Tag Archives: poem

I don’t care what the weatherman says

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Driving through town

windscreen wipers on full pelt

hardly keeping up with the pouring rain.

Loud swing music in my car.

“I don’t care what the weatherman says,

when the weatherman says it’s raining,

you’ll never hear me complaining,

I’m sure the sun will shine.”

The traffic lights multiply a myriad times in the wet road

sparkling like Christmas tree lights.

My concentration is keen

to see clearly

to stop when I must stop

and go when I must go,

but to avoid those without cars

rushing across the road,

clasping soggy newspaper

in a futile attempt to cover their heads,

blinkering themselves inadvertently to the oncoming traffic.

Maybe they care what the weatherman says more than I do.

 

Woodland revelations

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Outsides bleached by the sun,

insides shattered and exposed, firey ochre and amber,

limbs strewn on the ground

lifeless and sharp

debris from a storm long ago

and from a harsh axe.

My view is dominated immediately infront of me

by the dead wood and bare ground.

Just as my mind and heart

can focus on what’s lost

and what I don’t yet have.

But now

I sink my weight into the solidness

of the tree at my back

and breathe.

I look to my side

to see intricate layers of patterned bark

and a tiny fragile ant

scaling the impossible landscape.

I lift my eyes

to watch an agile, fearless squirrel

scamper in high branches.

Lift my eyes further

to the towering mountain

above the canopy.

Dramatic craggy surfaces of majestic proportion.

Hurrying clouds skimming it’s summits.

Bright sun on the far slopes.

In the same way

I’m reminded to notice the good

that’s not always in my immediate sight,

to lift my eyes

to notice the blessings

of what I do have.

In this moment.

Being present to gratitude.

Rich blessings.

Generosity and kindness

of my Heavenly Father

in a myriad of ways

that sometimes escape my immediate line of vision

but take intention to see and give thanks.

I’ve been learning it’s good and right

to acknowledge the dead wood and the bare ground,

to be honest and vulnerable with ourselves, God and others.

To grieve loss.

But ultimately not to let it dominate the view

and distract from the mountain.

Gratitude is always an option

even in the midst of loss.

Copyright Hilary Murdoch 2015

 

 

In between people

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Photograph Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2014
Following the post of my poem ‘In the Air’ some wise friends of mine commented that being ‘in-between’ is “probably what a lot of life is going to look like”, that “it seems like that is the way of Jesus”. That got me thinking. Recently I have read a few passages in the bible about that theme and have felt God whispering to me about it. While I was in the beautiful prayer room at La Motte Wine Estate (if you are in Cape Town do visit it, if you haven’t already) I was reading the passage below from Hebrews and then weeks later I read the passage below from John and its been buzzing around in my thoughts.
I’m like the wind*
He says.
No one knows where I’m from
or where I’m going
and neither do I really.
But it’s reassuring
that He says
it’s the same
for all who belong to Him
and are filled with His breath.
What’s it like to be like wind?
Surely wind can’t hold anything
can’t cling to anything
or any place.
the same choice remains
for the wind-like followers.
The in between people
The sojourners
The pilgrims from a long line of pilgrims
Abraham to Joseph, Moses to Ruth, Mary to Jesus himself.
Always passing through.
Even when I find a place, a precious place
where I feel at home
(or even a few)
even there
I am only ever a temporary resident.
For I’ll always be a stranger
a visitor
on this earth.
I am not of this world
just as the one I follow is not.
Our home
our true home
for which our heart longs
is more beautiful
more magnificent
than all we could imagine.
Our heavenly home
is where we’ll return to
and finally
feel fully ourselves
and fully at home
forever.
So no wonder I feel like a wanderer.
A stranger.
I must hold lightly
I’m only passing through.
(Having said all that, I do feel at home in Cape Town and am planning to come back!!)
Copyright 2014 © Hilary Murdoch. All rights reserved.
*No reference to Dirty Dancing or Patrick Swazye intended 😉
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
 –
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth…as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:13-16)
 –
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” – Jesus (John 17:16)
 –
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)
This song has also been a real blessing to me recently (click to open the video).
In the process,
in the waiting,
you’re making melodies over me.
Your presence
is the promise,
for I am a pilgrim on a journey.

Emergence

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black mole hungry

 

Emergence

from where I was.

From the fragile, emotional, frustrating space

of being broken

of being under a cloud

a weight of physical and emotional tiredness

a fog of confusion and weakness

stubborn against the wind

and my futile efforts to push it away.

And one day

it lifts.

No explanation,

no obvious reason.

It’s just not there anymore.

And as it leaves

it reveals

me.

