It’s early September, the turn of the year, and summer is waning, and we’re back into gear The high days and holidays have all but departed, and there in their place, well, school has just started Or is about to, and days running barefoot on grass, give way now to days sitting book-bored in class For some there’s commuting, and back to the grind, irked by the colleague who doesn’t seem to mind Clubs and societies start up again, ‘back to normal’ can be quite invigorating, but then While you may like the changes, you might just feel dread; (the ‘cost o’ living’ malarkey isn’t going back to bed) But whatever your thoughts, and whatever your feelings, whether raring to go, or actually just reeling The start of this month can be a time to take stock, reflect just a little, take a break from TikTok Ask deeper questions, what am I living for, is it really just the house and the kids, two point four? Am I happy with life, is it going just right, or is there something I’m missing, maybe just out of sight? Some kind of grounding, some spiritual light, that might make life richer, more hopeful and bright? In the late summer period, when green leaves are turning, why not make it a season of wisdom and learning In routine, find adventure, and rediscover awe; you might find some beauty that you’d not seen before.
It gives me great pleasure, it thrills me to report It’s turning out to be such a fine summer of sport Not just the lionesses’ footballing win We’ve the Commonwealth games too, to sink our teeth in Been a while since we’ve seen so much zest and such fun In the buzzin’ and groovin’ ol’ city of Brum, These games have a magic, quite all of their own You can’t bottle it up, in a pic, on a smartphone A compelling amalgam of the strange and the elite Is what we see in this festival of cool sporting feats I like that in a Games where the top draws excel There’s a place for the home grown and quirky as well When I look at these Games, you know they put me in mind Of another phenomenon, of a different kind There’s something about the whole quest to excel That reminds me of the spiritual call to do our best as well And the thing that distinguishes that bold inner ‘race’ Is God blesses it with some of his stardust, called grace And the best thing of all is, we’re not on our own In that spiritual gymnasium, we don’t go it alone And so as these games reach their joyous conclusion I pray that we’ll all have, a big grace infusion.
Anyone for tennis? I love it, I’ll come clean A massive fan of Wimbledon, in S double-u nineteen The atmosphere, the strawberries, I even dig the queues Nadal and Radacanu, Murray, Norrie, you choose Hanging out on Henman Hill, especially when it’s hot Delicious thwack of ball on racket, hitting that sweet spot There’s something quite balletic, about how they move on court The beauty and precision of this game give pause for thought Does our love for the perfect backhand, drop shot hit just right Intimate a hunger, for a more elusive delight? Revelling to see that lifted trophy, golden plate Does it somehow stir a deeper urge to celebrate? One apostle Paul compared this life we live, to a race One in which a Loving Presence carves us out a space Hand in hand with Father God, when every game’s been played Am I ready for that crown in heaven, that’ll never spoil or fade?
For BBC local, Premier Christian, and community radio stations
On my phone just lately, among the clicks and pings Something strange was happening, tied to ‘Stranger Things’ If like me you’ve missed it, it’s a Netflix show Which resurrects an eighties hit, and half the world’s gone “Oh… This song is rather good”, and if you’re puzzled still The track that I’m referring to, is ‘Running up that hill’ The work of one elusive Mrs Bush, that’s her, it’s Kate If you don’t know her songs yet, well, it’s ‘better late…’ In a scene from Stranger Things, a teenager called Max Is levitating, eyes all funny, having bad attacks I won’t go into detail; it’s out there, all online Suffice to say that Max is stressed, depressed and far from fine Oppressed by troubling thoughts, and Venca’s foul embrace A bad un, who won’t give Max, a lot of free head space Her friends dig out her favourite song, this striking eighties hit And basically it saves her, that’s the gist, that’s it It gets me thinking, what oppresses us, and me, and then What do we, and I, turn to, to make us whole again? If a piece of music helps life run a smoother course What if I could tap into a deeper, richer Source?
Summer solstice swift approaches, sun attains full height Bathes the northern hemisphere in shimmering heat and light Strange how it suggests connection, with another day Says something, I feel, to fathers, with its bold display Early morning shaft of light the woodland bird awakes So the sleepy dad, of his first child, a first glance takes Feels those stirring pangs of love, a strange paternal glow Early swift cementing bond with one he’ll grow to know Then as summer sun through morning charts its rapid rise So the infant’s spurt of growth puts joy in father’s eyes Noontime, and the swelling sun up to its zenith climbs Parallels paternal love in heady vibrant times Then as blazing afternoon brings warmth to nook and hollow So the child steps further out; a father’s love will follow And, as solstice sun sinks low, its power dimmer grows So a father’s love does mellow; still its beauty shows… Could it be, the father’s heart, and summer sun above Both draw sustenance, being grounded in a greater Love? And, as child, and nature, in that love and sunshine thrive – Opening up to this great Love, would I feel more alive?
For BBC & community radio stations, Premier Christian Radio.
I have some mad ideas, if this is one, then tell me, stop: What if Mr Putin and Her Maj just did a swap? The Kremlin could arrange for HM Queen some toast and tea No better boost for Poot’s ego than Platinum Jubilee.
There’d be far less destruction, less waste and damage done If Poots had been contented with a flypast (way more fun) Surely brings more pleasure, less dismay than threat of nukes To have a neat formation of some Spitfires and Chinooks.
Just think, the commentariat, instead of endless fawning Would just be glad that they had lived to see another morning No braying about duty, service, ‘ne’er puts wrong a foot’ Just celebrating that the world had not yet gone kaput.
Ukrainians would benefit, to have at Kremlin tiller One who favours selfless service, over being a killer Reckon they would celebrate and cheer and scream and clap A Kremlin head who wasn’t out to wipe them from the map.
For the Russians, it would surely be a welcome break From wondering, ’Is our leader mad?’ – to have some tea and cake A chance perhaps to soften, the world’s collective frown And take a cue from Lizzie, with her cheeky smile and crown.
You’re in a firestorm. Heart pummelled, battered. Wrung, shattered. Child, grandchild, loved one, lamb. From your life ‘untimely ripped’. Her bubbling laugh is silenced. Her innocent eyes are shuttered. She’ll not now see the summer fields of promise. While suited men with stony looks, sign and seal the status quo. And feign condolence, sit on hands, and cling to power with wolfish bent. The night is long, the way is hard – yet promise rests Of wrapped up hearts, and dried up tears, the splintered vase restored. While hearts of stone will yet be shattered. Beaten, broken, brought to book.
Whatever could have happened, to Putin’s fluffy cat? You know the kind, that in a Bond film villain’s lap is sat That’s white and slightly sinister, which you’d imagine that If re-embodied human, would wear a posh cravat.
Did it find while lolling there, hand running through its fur That with the plans of Vladimir, it could no way concur Did it feel, on white cats everywhere they’d be a slur Which could some consequences, far from cat-friendly, incur?
In its ice-cool moggy heart, and in its brain feline Did it sense this Kremlin kid was badly out of line For a nicer Bond-ish villain did our friend now pine In point of fact, did Putin’s fluffy cat just flat resign?