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A Sonnet for ash wednesday

Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s Cross

I resume the thread of Sounding the Seasons, the sonnet sequence I have been posting here, and which s also available as a book from Canterbury Press, with this sonnet for Ash Wednesday. As I set about the traditional task of burning the remnants of last Palm Sunday’s palm crosses in order to make the ash which would bless and sign our repentance on Ash Wednesday, I was suddenly struck by the way both the fire and the ash were signs not only of our personal mortality and our need for repentance and renewal but also signs of of the wider destruction our sinfulness inflicts upon God’s world and on our fellow creatures, on the whole web of life into which God has woven us and for which He also cares. So some of those themes are visted in this sonnet. As we go through Lent I will post sonnets reflecting on each of the three temptations of Christ in  the wilderness, as well as for Mothering Sunday and the Feast of the  Annunciation which also falls in Lent. As before I am grateful to Margot Krebs Neale for the remarkable commentary on these poem

Ash Wednesday

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.

He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.

 

Beginning with this sign upon your browBy Malcolmquite

Mother

mum15

 

A sweet enchanting smile

Warm and tender charms

The things I remember

While safe in mother’s arms

 

Protected from all troubles

Comforted when in pain

Kissed gently on the cheek

To make all better again

 

Guided through my infant life

Of things I should not do

Taught me right from wrong

And shown things old and new

 

I want to thank you mother

I cherished all the years

Even when I was punished

And cried so many tears

 

And now that I am older

My love for you is strong

Although you are no longer with me

To the Spirit world you have gone

 

I know you will always be near me

For your love will never die

At times when I need you

I will always feel you nigh

 

I should like to say thank you

For all that you have done

For I will always cherish you

From your grateful Son.
 
Malcolm Bradshaw

SON’S AND LOVER’S 100 YEARS OLD – D H Lawrence

 
Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers Quotes

Quote 1: Paul continually prays for his mother’s safety: “‘Make him stop drinking’. He prayed every night. ” ‘Lord, let my father die’, he prayed very often. ‘Let him not be killed at pit'”, he prayed when, after tea, the father did not come home from work.” Part 1, Chapter 4, pg. 60

Quote 2: “He was an outsider. He had denied the God in him.” Part 1, Chapter 4, pg. 63

Quote 3: “All day long, as she cleaned the house, she thought of him. He was in London: he would do well. Almost, he was like her knight who wore her favour in the battle.” Part 1, Chapter 4, pg. 79

Quote 4: “Not even the Mediterranean, which pulled at all his young man’s desire to travel, and at his poor man’s wonder at the glamorous south, could take him away when he might come home.” Part 1, Chapter 4, pg. 82

Quote 5: “But still, in her heart of hearts, where the love should have burned, there was a blank. Now, when all her woman’s pity was roused to its full extent, when she would have slaved herself to death to nurse him and to save hum, when she would have taken the pain herself, if she could, somewhere far away inside her, she felt indifferent to him and to his suffering. It hurt her most of all, this failure to love him, even when he roused her strong emotions.” Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 86

Quote 6: He feels as if he is a “prisoner of industrialism.” Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 89

Quote 7: “Already his heart went down. He was being taken into bondage. His freedom in the beloved home valley was going now.” Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 89

Quote 8: “He liked to watch his fellow-clerks at work. The man was the work and the work was the man, one thing, for the time being. It was different with the girls. The real woman never seemed to be there at the task, but as if left out, waiting.” Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 112

Quote 9: “The trains roared by like projectiles level on the darkness, fuming and burning, making the valley clang with their passage. They were gone, and the lights of the towns and villages glittered in silence.” Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 112

Quote 10: Mrs. Morel “clung now to Paul.” Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 114

Quote 11: As Paul says, “But I like the feel of men on things, while they’re alive. There’s a feel of men about trucks, because they’ve been handled with men’s hands, all of them.” Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 123

Quote 12: All Mrs. Morel can say is, “‘My son.'” Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 139

Quote 13: When the critical moment arrives, Mrs. Morel cries to Paul, “‘My son.'” Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 141

Quote 14: “Then he was so ill, and she felt he would be weak. Then she would be stronger than he. Then she could love him. If she could be mistress of him in his weakness, take care of him, if he could depend on her, if she could, as it were, have him in her arms, how she would love him!” Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 143

