Archive for category Poetry

The Joy of (sub)Creation

I’ve started writing again. Not just here (after a four-year hiatus!) but also I’ve picked up a little fantasy story I wrote some years ago, reread it, and loved it so much I decided to expand it. I want to know more about these people. More about how their relationships developed and the world in which they live. I want to know what happens next!

This has been a great start to 2019. Last year wasn’t actually that great. It certainly had some highlights (mostly family events) but it also had some of the severest challenges I’ve ever faced. But today… well, my kids noticed the difference. Their grumpy and mostly morose dad was outgoing again. I enjoyed myself at a party with friends. When it was time to sit down and write again, I actually had to stand up first and jump up and down with excitement. Literally. Jump. Up. And. Down. Repeatedly.

I’m teasing myself right now, by writing this before I return to my unfolding cast of characters. Oh, the anticipation! Not only do I get to find out more about them, not only do I get to see them responding to new challenges and situations, not only do I see them grow and change and develop in all sorts of ways, but I get to make it all happen!!!!

Besides being an occasional writer, I’m a bit of a computer game player. I like games with a ‘world creation’ aspect to them, or a strong element of story-telling. I can spend hours playing in Minecraft, or journeying in Skyrim. But you know what? I get all those thrills and more when I tell the story myself. When I build the story out of my very own words.


JRR Tolkien has always fascinated me, because of his talent for world creation, but it wasn’t until a little over a decade ago, when I wrote my masters thesis on his theological thought, that I was able to listen to what he had to say about the business of fantasy writing. He believed firmly that the writing of fantasy stories was a deeply Godly endeavor and that it provided for the human soul in several different ways; read his essay “On Fairy Stories” for all the detail. But one point I want to make here; he believed that we are creators of alternate worlds because we are made in the image of the maker.  We can’t help but want to create worlds since the world-creator made us to be like Himself – and in fact calls us to join with him in the business of creating, sustaining, and redeeming the world in every possible way.

And you know what? Picking up a pen (or opening a word-processor document) might just be one way of doing that.

Good news for the creative soul!

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Haiku variation

Grey Bird steadfastly

strokes cold air, climbs past the moon

hard white in fading blue.


Heron forcefully

strikes through chill evening, moon

harsh in dying day.

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Death Irregular

your four limbs stretched against the timbers your

head hanging loose your

clothes gambled away and your


pouring like water from the gash between the worlds

that spear thrust

that pierced a universe.

Rolling thunder is too mild a cadenza

earthquakes insufficient

for this enormity.

God is dead

now what can we do?

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Autumn fragment

Cool wind blesses
my head bared before
the welcome sun.

Golden poplars blaze against evergreen hills;

Pentecostal plumes
pointing into brightest blue
lift up my eyes.

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imagine your hand reaching out to touch the soft, warm fur of your sleeping puppy

imagine the nice feelings

the sense of tenderness

of companionship

even of love

that goes with that touch,

you stroke your puppy

and rub the back of its neck

and then your fingers slide around the puppy’s neck

and you don’t seem to have any control of your hand

and your fingers close on your pet’s neck

and slowly tighten.

You panic

and try to release the puppy

but you can’t

and your fingers press deeper into its coat

and the puppy wakes up

and now you’re struggling to let go

but your grip just gets tighter

and the puppy realises too late that something is wrong

and begins to whine

and try to get away

but you hold on

and now the puppy is scrabbling for freedom

and its claws dig into your flesh

and rip your wrists

but you can’t let go

and you can feel your thumb closing its throat

and its struggles get weaker

and you’re bleeding

and the pain is intense

but you can’t let go

and all the time you’re watching this happening

and you have no control

and you can’t let go

and you hate yourself

and you hate the puppy

because you loved it

and now you’ve killed it

and you can’t let go.


Addiction kills everything you love and rips you to pieces and you can’t let go. 

Don’t start.

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