I feel myself again

restored joy, fun, peace, energy.

Me being me.

I’m back.

Not sure how that happened

but I’m grateful.

I’d really like to know.

But not knowing

just emphasizes how little control I had over it anyway.

Which is good but frustrating.

Thank you for your prayers if you’ve been praying.

Thank you God for the shift in the invisible unknown

which changes my visible known world.

And now the cloud has lifted

I can see clearly again.

I have eyes to see

the potential for hopes and dreams to come to pass,

to see past my restricted vision of what’s possible

to the God possibilities beyond my imagination.

I can see the rich blessings around me.

I can confidently step into

the opportunities He gives

with fresh dependency on Him,

frequently returning

to the refreshing

of the deep place of intimacy

we’ve dug together

in that time of struggle,

when dependency on Him

was truly my only option.

It’s still true, “I can do nothing without Him.” *

Nothing. Nothing of worth.

And I need to remember that

more consciously now.

As energy levels waver

and muscle pain catches me off guard,

I’m reluctantly aware

that this might be a reprieve

rather than a permanent release.

So it’s even more important that now

as I’m tempted

to rush in and onwards,

to pour out with enthusiasm,

with renewed energy:

it’s now that I must be sure

to keep retreating to the secret place

to respond

to the invitation

that’s still held out to me

of deep intimacy

and total dependence on Him.

A place of safety.

A place of infilling.

So I can give freely from overflow.

So I can pour out

with no fear of burn out.

Because I’m more aware than ever

of the importance of ensuring

I give time and space

to receive the abundantly offered inflow

so that the outflow is sustainable, overflow

and not a depleting resource.

* John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Copyright Hilary Murdoch 2014. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: MolePro

 

Of trust and tricycles

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Warm sunlight throws long shadows

I push the little one’s buggy

Permitting me ringside seats

To witness the beauty

Of a childhood memory formed

To witness the choices

Of a tired and weary mum

Sleep deprived but persevering

Pouring herself out

Bending over

Running behind the tiny bike

Steadying and steering

Cheering on

Reassuring and protecting

Letting go

As her daughter wobbles along

Grinning ear to ear.

An idillic picture

Weaving in and out of shadows

Cast by trees lining the road.

A precious and meaningful cameo

Imprinted deep in my mind and heart

Of a patient and affirming parent

And of a joyfully trusting child

Giggling and confident

Learning, making mistakes, growing

Totally assured of her safety

Because of her mum’s presence

Lord I want to absorb the beauty of this moment

into my own life

May I continue to love and serve when weary

But more importantly

May I be that joyfully trusting child,

confident that your presence with me is all I need.

 

All poems and original writing on this blog are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2013

Falling Leaves

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A poem written by Joyce Rupp, which I have adapted and added to, based on the concepts in Joyce’s chapter on autumn in her book ‘May I have this dance?’

To constant accompaniment of birdsong
The leaves fall down
From wide oak and high ash
They twirl to the ground,
Dancing the autumn death dance
Beneath the great blue sky.

The leaves seem glad at the going
(Is there something I don’t know?)
Sparkling in the mellow sunlight
Their gentle rustling filling the air

One, then another and another
On they skim down from above
Bedding the forest floor before me
With comforting crunches as I step

This gigantic sea of dying leaves
Does not smell of sorrow or sadness
Rather the earth is ringing with joy
As the leaves make music in the wind.
It is not a dull grey scene
But one bursting with colour
And with beauty
If you have eyes to see it.

Why is this dance of death so lovely?
Why do the leaves seem so willing to go?
They don’t want to hang on to the bitter end
To be broken down and discoloured
They want to be released
Still beautiful
Shortly after the fullness of summer.

The leaves are subtle reminders
That we are asked to let go
To be thankful for what’s gone before
To release with love
And to find peace
Even in the face of death.

Nothing is wasted in nature
The fallen leaves generously give
Life and nourishment
To the new growth
Just as we who remain living
Can draw goodness
From all that those departed gave us
If we nourish that goodness
It can bring growth in us.

Autumn is a season of death
But also a time of thanksgiving
For the abundant harvest that’s been.
Winter then brings times of quiet reflection
Clarity and stark beauty
And both pave the way for the new life
And new growth of Spring.

A Spacious Place

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table mountain 2

The light here seems brighter

The differences seem starker

Yet mingled in poverty

Hope and kindness shine

As I look to the mountain

I remember from where

My help comes.

As I look out to sea

I remember the vastness

Of His love.

This is my spacious place

Here

There is space to breathe

Here

My soul tells me

I am at home

 

All poems and original writing on this blog are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2013