MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Body Language by Garry Kilworth


After a considerable gap, we caught up with friends Garry and Annette Kilworth recently. We were aware that Garry was a prolific writer in several genres (profile below) but I had not realised he wrote poetry. Some of his work resonates very well with the themes and aims of my blog. So I am grateful to Garry for his permission to publish one of his poems today and a further one with an unusual Lenten theme in the early part of next year.

Garry is also a skilful photographer and whilst we visited a reservoir-side bird hide with them, a kingfisher gave us an exquisite display just a few metres from the hide. That welcome little surprise seems to have a parallel in the first line of Garry’s poem - and you’ll find the gorgeous photo Garry took of the Kingfisher that Garry took below 

Body Language

When an eagle vaults the sky
or inventive Man spears deep space
at superhuman speed,
or a seed bursts like a bomb
and expands,
God is talking
with his hands.


© Garry Kilworth



Kingfisher at Alton Reservoir
photographed by Garry Kilworth
November 2017

Garry Kilworth has been a writer of fiction for almost 40 years and has published some 80+ novels and collections of short stories as well as four volumes of poetry. The genres in which he mainly writes are: science fiction, fantasy, young adults' literature, historical novels and general fiction. He has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal twice, has won the Children's Book of the Year Award, the World Fantasy Award and also the Charles Whiting Award for Historical Fiction. His website, is www.garry-kilworth.co.uk.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wicken Fen: November.

A second visit to Wicken Fen (National Trust wetland reserve) within a couple of weeks prompted a return to the poem started after the first visit 
Photo by Pam
 which prompted part of this poem

Wicken Fen: November.
 Stillness had wrapped the fen in her embrace,
nothing moved save the occasional reed
nudged at its base by creature unseen,
a brief, barely imperceptible interruption
of the enormous silence.

Above us, lazy clouds stole quietly across the vast sky,
punctuating the blue with subtle hues
of grey and white, with edges tinted
orange, pink and cream
as the sun drifted lower in the early winterscape.

We sit, eliminating even the faint sound of our footfall on the boardwalk,  
and our souls rest content in this Divinely given, cherished flatland.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

TRUTH Sets Us Free by Roger Pullin

Roger, who wrote both words and tune of this song is a marine biologist who works internationally. He is also a member of Christians in Science and responded warmly to an invitation I put out through that organisation to contribute songs of faith and science towards the collection of such songs we are gathering together for singing in primary schools This is the first of three songs and feels VERY appropriate just now. It  draws on the words of Jesus in John 8.32 and gives them a contemporary sense
Roger Pullin
 God sends truth to me and you,
 Truth through faith a-nd science too,
 Truth in bo-dy-mind and soul,
 Sets us free and makes us whole.

Sets us free, free! free!!
You and me, me! me!!
Sets us free, free! free!!
You and me, me! me!!

Find chords and suggestions of how to best sing the song below and a printable score below that


TRUTH (SETS US FREE!) by Roger Pullin

Introduction[2]: C, Em, Am, Em/ F, C, G/ Em Am F, C/ G, C/

Verse[3] 1:  C       F      C         F    C    G
                God sends truth to me and you
                Em      Am       D            D7        G
                Truth through faith a-nd science too
                C    EmAmEm F      C      G
                Truth in bo-dy-mind and soul
                EmAm F      C     G                C
                Sets us free and makes us whole

Chorus[4]:   C  F    C
                Sets us free, free! free!!
                 F    BF
                You and me, me! me!!
                 G    C   G
                Sets us free, free! free!!
                 C     F    C
                You and me, me! me!!

Repeat as Introduction: /C/C/ (2 bars)

Verse 2:  C       F   C               F   C    G
                Seek the truth and you will find
               EmAmD            D7           G
                Op-en up yo-ur heart and mind
                 C     Em  Am Em  F    C   G
                God sends truth to you and me
                Em    Am   F              C  G   C
                Makes us whole and sets us free

Choruses (repeated and getting faster, as desired):





[1] By Roger Pullin
[2] As last two lines of the verse
[3] Verses are hymn-like, at moderate speed
[4] Choruses are faster, with hand claps and/or percussion


























Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Praise the Lord in the Dances

Sunrise in mist -
a dance of the nearer skies

Praise the Lord in the dances of the Universe,
Stars and constellations streaming through space;
All revolving to the rhythms of creation,
Wondrous signs of God’s creative grace.
  
