Autumn 1999
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This pebble in my pocket plucked
By my boys from the beach
On which just weeks ago we
Skimmed silent stones
Along the lazy loch
Moves in a moment my memory
In clamouring corridor and class
To let loose the love
We kept so keen and close
Among the mountains and moors
And fling it freely foolishly
Fecklessly fecundly fearing
At times it may be trampled or torn
But believing it will be borne
Aloft -  this love -  for life.


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It is raining.
Such that I must soon be overwhelmed.

getting, if anything, even heavier
more than forty days and nights from the flood.

So I begin to build myself an ark
from tiny splinters of time,
but there are so few left lying about.

Expecting any moment to float off,
desperately patching up leaks,
I peep out from under a borrowed sou'wester

and for the first time notice something strange:
some people out there are shirt-sleeved.
One laughs and beckons.

That hammering deluge
is falling silently, invisibly
- and dry.

I shed my muffle of Gore-Tex
Spread my arms to gather the rain
And am drenched in the warmth of its rays.



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We are so often invited to see God
In others that we're tempted to suppose
Him to be more in the others than in the seeing
Which is our responsibility.
Not a naive indulgent view through rose
Coloured lenses, but, because the way
We see things is what gives them being
For us, then if we look with eyes of love
Those we look on will wear that quality
Enabling us in our turn to display
More of that gift. So, when push comes to shove,
Our will chooses either evil, or what's good.



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   Lord of living water, we adore you
In the rain that bursts with lightning from the clouds
In the hail that hurls with thunder from the clouds
In the snow that whirls with wind down from the clouds
   The water from the clouds that swells the streams
That breaks the banks of becks, that fills the drains
That spouts from gutter and gargoyle
That gushes from geyser, rushes down river.
   O water of life, we praise you
For the sluicing of shower, the splashing of bath
The hissing of stairods on rooftop and path
The waning of waves as they drain through the gunwhales
The runnels of water down windscreen and window
The sucking of sea through blowhole and cavern
The oozing of dew beneath slug-foot and marrow.
   We revere you in the countless fonts and stoops,
The holy wells and springs where fingers dip
And scallops sprinkle. We watch you drain through sand
And strain through shingle, having first stagnated
In malarial pools, borne the haemaglobin
In our blood, scoured away and silted down
In equal measure, returning always to the womb of life
The sea, where you mothered
The life that became us.



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  Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy
Draw down, love leader, God's mother
  Hail our life our sweetness and our hope
Our generator, our goodness and our goal
  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve
Confused, we look to you, feeling far from God
  To thee do we send up our sighs
  Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears
We surrender our stress to you
Despairing, and sharing in the world's sorrow
  Turn then, most gracious advocate
  Thine eyes of mercy towards us
Draw down, then, and speak love for us
Look with loving eyes on us
  And after this our exile
  Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus,
Then when God sems so strange
Reveal the life-giver, given life: your son -
  O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.


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