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.

Yemen Lament

colour hands PB 7-20
I saw the news the other day – and it’s not gone away.
It’s proving hard to put out of mind. Impossible, I find. 

A frail child, lying still. I wondered, was she alive?
Until… I saw a movement, tiny, small. And that was all. 

Delicate limbs, needle-thin. Doting father, only kin.
Daughter in his lean arms held. Courage, felled. 

Sorry plight, fragile, weak. Mercy now, all he could seek.
And all he had to hold her there – was love and prayer. 

Those pictures flickered on my screen. In countless homes they too were seen.
Not sure our hearts can yet contain – such bitter pain. 

I wonder can such crying need, pierce our apathy & greed,
For a far off child’s sake, can our hearts break? 

I doubt that I can fully rest, till such injustice we arrest.
Until the bombs and guns will cease – I’ll have no peace.


Poem for Refugee Week

In the shelter, by a bus stop, do I see you standing there?
Will I take a moment now to think of you, and will I care?
Will I spare some head space, and reflect what life here’s like for you,
Step into your heart and soul space, put myself into your shoes?
I don’t know quite what it feels like, being in limbo, not at home,
Feeling different, disconnected, not quite part of things, alone.
Far from friends and family, loved ones, system here is sometimes cold,
Living with uncertainty, a sense that life’s been put on hold,
I don’t face the pain you’re facing, long protracted painful wait,
Feeling like you’re sinking, drowning, just about to suffocate,
But I’ll take some time to just be there and say a prayer for you,
Be a friend and not a stranger, take an interest – smile too,
As I step outside my comfort zone to know you, make a start,
I may find I’m on a journey too, the journey to your heart.


Image by <a href=”;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1226611″>fsHH</a&gt; from <a href=”;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1226611″>Pixabay</a&gt;

Pentecost poem

What does this strange story mean,
Of something heard, and something seen,
A violent wind, hurricane roar,
That fell from heaven, slipped through door?

Yes what strange power filled that place
Through corridor and room did race,
That swelled with such majestic sound,
And rooted each one to the ground?

And what to make of ‘tongues of fire’,
That did not hurt, but did inspire,
That this strange day, did not consume,
But rested on those in that room?

What Spirit made them shout aloud,
What strange commotion drew the crowd,
And what divine mysterious art
Produced such languages of the heart?

Was it that they were humble, pure,
And ready for such presence sure,
With hearts receptive, like a child,
To heed a power so raw and wild?

And what of us, who count and measure,
Could we receive heart-stopping treasure,
Could we, who think we know so much,
Accept that melting, humbling touch?

Audio with music bed:
Image by Holger Schué from Pixabay

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ poems

A few poems inspired by the Anglican-initiated global ecumenical call to prayer, this year 21-31st May:

What brings joy without alloy
To Father God above?
And what may lure strong pleasure pure
From his deep heart of love?
To see lost sheep step out (or leap)
To seek him in this place,
One ounce of trust enough, He must
To such reveal His face.

A sudden shock your boat may rock
In life’s tempestuous seas,
Or worry creep and steal your sleep
And leave you ill at ease;
Yet Christ alone, the Living Stone
Can take the helm and steer,
Instil his peace, and bring release,
Dissolve your crippling fear.

Though made to soar, by some strange lore
This world keeps me confined,
A flag to fly, past ‘work, play, die’?
Elusive, hard to find;
One pure and brave rose from the grave,
Unlocked a wider view,
Of greater scope and deeper hope –
And offers it to you.

To trust in ‘truth’ may seem uncouth
In our world-weary age,
Faith may be lost, abandoned, crossed,
“Move on, turn over page”;
Yet Spirit-fire may yet inspire
Faint embers of the heart,
And on them blow, that we may know,
The joy of a new start.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

VE Day 75th – a poem

Faded footage of bygone celebration,
A carnival spirit of joy and vacation,
Buckingham, Trafalgar, and lining the Mall,
A people determined to party, “We shall…
Rejoice through the night!”,
they might well have said,
And struggled to put manic children to bed;
A nation in lockdown now fights novel foe,
A fresh incarnation of trouble and woe,
We hail our key workers with rainbows so bright,
A rich ancient symbol, yes let’s not lose sight
Of their role as God’s pledge, to never again
Strike world with a flood-like disaster, and then,
As a king on VE day thanked God up above,
May we learn, perhaps slowly,
Him once more to love.