Praise the Lord in the dances of our nearer skies,
Aurora and sunscapes set the skies ablaze;
Their dazzling glories are but shadows of the radiance
Of heaven, revealed in those aerial displays.  

Praise the Lord in the dances of the landscape,
Waterfalls, clouds and falling leaves:
Gravity and winds combine with nature’s beauty,
Harmonies of grace when they gently interweave.

Praise the Lord in the dances of the ocean’s depths,
Exquisite fish and creatures rare,
Colourful, colossal and many still unknown to us,
Gliding round rocks and coral thoroughfares.

Praise the Lord in the dances of molecules,
Elements with particles too small to see;
Neutrons and protons, quarks and electrons,
And DNA configured in both you and me.
           
Praise the Lord in the dances of devotion,
Like David with vigour, leaping for the Lord.
Childlike exuberance and deeply moving music,
Free some like him to dance and adore.

Praise the Lord in the dances of the angels,
With saints and elders round the throne of grace,
Singing ‘Holy, holy, holy’, God’s eternal honouring,
A sacred, vibrant theme for the cosmos to embrace. 

Other poems with the theme of Beauty, Science and Faith can be found HERE







Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Shame.

I am indebted to Dr Alan Storkey for the ideas which gave rise to this sonnet
This surely is one of the most hideous 
war pictures of our age
(Credit NY Daily News)
Shame.
Heap shame on manufacturers of arms,
whose shareholders profit from spleen,
from scarred children, caught in between
mayhem and death wrought by sadist tsars.
Stir up those yearning for peace and calm
to brand this production obscene;
to find ways of curbing their resource streams,
preventing them from fuelling the harms   
that accrue from the cesspools of foulness and hate,
and swamp the world with the bane
of the terrible trade we label ‘defence’;
which further disgusts, by promoting vile rape  
in the wake of its products of shame.

Does God weep at such corporate offence?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Glory in the Night Sky (Meditation for a Stargazer).

Spiral Galaxy: Credit NASA

I have been drawn
into the pathways of the stars,
where planets spin their orbits*
in the weft of time and space,
to glimpse a tiny portion
of the beauty of the universe.
Brimful with wonder, I’ll extol 
those matchless cosmic glories
of our great Creator’s grace.

*We now know that many, many stars
have planets around them (exo-planets
when outside our solar system). In 2017 
more are being discovered almost daily.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Creationtide (With Order of Service 2017)

NASA’s exquisite ‘Blue Marble’
 image of earth from space

Last Sunday was the first Sunday in September and also the first Sunday of ‘Creationtide'. I was due to lead  Morning Worship in one of ‘our’ three Anglican parishes. The congregation was not likely to be large and would be predominantly over 65. I particularly wanted to celebrate the season which incorporates themes that are dear to my heart as is evident from even a cursory reading of this blog. But I was not at all sure a fresh service order with unfamiliar concepts and unfamiliar words would be appreciated.

I need not have worried! The enthusiasm was palpable. I was thanked in several different ways for a ‘very thought-provoking service’. One parishioner, with a nephew who has left his home church as he fears he cannot be a scientist and a church member, asked for my sermon notes and took away the service sheet to send on to him. I pray that together they might help to encourage him to re-think that decision: that is now in God’s hands. It is with considerable gratitude that I believe some of that congregation went home actually excited by the themes!

So with that hugely encouraging experience, I offer below the service order and would encourage any Ministers or worship leaders to consider adapting it to encourage their fellowship members to become serious about caring for this wonderful planetary home we share by the grace of our most generous and gracious God - Lord of the entire cosmos.

Click on each page in turn to achieve a more easily readable version. Electronic copies of the service order in ‘Word’ to allow it to be changed can be requested from me at trevimeditate@gmail.com

Service Order









 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Eclipse.

I wish I could have been there! But that would have been very expensive and time-consuming. However, it was possible to merge my vivid recollections of the near-total eclipse we experienced in the UK Midlands in August 1999 with the  excitement conveyed by several videos of this month’s eclipse. That combination made this a pleasure to write
  Keon Gibson, an intern for the National Centre 
for Atmospheric Research, 
shot the moment of totality through a telescope 
atop Casper Mountain, Wyo., on August 21. 
The corona stretches around the moon-blocked sun.
Image from Science News website 21 August 2017

Those who witnessed it
said it was like nothing else!
No photograph nor video
(and there were very many)
did justice, they said,
to the 2minutes and 40 seconds
of sheer wonderment,
surprise and joy
at the reliably predicted
cosmic spectacle.

