my novel,
she jumped on the arm of the chair
and licked my face wet.

We met her canine companion Chloe
at the park. They ran and played at growling.
I saw a wide smile spread across her face.

She grounds herself flat, not in submission,
but in humility, greeting all humans
and dogs as we pass.

Some call her cute,
but that’s irrelevant on Francis’ day –
She runs her race with boundless spirit.



God’s Great matter – Trinity Sunday


On the Tables of Kindred, Affinity,
We’re joined most closely to holy Trinity:
Father, good Spirit and Brother in divinity,
In the cycles of love we are caught.

This is love by intention and by descent,
Chosen because searching our God has sent
the Son wherever He haunts His sheep’s scent:
By God’s loving desire we are sought.

Chosen too because we’re God’s own pedigree,
Though human, divine surprisingly agree,
Being loved is God’s and our life’s apogee,
This by creeds and by prayer we are taught.

So we look in our humanity to find
Ourselves in the Lord’s great matter entwined.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
  • Matthew 28:16-20


Arise, ablaze (Epiphany)

Arise, ablaze because your light now beams,
Godly insight, shine on just abiding aims.
The darkness that would cover earth still dreams
Of battle victory in Satanic games.

The poverty of the poor brought to nought,
The dryness of the drought be drowned in rain,
The violence of the vicious be stopped short,
The upright once disgraced honoured again.

So yes: God’s mystery wise has been revealed,
the Gospel locked in sepulchre set free,
and Jesus master of this battle-field
is fruiting flower of the frankincense tree.

For darkness has no means of quenching light:
Wise men blaze in the beacon of Twelfth Night.

  • Isaiah 60:1-6,
  • Psalm 72:1-7,10-14,
  • Ephesians 3:1-12,
  • Matthew 2:1-12

Adoration of the Magi, Andrea Mantegna, 1495-1505. Painting in John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Be Born Again – Lent 2, Year A

Would you really choose to be born again?
you heave for breath as you come down to earth,
bathed in piss and blood and distracted pain.
Cut the soggy swill of placental afterbirth.

This grotesque play, this miraculous coming,
This in-spiration makes earth self-aware,
You bear the pain, you seek joy in becoming,
You miss the past; but the future is where

Abram, when he experienced new birth,
was ordered to set out; and he travelled
from one side to the other of known earth:
How his heart’s security unravelled!

New human life takes always death maternal,
For no way else may we share life eternal.


I walk this distant red gorge path alone.
My feet seek strength but I fear its sheer side,
I reach out searching for my God: unknown.
I touch nothing and weep; my faith has died.

I trudge on with the bread and blood and Word
These connect me to the church not to God.
“Scriptura sola” is literally absurd
My only joy is that others have trod

This way; and overstepped the bounds of linking.
I’ve lost the power to feel where God creates,
Abandoned zeal, fearing downfall, am sinking —
Instead of love, my worship isolates.

I falter, fall, free-fall down the chasm deep,
I faithless, God grasps me, who makes the leap.

  • Matthew 17:1-13
  • Luke 9:28-36

Solo pilgrim – Way of St James, Spain