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Love & Roar

What is love?
Love? We think of roses and dinner for two,
But I’m not sure right now that this picture will do,
It’s not just nice feelings with a sweetheart or stunner,
The love we need now is a marathon runner,
A care for each other that lasts and has grit,
Be there for each other long term, and not quit,
The love we need now – and maybe a while,
Is one that keeps slogging, for mile after mile.

It’s a difficult time, and you may feel afraid,
Don’t stay there, but climb, take courage, you’re made
To face down your fear, not cling to the shore,
But draw strength right here – yes rise up and roar,
Like the king of the beasts, we’re called to be bold,
From ‘greatest’ to least, whether you’re young or old,
& if you start to slide, at the end of your tether,
Like a strong lion pride, know we’re in it together.

‘Roar’ was broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds Sunday Breakfast, 26th April.


Image by Ajay Lalu from Pixabay

Easter weekend poems

Good Friday
Where can I turn, when I feel alone,
When I feel the door rattle, and hear the wind moan;
When there’s no reassuring hug or a touch,
And loved ones stay at a distance, for such
Is the need to take care – tell me then where
Will I find the deep comfort and warmth that I crave,
When I don’t feel strong, calm, peaceful, or brave?
What if, in the gloom, in that deep darkest night
There is One who will put all my worst fears to flight?
And when at my lowest, weak, sick, in despair,
I could know with the feeblest of trust – You are there.

Easter Saturday
Now across a stricken world – and throughout our nation,
It feels like we’re living – in suspended animation,
An enforced entombment, normal service put to sleep,
Living life in lock down, left to muse, and dream, and weep,
Yet if we allow ourselves, to pause and breathe, go slow,
There’s a chance we’ll see some fruit that in this soil will grow;
Kindness, care for others, a capacity to wait,
Awareness of those things that take their time, but are not late,
If we dwell with patience now, then slowly hope will rise,
And we’ll yet look upon a world renewed, with wiser eyes.

Easter Sunday
Already three weeks – in our homes confined,
Anxiety speaks, plans to future consigned,
How long will this unasked for crisis extend?
How will I cope, and when will it end?
Why is it that so much that usually matters
Lies at my feet now in rags and in tatters?
Come away to a far ancient time and there meet
Others whose hopes, dreams lay crushed at their feet,
Friends of the One who had loved them, who died
Who they loved like no other – the earth itself cried;
Yet in their great sadness, that deep darkest night,
The morning brought gladness, deep joy, life and light.

Finally, script for my radio ad playing across the West Yorkshire ‘Pulse’ stations this weekend:

Voice 1 (male):
What will we do – and where will we turn,
To emerge from our pain now, to not crash and burn?
What can be said, in this troubled place
To bring us some quietness, comfort, and space? (pause)
The strange ancient story of one empty tomb
Is a message of life, that will always find room
In the dry dusty heart, that seeks a new start,
When it’s hard to cope – there is always (pause) hope.
Voice 2 (female):
Find out more this Easter – at

Poems audio:

Ad audio (female & male-led versions):

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Getting through this

How are you coping with covid-nineteen?
Now the biggest health threat that some of us have seen,
Are you frazzled, and fearful and feeling the heat?
Think you’re getting an earful, scared to go on the street?
It’s amazing for sure how a tiny little virus
Can knock at our door – but I pray it’ll inspire us,
To think out the box, and not let it fox us,
Though it feels a bit now like it’s laughing and mocks us.
It’s a chance to slow down, to be still and reflect,
To ponder more deeply how things intersect,
To rethink our lifestyles, our air miles and habits,
Be creative and caring, not timid like rabbits.
I’ve seen folk be selfish, go out panic buying,
It maddens me, it saddens me – must calm down, I’m trying,
Cos it’s true though, you do know, an extreme situation’s
A chance for those instincts to take a vacation,
A time for us all to be mindful, dig deep
A prime chance to care and be kind, it’s not cheap,
To go out of your way, pray, step out the extra mile,
Give a call to the lonely, if you see them then smile,
You don’t want to look back and think, darn, I blew it,
When I had a chance to help others get through it.

(Audio to follow soon)