Saturday, 15 February 2014

Saturday 06:30

Atari shapes of passing headlights
slip linear shadows across this wall,
as raindrops snare the rooftops firmly.

A pin-prick watch insists on joining silence,
and torchlight floods down on my hand,
to cast this mighty pen in silhouette.    

Outside my duvet savannah,
lazy Saturday, no agenda,
waits skulking in the black to pounce.

The day will come, sure as the sun,
a cappuccino in the kitchen,
signalling that we are home.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

wresting "control"

a test to taste,
against my thirst,
a gravel throat,
sand-papered mouth,
roughed-up walls  
of faith
shake down.

this precipice
that overhangs
and overhauls
and overbears,
captures prayers,
tenses shoulders,
head and stares,
for all i know
and all i care,
it's simply

out of
i never was
never thought to ask;
but found i am,
(afraid to find),
control is well
outwith my

Lord, Spirit,
transfix on
entirely to...Your hands,
and dangerous,
under wings,
shivering in Your
i sing,
in this

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Waiting for the storm to pass, the storm to pass, the storm to pass...

Travelling seas of mountain peaks,
Everest waves climbing,
clinging at the starboard stern,
spray slapping against your face,
wakening you to the watch of moody waters,
your sinking heart rising in your stomach,
the norm of storm sticking in your throat,
through it, through it rushing windswept
calloused fingers point you on.

Then waiting on the silent ocean,
bobbing like a lifeless buoy
your sat-nav soul snuggled with explosives,
on quiet waters, mind wandering
where sharks are hungry,
peaceful, taut and angry,
lest you fall,
(too scared to call)
for fear you fall,
though God is sleeping in your boat,
a mighty warrior stilling silence
if he will,
when he will...

You head for land
and run aground,
and ride, crestfallen,
seas of torment,
approaching, passing, fresh preparing
for storms, the triumph of his art,
to lead you on, restore your soul.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Challenge

Firstly, a bit of context. For the last several years January has been a difficult month. Darker nights, post-Christmas, back to the grind of work etc etc. Same old same old. From what I've observed, I'm not alone.

With the threat of the new year ringing in my ears, I decided to set myself a challenge this year to see if it could tide me through the most depressing mid-winter month.

It was a fairly mild January, certainly in my part of Scotland, and I felt blessed to have these conditions in comparison with what I saw in the news of the freezing conditions in North America. (Southern parts of the UK have suffered with horrendous flooding too..)

Anyway, to my challenge. I aimed for around half an hour of exercise each day throughout the month. I used to record  the details of each day. The results have surprised me.

I've never been into exercise that much. I only considered it after a counsellor suggested that it is proven to reduce incidences of depression and I felt that I needed to give it a go. I started with cycling and moved onto running. I bought some equipment for my makeshift garage gym: a punchbag; a cross-trainer. My brother-in-law bought me some military fitness ropes for Christmas and lent me his 12 kg kettlebells. 

My mapmyrun dashboard tells me that I travelled 131.18 km in January, two-thirds of those on foot and one-third on my bike. This time last year I could only dream of doing that. I completed 33 workouts over 17 hours. I took part in the parkrun phenomenon that is now making tracks all over the world. Apparently I shed over 9000 calories in the month.

None of this is meant as boasting. I don't want you to say well done at the bottom of the page. I write this simply to ask you to consider if you need to exercise more as an antidote to the dark days of winter. Every year I hear sad stories around this time and maybe we could all encourage each other with a bit of positive peer-pressure in the exercise stakes.

I'm thinking about making this an annual event in my life and want to ask others to join me. Put it in your calendar, select a month and go for it. It doesn't have to be high intensity stuff. Walking is as good as anything. Let people know and let them encourage you. I've been amazed by the amount of people who have given me a "thumbs-up" on social media and face-to-face. It's really made my month.

Finally, I have to add that this exercise of discipline has had the major spin-off of helping to rekindle my spiritual life too. It's somehow become easier to focus on "soul life", having pushed the body to the limit. Having been forced to dropout of work for a while just over a year ago due to stress and anxiety/depression, I've found fresh encouragement in this scripture:

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.

So, what about it? You might want to consider joining me next January (or any other suitable month), from wherever you are-set yourself a challenge, and go for it!
Makeshift garage gym scene!


White trash-lovers, Freaks for all they’re worth, Anarchy in beady, brazen faces, Seizing stares, Standing ground...