Friday, April 27, 2007

Glen Rosa

Rosa Burn again
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
I wrote this poem some years ago, but after a return to the glen yesterday it seems appropriate to reproduce it here - despite the fact that the heady scents of summer were missing on a glorious spring day! The poem appears in Ridgewalk.

Glen Rosa

Once more I have left
The still, incense-laden air of
God's holy places
And come again
To the wild freedom
Of his hills. Here
Thyme's incense never
Fails to breathe its pungent
Perfection and prayer seems
A continual state of being,
Here, where the torrents
Roar in time-worn depths.
And high above, joyous and fragile,
The larksong's antiphon
Soars in the rainwashed air.

© C.M.M.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Supposing him ...

I wrote this poem more than ten years ago, in a year when I lost too many friends. It was inspired, however, by an Eastertide sermon given by one of them, my friend Colin Wheately.


Supposing him to be
The gardener, the Magdalene
Turned for comfort.
As friends are culled,
Choicest blooms from
The garden of my life,
I too must turn to
This gardener of souls.
Fragile as the blossoms
In the beauty that He gave
They now repay the years
Of careful nurture, but no longer
Where I may see them.
Supposing Him to be the gardener,
I cannot grudge Him
His own, but
My garden is barer for their
Passing. I must wait for
The Gardener to come again.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring flowers

Flowers 3
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
A strange gift, this
Small, scarred root
Long buried in barren soil,
But she gave it -
Trembling and fearful of
Winter's mockery on
Spring's new growth.
But the light - the
Light that burst in
Unforeseen splendour
In that silent place
Cherished this precious
Shared flowering in its
Vulnerable birth.
And the wounded gardener
Smiled, and turned from the
Tomb-mouth, and
Left the woman to
Face the dawn.


Saturday, April 07, 2007


Station of the Cross

Bound in the chains
Of our weakness, our spite,
Derided in the purple of
The world’s acclaim,
Our Lord confounds power.
And the people shout
Crucify him
And the weakness of power mutters
Crucify him
And the confusion of the soul whispers
Crucify him
And they lead him forth to
Crucify him.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Night watch

Yesterday's Maundy Thursday poem was written three years ago. This one came to me last night, during the Maundy Watch - always a powerful time of prayer and image.


Is it here, God, in this garden
where the light wind stirs the leaves
silvered in the hard blue moonlight
- is it here that we must struggle
in the dialogue of self with self?
But the words are hardly spoken
when the vast and swelling ache
- a kind of joy, but of such sharpness
that I gasp, and words are stilled -
of the God so close within me
grows and self is marginalised,
pushed towards the edge of being
so that all I know is Him.
In this sudden fiery knowledge
friends who cannot understand
seem ephemeral and tiny –
Pray, I tell them, watch and pray,
as it comes upon me fiercely
that the end is here, this night,
that the God I carry in me
brooks no shrinking from this goal.
Now my soft palms spread in pleading
look so gentle, feel so dear
and this vulnerable body
breathes and weeps in dread of pain,
till the world turns and the strangers
bring this night watch to its close
and the brother’s kiss of greeting
a last gentle touch of love.

©C.M.M. 04/07

Thursday, April 05, 2007


The sun sinks towards the hills
As Christ’s words intertwine
With birdsong. Not the dawn’s
Reminder of betrayal, but a
Sweet and undulating current
Flowing into the dark of evening.
In the shadowed garden the song is
Silenced by advancing night,
The prayer silenced by acceptance.

The world’s careless beauty
Mocks the black flames of death –
Birds sing above the drawn sword,
Trees toss over the betraying kiss,
Green earth absorbs the bloodshed,
Men struggle to the light of a distant dawn.
The earth turns still.