Quote 15: “She stimulated him into appreciating things thus, and then they lived for her. She seemed to need things kindling in her imagination or in her soul before she felt she had them. And she was cut off from ordinary life by her religious intensity which made the world for her either a nunnery garden or a paradise, where sin and knowledge were not, or else an ugly, cruel thing.” Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 149

Quote 16: Paul asks her in frustration and anger, “‘ What do you tremble your soul before it?…You don’t learn algebra with your blessed soul. Can’t you look at it with your clear simple wits?'” Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 156

Quote 17: “They were going to have a communion together – something that thrilled her, something holy.” Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 159

Quote 18: Miriam almost worships the flowers, but Paul feels strangely “imprisoned” by the roses and its “white, virgin scent.” Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 160

Quote 19: Mrs. Morel tells herself that through Paul, “she was to see herself fulfilled.” Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 183

Quote 20: With his mother, Paul is happy and proud that his mother takes charge of his life; with Miriam, he is filled with “something more wonderful, less human, and tinged to intensity by a pain, as if there were something he could not get to.” Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 192

Quote 21: Mrs. Morel believes that Miriam is not an “ordinary woman, who can leave me my share in him. She wants to absorb him till there is nothing left of him, even for himself. He will never be a man on his own two feet – she will suck him up.” Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 193

Quote 22: Disgusted with her behavior, Paul asks, “‘You’re always begging things to love you as if you were a beggar for love. Even the flowers, you have to fawn on them – You don’t want to love – your eternal and abnormal craving is to be loved. You aren’t positive, you’re negative. You absorb, absorb, as if you must fill yourself up with love, because you’ve got a shortage somewhere.'” Part 2, Chapter 9, pg. 218

Quote 23: “Something in the eternal repose of the uplifted cathedral, blue and noble against the sky, was reflected in [his mother], something of the fatality. What was, was. With all his young will he could not alter it. He saw her face, the skin still fresh and pink and downy, but crow’s-feet near her eyes, her eyelids steady, sinking a little, her mouth always closed with disillusion; and there was on her the same eternal look, as if she knew fate at last.” Part 2, Chapter 9, pg. 240

Quote 24: He writes, “I can give you a spirit love, I have given you this long, long time; but not embodied passion. See, you are a nun. I have given you what I would give a holy nun…In all our relations no body enters. I do not talk to you through the senses – rather through the spirit. That is why we cannot love in the common sense.” Part 2, Chapter 9, pg. 251

Quote 25: “At this rate he would not live. He had that poignant carelessness about himself, his own suffering, his own life, which is a form of suicide. It almost broke her heart. With all the passion of her strong nature she hated Miriam for having in this subtle way undermined his joy.” Part 2, Chapter 10, pg. 258

Quote 26: Miriam tells herself, “She would submit, religiously, to the sacrifice. He should have her. And at the thought her whole boy clenched itself involuntarily, hard, as if against something; but Life forced her through this gate of suffering, too, and she would submit. At any rate, it would give him what he wanted, which was her deepest wish.” Part 2, Chapter 11, pg. 284

Quote 27: “She knew she felt in a sort of bondage to him, which she hated because she could not control it. She hated her love for him from the moment it grew too strong for her. And, deep down, she had hated him because she loved him and he dominated her. She had resisted his denomination. She had fought to keep herself free of him in the last issue. And she was free of him, even more than he of her.” Part 2, Chapter 11, pg. 296

Quote 28: Paul says, “‘[Passion is] what one must have, I think – the real, real flame of feeling through another person – once, only once, if it lasts three months. See, my mother looks as if she’d had everything that was necessary for her living and developing. There’s not a tiny bit of feeling of sterility about her.'” Part 2, Chapter 12, pg. 317

Quote 29: She tells herself, “‘If he must go, let him go and have his fill – something big and intense, he called it. At any rate, when he had got it, he would not want it – that he said himself; he would want the other thing that she could give him. He would want to be owned, so that he could work. It seemed to her a bitter thing that he must go, but she could let him go into an inn for a glass of whisky, so she could let him go to Clara, so long as it was something that would satisfy a need in him, and leave him free for herself to possess.'” Part 2, Chapter 12, pg. 318

