Tag: poem

Gethsemane Moon

Gethsemane Moon

I lit you,
bloodied and wet, the Virgin’s arms   
shaping your first cradle

I lit you
as, late evening, the chisels
work you strove to perfect 

I lit you,
clear nights lakeside,
bringing vocation to hairy fish men

I lit you,
days end, crowd-pressed,
healing-weary, and word spent

I lit you,
late nights hillside,
your Father’s love, your bed

I lit you,
early on that palm-strewn path
destined for faux glory

I light you
now, here, through olive shade,
cool light mirrored blue on beaded brow,
shadowed terror,
and gold glimpses of angels’ arms
shaping your last cradle.

Julia Sheffield
Maundy Thursday 2022

Play the Piano for me.

I call this ‘Broken Music’. It is by the Afghan street artist Shamsiah Hassani.
She did much to inspire women in Kabul to be empowered and confident in a male dominated society.
After the Taliban took over, she moved away from Afghanistan and her work now has a global perspective. One of her recent paintings, Damn the War, was addressed to the people of the Ukraine.
I have chosen this one to illustrate a poem I wrote on International Piano Day.

A poem on International Piano day  

Play the piano for me.
I wish to hear music.
Play notes to calm my fears,
Soothing my soul from anxiety.

I live in a world ripped apart by sounds
gurgling up from the bowels of hell.
Bombs, missiles, bullets,
Angry tanks, guttural sounds of soldiers.
Many are far from home, tired too, hungry.
Sucked in by masters whose only language is hatred.
Their words a cacophony of crashing disharmony
mixed with disillusionment.
Such cankered and disfigured hearts,
no longer at one with the music that created them.

Buildings shake and discard the rubble of their former life.
Incessant noise, unceasing ruin.
No symphony.
No sympathy.

Wars begin in hearts crumpled by demonic blackness.
Is this hell?
Despair. The concerto of annihilation.

But, if you play music to us,
We may find a way out of all this.
Your sound of note caressing note,
sprinkles  kindness over us ,  and love;
showing us where we need to be.

As the piano music  lifts my heart,
I hear it’s tune –
There is more than hell on earth.
There is earth raised up to heaven.

Mr G. 29.3.2022

Please look at the work of Shasiah Hassani either on Instagram or by Googling her name.
There are a number of interesting and informative articles about her,

Love comes Himself


A Star

Announces the Light
which has come into the world;
The Light of Truth.
The Light of Love,
which coming into our world
of darkness cannot be extinguished.
It is a Candle flickering in the wind of the night,
and the darkness cannot destroy it.
Its constant flame is our guide.
It is the Light which attracts
all people of Truth,
all people of Love

In humility
we bow low to the Light,
full of wonder;
and marvel at the power of so simple a thing
which overpowers and transforms everything.
and the light, entering our hearts, shines in us,
and the dark world is subdued.

Rejoice, Love has come into the world
for Love does not send another,


[Mr G December 1973 revised 2005]

Photo: Outdoor Crib at Bethlem Chapel, Prague
Photo taken by Gill Henwood

A Military Man

Each Year we keep a time of special Remembrance for those who served and gave their life for their country in wars and conflicts.

This remembrance encompasses not only those who died in World War 1 and World War 2. Other wars and conflicts have claimed many more lives in Aden, Iraq, Afghanistan to name but a few. We also increasingly remember those civilians who have died fleeing from their homelands in the middle East countries such as Iran, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Africa. Places which today have left the rest of us with the care and safety of refugees. Every war has victims, many quite innocent like the Jewish people who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis.

Throughout the United Kingdom and in our Commonwealth countries there is a solemn observance and a quiet thanksgiving for all who died and for those who were injured, many with life-changing injuries.

Names of the fallen are prayed in their local communities or on foreign fields away from home.

Today, as we might stand before War Graves in churchyards or in War Cemeteries, many names are just that. We know little about them. Of those who died in the First World War, the youngest graves are now 103 years old.

Often the Christian names are not recorded.
So for them I have written this poem – inspired by the grave of Private Burls, buried in the churchyard at St. Mary-at-Latton.

A Military Man

You lie almost hidden
one of Latton churchyard’s
quiet secrets.
You are a private, military man.
One quarter of a century spans your life.
We do not even know your name.
The name which belongs to you alone.
What did they call you Private W Burls,
Died 3rd February 1918 ?

You almost escaped but your destiny
was to die a military man.
You have lain here for one hundred and three years
and still we do not know your name,
Private W Burls.

You gave your life, like so many,
for the cause of peace ,
a peace in which you now lie.
The peace of God.
God knows your Name.
It’s all that matters.

Rest in the Lord,
Private W Burls.
A military man.

Latton St Mary, war grave.