Tag Archives: poetry

Reading Qf&p 26: God for me is…

This morning, our local Reading Quaker faith & practice group tried exercise 2B from this month’s Being Friends Together materials, which offers people the beginning of a sentence from chapter 26, Reflections and asks them to try and finish it in their own words. I chose ‘God for me is’, from the start of 26.38. As I was doing this, it occurred to me that I did something similar not long ago – in January last year, I expressed many of the same ideas in a poem I wrote to share with the Book of Discipline Revision Preparation Group. Rather than writing an analysis of this chapter (I have things to say about the structure created by the subheadings, but I’m not sure they’re all that interesting), it seems appropriate to share both of these pieces with you now.

God for me is… (July 2016)

Goddess for me is within us, alongside us, dancing in the depths of all things.

God for me is reaching out, helping hands, laughing, growing, sharing.

Goddess for me is positively feminine and masculine and nongendered.

God for me is found by imaginative contact with the inner world: lights, trees, seeds, ways.

Goddess for me is a nonexistent undeniable impossible reality.

How do I currently experience the Mystery? (January 2015)


God got washed away by waves
of blistering Freudian fire
or crept out while I was reading
leaving me silence and this stone.


I turn the stone over.
Nothing there.
I turn the stone over.
Nothing there.
but something there
as my fingers glide like the sea
over and over the stone.

The Cailleach is the hills from Callanish.
You can’t find Her
by searching them.


The sweating crowds of us, settling
floating in a warm river
finding the mill-pond and the weir
and I am carried,
seeing here and there
a sweet wise hazel nut among us.


A moment of poetry or ministry
every cell shaking
with raw, electric leading
I call out “Goddess!” like a celandine
surprised by sunlight.


The soft-lipped pony, Epona, at my shoulder.
The dark-eyed Jesus who always sits
beside me, never opposite.
Hecate with Her three faces is here
on a railway bridge
when I am at a crossroads.


You turn because I’ve stopped walking
I now can’t see
the things I see
the story with truth
that’s not a true story.

I try to stand
still as a tree.


P is for… Poetry

I’ve always explored my spirituality through words, and especially through poetry. To show how paganism and inspiration by prehistoric monuments flow through my work, here are two poems – one from 2001, hidden for many years in my first handwritten folder of collected poetry, and one from this year, eleven years later.

West Penwith

Land of my dreams,
Home to generations since prehistory,
Covered in beautiful Cornish names:
Carn Euny, Chysauster, Goldsithney.

The circles of granite at Boleigh,
On the moors high over Men-an-tol,
In the bracken at Boscanwen-Un,
And all three at Tregeaseal.

Here, seated on the grass by Tregiffion,
Or in the doorway of the fogou at Pendeen,
I can see through clear salty air,
Long tall hedges and the far horizon.

It is all in my mind.
I stare at the pictures too long
Trying to get away from my mind
And for you I write this song.



earth – earth – stone – sky
reaching out, up
earth – stone – stone – sky
here mapping there
earth – stone – sky – sky
thus connecting
sky – stone – earth – us

Poem for Imbolc: Hymn to Brigid

Hymn to Brigid

in each shining forge
You hammer the world
from the first
from the stars
the metals Your nouns
the gases Your verbs
write the earth
write the sky
each day is reborn
in Your shining forge.


Written for the Brigid Poetry Festival.