OUR APOCALYPSE TO ADORE - Seaside Psalm 2021 #4


“Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration.” — from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson


It seems the heatwave left us 

There’s no more daytripper blue

Gray clouds like a misty shroud

Are hiding Rathlin Island from view

Scotland has disappeared altogether

Fair Head’s stressing to peer through

Everybody has ran for home

It’s all left for me and you


We laugh happy to have it back

We snigger at what they’re all missing

There is no such thing as an ordinary night

There’s only ordinary looking and listening.


The river’s been reshaping itself again

With today’s weather from glen to shore

Those shifting pebbles are making patterns 

That fill my wonder with mystery galore

Sand martins swoop from off the golf course

Skim the sea surface then back they soar

Everybody has ran for home

It’s yours and my apocalypse to adore. 


We laugh happy to have it back

We snigger at what they’re all missing

There is no such thing as an ordinary night

There’s only ordinary looking and listening.


BC river

I was walking across the beach on my own, a rare expedition, last night and I sensed a nudge to turn off The Wallflowers in my head phones and listen to the something more... I have spoken a lot this week about my bad habit of poking the quiet waters... So I stopped.


Turn the music off

And listen to the wonder

The waves as they lap

The ocean’s big blue yonder


Turn off the music

And listen to the quiet

The rhythm of the silence

The stillness of deep soul’s riot


Tune in to the earth’s allure

And the night sky’s encryption 

Tune in to heaven’s contours

And the evening’s benediction


Turn off the music

Learn the lesson

Here... now... this...

Feel the blessing.


Boris Freedom Day
Cooped up for too long, freedom day at last
No longer confined, no more concerns
Cast away caution and throw all your masks
Good riddance, goodbye, normal life returns
Farewell restrictions, go put them behind
Open your arms to the shops and the bars
Personal freedom for all and you’ll find
Chaos will reign in this country of ours
No matter what’s’ wrong, no matter what’s right
There is one thing that you must understand
I’ll do what I want and go where I like
Rampant and raging, I’ll course through this land
On the same page as Covid deniers
Freedom is mine – says Coronavirus
My mate Paul has been writing a poem every day since we went into Lockdown. This is #511. Two books of his diary of poems are available. To read my review CLICK HERE
On this so called Freedom Day in England, Paul nails it. That which is most free is Coronavirus. It's freedom is freed up when we start playing free and easy with it.
I am hearing the parent say, "You are free children to eat bags and bags of sweeties, bars and bars of chocolate and lashings and lashings of ice cream. Big big risk. Might kill you. BUT I'm not stopping you..." 


Janice July 1

photo: Janice Gordon-Stockman


Waves lapping, sound like prayers

I am led along these quiet waters

Weary sun lays down the burdens

Of everything this day brought her

The beauty of creation’s disposition

Envelopes, a chamber of soul calm

Being still to know that you are God

And a little bit more of who I am. 


Bonfire 12


I have nothing against responsible bonfires on Eleventh night. It is a part of the culture of a large percentage of our Northern Ireland population. However, when flags and effigies, symbols of the people that God loves and Jesus gave his life for, are set on fire on the bonfires then it screams of a culture of hate. I pray for, and commit myself to, creating better cultures across our land.


Strike the match of supposed tradition

Listen for what the flames tell

In every flag or effigy burning

There’s a crackle of the devil’s yell

This is no cultural celebration

This is the hate of the clan

Sectarianism in petrol and wood

The fires of hell being fanned


So, let’s take all those empty pallets

Old tyres, their tread worn thin

Pile our pride there, way up high

With all our arrogance and sin

Hurl on myths that we’ve been told

All those lies and exaggerations

The caricatures we paint ourselves

That cripple our children and nation

Watch the sparks of repentance fall 

Our Troubles burn in the flickering light

Warmed by loving of even enemies

On a glorious bonfire night. 



(a poetic reflection on pastoral situations... An episode of Call The Midwife gave me the "God is not in..." and "Sometimes you’ve got to live on through/Until you find yourself alive again"... The last lines are from Isaiah 43 which I do use regularly...)


God is not in the war

He didn’t drop the drones

But he is there in the debris

Among the screams and moans

You still waken in the night

The trauma reruns in your head

Pungent stench of bloodied flesh

Zipping body bags of all our dead.


The dark gets darker in your darkness

Not a glimmer of a flicker at its end

Sometimes you’ve got to live on through

Until you find yourself alive again.


God is not in the divorce

He isn’t into breaking hearts

He is in the coming to terms

Tenderly touching the jagged parts

You’re paralysed in the piercing pain

Disorientation in the drifting alone

Guilty at all the lives now fractured

Your children confused about home.


The dark gets darker in your darkness

Not a glimmer of a flicker at its end

Sometimes you’ve got to live on through

Until you find yourself alive again.


The rivers will sweep

I will be there

The waves will crash deep

And I will be there

The blazing flames will creep

And yes I will be there.


Stocki  Jani and Fair Head 21


I've got a circle of gold on my finger

It speaks of promises and trust

Seems love doesn’t last too long these days

This ring reminds me that ours must

And if everything is burning down

And if everyone is falling apart

The vows we made and the prayers we prayed

Should give us strength deep in our hearts

So would you come and spend some time with me

Would you make that time forever

Would you lift me when I’m feeling down

And rebuke me when I’m not clever

Would you be my partner in this waltz

My companion in this mystery

Would you be my hope through TV news

My touch of grace in the misery

Would you let me come and dry your eyes

Let me be there to share your sorrow

Marriage is more than a wedding day

It’s the hard work of tomorrow

So come away on our adventure

By the soul mate by my side

Tapping the potential of you and me

So His love won’t be denied.


25 years ago today I wrote those words.

Promises. Commitment. Romance. Companionship. Resilience. Hope. Vocation. All the words that make up a marriage.

"Love is not these lovely 25 years but the..." Words still to be lived. 


Come Come Away


Come, come away my love

We'll find a cottage by the sea 

We'll hide from loving everyone

To seek to love you and me

Yes, let us head up north again

Slip off the beaten track

Find a place to rest our souls

And never look back.


And we'll gaze on the Mull of Kintyre

From the pillow of our mid morning bed

While the world is scanning TV stations

We'll walk the seas of Moyle instead

And stare in both daughters' mischievous eyes

And then lavish them with love

Watching them getting to know too much

And never getting to know enough

And we'll open other people's stories

Allow them to delve inside our souls

Reflect on the days of all that's gone

And re-focus on tomorrow's goals

Yes, we'll find a place for us to stop

To look, to listen and to learn

Allow our candle just a little flicker

Instead of that pressurised burn.


Come, come away my love

And let our love have its way

For love is full of satisfied

When it lies full of empty days.