Valentines revisited

What do we make of, well yeah, Valentines, the day of red hearts, flowers and chocolate and wine
It doesn’t look so fluffy and sweet and divine, when you think of the ruthless pursuit, of-the-bottom-line
How did a day praising love and connection, come to be such a brash profit-driven confection?
How did a theme of such beauty and soul, in a money-ruled world occupy such a role?
See how the environment’s also given birth, to a reckoning with how we now impact the earth
It costs a great deal both to grow and to ship, flowers that next day may end up on a tip
It’s not just the day’s not to everyone’s taste; with the cards and the packaging, there’s a whole lot of waste;
We’re split how we view Valentines, it’s a mix, for some the whole day can’t be over too quick
Is it cuddles and kisses and breakfast in bed? For others the day evokes nothing but dread
But how might it be if we looked a bit deeper, I hazard there’s truth out there, though it’s a ‘sleeper’
It’s ironic, to celebrate love secret, concealed – when the best love of all, that was hidden – ‘s now revealed
A love we might run from, and hide and ignore, a love that invites, and ignites, that’s a door
Through which any one of us can step through and find, a comfort enfolding, embracing and kind
And so on a day that can be hit or miss, whether you love it or loathe it, it’s worth hearing this:
There’s a love that like hawk on the wing reaches far – that seeks out and can save you, whoever you are.

For BBC local radio & other interested stations. Image by rzierik at Pixabay

Lockdown Love (short version)

This Valentines, we’re all locked down – that’s guaranteed to make love frown
Steals its thunder, pushes it under, makes it blunder, takes its crown
And instead of a love-heart and flowers and take your loved one out
You’ll be lucky if your Beth or Bart just showers n doesn’t pout
If he just cooks, or she just books a takeaway tonight
At least content to look the part – not run for it in fright.

Love’s important, makes the world go round, and we want to express
It kinda neatly, not too sweetly, and keep calm, you know, not stress
But we still worry, frown and fret, and get all tense and anxious, yet
If we could just relax a bit, that’d be by far a better bet.

Love’s intense, can be immense, gets you-off the fence, spare no expense
You feel you’re flying, I’m not lying, gets you swooning, laughing, crying
You’ll scale a wall, feel ten feet tall, and ask “It’s late, can I still call?”
And agonise, fall down then rise – and then forget about it all.

I believe it – take or leave it – that the world vibrates with love
It’s all around, and it abounds, it’s deep within, without, above
As I learn to let it burn down in my heart and in my veins
I find I’m falling more in love with its melodious strains
This love divine, I let it shine in me, it fills and it redeems
Has power to transform human love, so  – with glory – it gleams.    

For BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Bradford & other stations…

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Audio:

Lockdown Love

February fourteenth, Valentines, red hearts, romance – you know the signs
The ads and fads (a lot quite bad), the schmaltz and cheesy lines
They say that love is blind, it’s in the heart and in the mind
But every February we find, the usual tropes revert to kind
We’ll take any chance to shine – with just a sweet romantic line…

This year we’re all locked down – that’s guaranteed to make love frown
Steals its thunder, pushes it under, makes it blunder, takes its crown
And instead of a love-heart and flowers and take your loved one out
You’ll be lucky if your Beth or Bart just showers n doesn’t pout
If one just cooks, or the other books a fancy takeaway tonight
At least content to look the part – not run for it in fright.

The day of love, when push comes to shove, is actually always fraught
Because we’re human, we get in a stew man, and it’s easy to get caught
In all the pressure, expectation, and some bad sleep deprivation
In houses up and down the land, and all across the nation
Love’s important, makes the world go round, and we want to express
It kinda neatly, not too sweetly, and keep calm, you know, not stress
But we still worry, frown and fret, and get all tense and anxious, yet
If we could just relax a bit, that’d be by far a better bet.

This is me now, don’t you see now, I’m just talkin’ as one fella
I’m no Valentine-o fanboy, I’m no ‘day of romance’ seller
If I was I’d leave now cos I’ve no ambition to be toast
I’ll just say hey, you know, we all want to be loved by someone most
It’s so intense, you know, immense, gets you-off the fence, spare no expense
You feel you’re flying, I’m not lying, gets you swooning, laughing, crying
You’ll scale a wall, feel ten feet tall, and ask “It’s late, can I still call?”
And agonise, fall down then rise – and then forget about it all.

What makes this one day special is the secrecy of course
To be the admirer of Luke or Lyra, speak in code, you know, like morse
And there’s something we adore, we want it more, the mystery
Of wondering ‘who loves me?’; I don’t mean brotherly or sisterly
When you send a card, and be a love bard, you get a magic thrill, a shiver
Like running down a bank and jumping starkers in a river
And if you find you’ve got that kind of place in someone’s heart
There ain’t no poet that can quite express the feeling, there’s no art. 

(pause).
But the thing that most excites me, daily smites me, makes me quiver
Is to think these tributaries of love flow to a bigger river
The mystery of love at Valentines – it leads us on
And shows us something deep about the heart of things, no con
I believe it – take or leave it – that the world vibrates with love
It’s all around, and it abounds, it’s deep within, without, above
As I learn to let it burn down in my heart and in my veins
I find I’m falling more in love with its melodious strains
This love divine, I let it shine in me, it fills and it redeems
Has power to transform human love, so  – with glory – it gleams.    

For BBC Radio Leeds & other stations…

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Audio:

Audio

A Different Christmas

It’s gonna be different this Christmas
No matter who you are or where you will be
There’s no way it can be just the usual
Family, friends – and a tree.

It’s gonna be different this Christmas
It may not be normal, or white
Still special if we can remember
In the darkness, it speaks now of light.

You may sing, pray… or you may struggle
To sign up to a God up above
But one thing we all have in common
Is our need for connection and love.

Christmas tells us something amazing
When science and philosophy pall
There’s a mystery and wonder in the universe
A deep love at the heart of it all.

The thing about this love at Christmas
Though it’s huge and encompasses all
Is God chose to reveal it to all of us
By becoming both humble and small.

A baby, and though it’s so long ago
That the miracle of Christmas did start
It’s real and it’s present, I can know this love now
Taking time, making room, in my heart.  

For Riviera Radio & other stations.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Audio: