Dragon-slaying for beginners

(Audio poem for St George’s day, 23rd April)

Red cross on white, it’s St George’s Day
What, that’s not yet been said, can I say?
Of several nations the proud patron saint
What kind of picture-poem will I here paint?
One thing for starters it seems made him brave:
Faith in the fella who rose from the grave
That surely helped him not faint from the shock
Of facing a Roman executioner’s block
Then there’s the legend: a dragon, breathing fire
Slaying that monster? That’s got to inspire
(It’s not every day a bloke gets out of bed
And takes on a beast, that by close of play’s dead)
Makes me think, little old me, here today
What kind of dragons, am I going to slay?
Above all the noise and furore and din
Of life in the world, I’m looking within
For dragons… That bad thing that haunts me with fear?
Can’t beat God’s presence for bringing peace near
Plagued by some monsters of cruel guilt and shame?
Promise of Jesus: you won’t be the same
Nothing’s as strong as his power to assuage
Demons of anger and envy and rage
When the fierce fire of those dragons is spent
You can rest, you’ll be blessed – at peace, and content

For BBC local radio.

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

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.