Lent Ukraine Poem

Lent is with us now, but something else distracts and occupies
Our hearts and minds, another land, where trauma bites, a small child cries
An aerial bombardment, and sharp explosions fill the night
A people underground, too scared to brave the grey of morning light
While supermarket shelves see vital foodstuffs dwindle, fade away
And desperate people seek enough to make it through another day
A place of churches, homes and farms and factories, I little knew
Its history till now, a place the world’s concern is pointed to
A land of plains and golden spires and crosses carries now the scar
Of brutal conflict, while a world looks on in horror from afar,
But now the Lenten season makes me stop and wait and slow and pause
And think, is any simmering conflict down to me, am I the cause?
It urges me to strip back, change tack, take my cross, the desert way
Examine what is flawed or wrong in what I think and do and say
And take a cue from those whose faith sustains them in their hour of need
And let it be for me a flame of hope, of courage fresh, a seed.

For BBC local stations & Premier Christian Radio

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