Thankfully it was a clear day
over the terrain
that was fortunate enough
to lie within in its path.
So huge numbers of the intrigued,
the informed and the curious
were able to be enraptured
by that brief, astonishing,
daytime darkness.

Came the precisely appointed time;
A voracious moon
ate silently into
that far more powerful light-giver
and beautifully, temporarily overwhelmed it.
All around grew dimmer and dimmer.

Birds quietened,
as the human observers would have done
had they not been so excited!
(Historically it would have been terror
that dominated the response;
but we are a knowing people
who can prepare ourselves
for these rare dramas
in pre-determined places).

Howling dogs
made for an eeriness
which, if we were less informed,
would add to a palpable fear
that the world was about to end.

But knowing the darkness would pass,
we could revel in amazement
that the orbits, the relative sizes and distances
of our star, planet and moon
gave rise to this glorious phenomenon
of the sun’s prominences,
seen edging the moon
with the splendour
of disinhibited dance.

Then all too soon, totality passed. But wait,
another spectacle follows in its wake:
a fresh burst of incandescence announces
the sun’s reassertion of its life-giving rôle.

Comes forth a celestial diamond ring,
blazing as no earthly jewel ever can.
More glory!
Then as the dark disc moves away
there are moments to reflect anew
on the multitude of extraordinary attributes
that make this ‘blue marble’ planet of ours
so exquisitely benign,
and give the Creator praise!


Friday, 25 August 2017

Good Stewardship? A Challenge to Churches

For some time this possibility for older churches seemed to have the insuperable problem that solar panels would never be allowed on a Grade I or II listed building. No longer! There are panels on Grade I listed churches and even on a Cathedral. Hence the poem/shallenge below

Good Stewardship?

Every day,
powerful rays of the sun
rain down
on a multitude,
of passive,            
south-facing
church roofs.

Could those barren acres
be converted into
fruitful energy providers? 
Thus, of good stewardship, 
rendering proof.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Praise God for Wonders Deep in Space.



Image from ‘The Birth, Life and Death of Stars'
at Remote Sensing @CES
Praise God for Wonders Deep in Space.

Praise God for wonders, deep in space:  
For mighty constellations,
Which mark the passage of the year
As earth makes its gyrations
Around the sun, whose heat and light
Sustain all life around us;
But only through protective spheres, 
Which thankfully surround us.

Praise God for beauty all around
With joy and great thanksgiving:
So many animals and plants
With diverse ways of living,
Midst verdant valleys, mighty hills
and in life-giving waters.
Yes! Much for us to thank God for,
As treasured sons and daughters.

Praise God, who full of grace and peace,
Sent Christ on earth to save us
From sin and death and darkness, which
So swiftly overtake us.
So come and worship Him, our Lord,
Whose generous gifts uphold us
On this benign and glorious globe,
Which bountifully enfolds us.

Can be sung to the tune ‘Golden Sheaves'

Find other hymns and songs about Faith and Science Here




Saturday, 22 July 2017

Reflection on the Gold of an Ikon.

I have spent the last week at Launde Abbey alongside a group of Ikon painters, including Pam, my wife. They have been creating ikons under the expert instruction of Peter Murphy. Early in the week, Peter expressed some thoughts about the provenance of, and theology behind the gold iconographers use. Some of his ideas resonated strongly with my enthusiasm to weave faith and science themes together, and resulted in the poem which follows this photo of the dramatic Ikon of John the Baptist which Pam produced (with Peter’s very helpful and skilful interventions).

Reflection on the Gold of an Ikon.

I know not the breadth of the ikon,
Though I’m seized by its radiant gold.
See! A hallmark of heaven’s bright image,
Lasting joy for the eye to behold.

Gold can sometime be washed into rivers,
Though it’s mined from the deep veins of earth,
And because of its lustre and scarceness
Is the metal of mightiest worth.

It was forged in the heat of a starburst,
Which drove atoms to newly align;
With light elements forced into richness,
Then entombed as the earth grew benign.

Prayerful artists of sanctity realized,
They could draw on this gift of the mine,
To betoken the aura of heaven,
Where earth's gently brushed by the divine.

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'