The Simple Life, Simplified

tree with brunch and green leaves during sunset

A hunger for liberty, a desire

to walk in the light of what is known,

a taste for truth, willing to say

yes and no in equal measure,

these are the basic

ingredients in spiritual


to be shaped into a person who walks in the light of truth: this might be a good enough summary of the disciplined path that is spiritual formation — this poem appears in my book, Quiet Waters

Writing My Name

humpback whale underwater

Did Jonah write his name on the wall

of the belly of the whale,

leave his mark,

press his flesh into the immutable

will of God

in this time the Bible says

he was shut up—

to become who he really was?

Is there somewhere I need to do that: embrace

the will of God in a deeper, more inside-out

way along the path?

We can risk mistaking ourselves for limited human beings. But because we are created in the image of God and because He is the creator of all, including these truly beautiful, mystifying creatures called whales; and because the Bible is full of stories that stretch our limited understanding past marked political or philosophical boundaries, we can rejoice. We can relax. We can take pleasure knowing there is much more going on than we can possibly see, tell or explain. And so, we make our mark. We live our lives. And we don’t really know how big a splash that will make, do we? Until someone reads our story, and asks – what about that? This poem appears in my book, Quiet Waters.

In the Square

crop person filling bottle with water from drinking fountain

A medicant beggar

in a town square, a medieval figure

seeks charity and finds when people

give him the time of day,

a dollar or sandwich to get by on, something

shifts in their eyes, their face:

they walk away, or sit for a while, changed, more

              at home with being charitable—

with rising hope,

perhaps, there is another way

to live, to love in the light that shines

both on this man with the gentle voice

and the glass towers

around him that he draws them from

like so much water flowing, running

to the well

a historical reversal, a moment at the crossroads,

as faith seeks its centre, asks for what

it needs—

comes into the open.

There are people who humble us by the way they live their lives. Their simple acts. They way they approach ordinary tasks with extraordinary patience and awareness of what might matter in that moment; the way they connect from their core, with the world around them and bless it with God’s love by doing so. This poem celebrates that. You can find it in my latest book of poems, “Quiet Waters.”

Promises to Unpack

a man trekking in the forest

There are stories in the Bible

that paint a picture with our name on it.

Timeless narratives help

ground us in the here and now, speak

to us directly.

When Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan’s

dry bed, during flood season—amazing—

to battle for land God promised, and took

an extra 40,000 men who could handle a sword

(but were willing to leave their families and goods

behind, west of the river), it suggests

that when God gives a promise (politically correct

or otherwise, which, of course, today it wouldn’t be),

we will need to invest, battle

for what we are meant,


This poem appears in my latest work of poems called QUIET WATERS. Because there are times we need to dig deep, to unpack what we carry, to figure out where we’re going and who is with us, etc., to get to where we’re going–even in our seasons of wandering.

While we were yet sinners…

burning candle with red cross

Simple unconditional love—puppy love some might say.

Relieved, we revel.

Soon we find, this love is strong, like a fortified city.

This is a love willing to, in agony,

atone for the pain in the world, remove

the agony.

Suddenly, the curtain is torn,

miraculously, from top to bottom,

the dead rise. And we fear, in our way,

the darkness of a tomb we do not understand

the meaning of. We wonder if this is where love has led us,

 and prepare to honour the ritual

of burial.

Until Easter. Rejoice.

We are delivered of sorrow; can start a new life,

relieved, fresh each morning.

This poem that celebrates the LIGHT OF LIFE that shone so bright from the tomb that day, on EASTER MORNING, one of the happiest, brightest days of the church calendar-year, appears in my new book called QUIET WATERS. Because Christ’s work is for every day of our lives, our precious lives.