Something for Halloween

It’s that time of year again, you know, Halloween
When kids like to dress up as goblins and ghouls
Like it – or not, there’s a reason we’re keen
On the spooky – it’s not just for numpties or fools.

It’s thoroughly human to love a ghost story
Not bonkers to want to dress up as a witch
I get it that you like what’s scary or gory
That Halloween scratches where you want to itch.

Let’s face it, some things are both strange and mysterious
Deeper than we had imagined or thought
There’s more than our five senses tell us, I’m serious
If you’ve not considered it, believe me, you ought.

But here’s just a small thing you might like to ponder
I ask myself sometimes if we’ve got this right
We rave about the dark side, but tell me, I wonder
Is there not something powerful too – about the light?

What can seem just a little surprising and weird
Is our tendency to see God as boring and tame
We tend to think ‘stuffy old bloke with a beard’
But what if the reality makes that thought look lame?

What if God’s actually mysterious, exciting
That’d sure change the picture, to put it quite mild
To think God is active, and beckoning, inviting…
Us into relationship – that’s really quite wild.

Good bad and ugly, we’re a complicated mixture
It’s not surprising the dark side we want to embrace
But if God’s all-encompassing love is a fixture
In our messiness that’s pretty good news – it’s called grace.  

Be a food hero!

Of all of the things that are crackers and barmy
That drive me beserk and that mess with my head
A biggie’s that we could feed a sizeable army
With the food we could eat – that we throw out instead.

The more that you learn, the worse that it sounds
It makes me quite sad, I hope you can tell
Each year every family wastes seven hundred pounds
That’s a second hand car! – and some choccy bars as well.

Four point five million tons, ten billion edible meals
Allow me to show this in terms of a zoo
It’s like three million rhinos, a shedload of seals
Half a million African elephants too.

And you know what? The big thing that most makes me angry
Scrap that, hopping mad! – close to irate
Is that nearly a billion folk worldwide go hungry
Even in Blighty it’s one out of eight. 

So now that we know this, why not make a plan
To waste far less nosh – and here’s a few tips:
Make a list and buy only what’s needed – you can!
Then turn all that leftover veg into dips.

‘Use by’ means just that, ‘best before’ is a guide
Don’t forget there’s a whole lot of stuff you can freeze
Get creative, and you’ll find you’re turning the tide
On the scandal of food waste, try, it’s a breeze.

Wouldn’t it be fab if the amount we chucked out
Got gradually whittled down to one big fat zero
Then we’d have something to shout loud about
And you could say, “Know what? I’m a real food hero.” 

A poem for #WorldFoodDay


World Mental Health Day

How are you feeling, what are your thoughts?

Have you been burdened by ‘ought not’s and ‘ought’s?

Do you feel anxious, worried and stressed,

Like just getting through every day is a test?

By heavy clouds do you feel weighed down,

Thick like a fog, every smile turned to frown?

Listen, I’ve no easy answers to tell,

I’ve been there too, got the T shirt as well,

Sometimes there’s no simple fix and no balm

To soothe away troubles and usher in calm,

But it’s important, I want you to know,

No matter how deep the dungeon, how low

You may feel, believe me, you’re not there alone,

Even on days drenched in sepia tone,

Lift up your head just a little and see

Things won’t stay dark as they now seem to be,

Though crumbs of comfort now seem out of sight,

One day you’ll catch that first sliver of light,

For now though, just reach out, place your hand in mine,

I’ll tread this path with you, step at a time,

One foot in front of the other, and then,

One day you’ll feel that warm sunshine again.