Quote 30: He feels that “sometimes he hated her, and pulled at her bondage. His life wanted to free itself of her. It was like a circle where life turned back on itself, and got no farther. She bore him, loved him, kept him, and his love turned back into her, so that he could not be free to go forward with his own life, really love another woman.” Part 2, Chapter 13, pg. 345

Quote 31: “She knew how stark and alone he was, and she felt it was great that he came to her; and she took him simply because his need was bigger either than her or him, and her soul was still within her. She did this for him in his need, even if he left her, for she loved him.” Part 2, Chapter 13, pg. 353

Quote 32: As Paul watches Clara swim in the sea, he thinks to himself, “‘She’s lost like a grain of sand in the beach – just a concentrated speck blown along, a tiny white foam-bubble, almost nothing among the morning. Why does she absorb me?'” Part 2, Chapter 13, pg. 358

Quote 33: Not only does he feel “imprisoned” when he is with her, Clara also feels that he yearns to break free from her. Part 2, Chapter 13, pg. 359

Quote 34: “It was almost as if he were a criminal. He wanted her – he had her – and it made her feel as if death itself had her in its grip. She lay in horror. There was no man there loving her.” Part 2, Chapter 14, pg. 387

Quote 35: Paul tells Clara, “‘She’s got such a will, it seems as if she would never go – never!'” Part 2, Chapter 14, pg. 388

Quote 36: “Sometimes they looked in each other’s eyes. Then they almost seemed to make an agreement. It was almost as if he were agreeing to die also. But she did not consent to die; she would not. Her body was wasted to a fragment of ash. Her eyes were dark and full of torture.” Part 2, Chapter 14, pg. 392

Quote 37: “And now he looked paltry and insignificant. There was nothing stable about him. Her husband had more manly dignity. At any rate hedid not waft about with any wind. There was something evanescent about Morel, she thought, something shifting and false. He would never make sure ground for any woman to stand on. She despised him rather for his shrinking together, getting smaller. Her husband at least was manly, and when he was beaten gave in. But this other would never own to being beaten. He would shift round and round, prowl, get smaller.” Part 2, Chapter 14, pg. 407

Quote 38: “She was the only thing that held him up, himself, amid all this. And she was gone, intermingled herself. He wanted her to touch him, have him alongside with her. But no, he would not give in…He would not take that direction, to the darkness, to follow her.” Part 2, Chapter 15, pg. 420

IN MY HOUSE

astalxxxxxxxx
In my house there are many mansions,
Seek and you shall find,
Knock and the door will open,
For God will illuminate your mind.

Ask and it will be given,
The knowledge that you seek,
For the spirit world will open,
To bestow gifts around your feet.

Death does not destroy,
The spirit that lies within,
Only the mortal body dies,
For death can never win.

When the body is buried it is mortal,
When it is raised its pure delight,
When buried it is ugly,
When raised it is pure and bright.

Death where is your victory,
Death where is your pain,
For the spirit has embarked on journey,
To a sphere on the astral plane.

Death takes away the mortal,
The spirit continues to thrive,
For death cannot destroy,
A spirit that is very much alive.

Malcolm G Bradshaw

In the bleak mid winter your favourite Christmas poem

Winter in Switzerland, by Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900)
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man

I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

Christina Rossetti

1872

RAIN

rain UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Sheltering in a doorway from

Diagonal machine-gun rain

Bullets that riddled the church;

Hallowed windows remained stained.

A man, revered, spoke of community

Spirit, occasionally in a Latin tongue

I listened via an agnostic ear

Who was I to say he was wrong?

Sitting at the back drying out

With people who queued for wine

And solace, much more else:

Seeking words from that divine.

As wine turned back to holy water

The heavens opened up

I walked amongst the gathered people

And drank from cherished cup.

STEPHEN HOLLOWAY

 

Christmas light

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The twinkling lights of emerald green
And brilliant blue and white
Are piercing darkness, all enshrouded
In the black of night.

The scarlet Christmas lights reveal
To us the price He paid
In giving all, His life in death,
The way to God was made.

The greens remind us of His love
In making life forever,
That we who trust Him may be sure
That He’ll forsake us never.

The blues speak of eternity,
The never ending span,
The timeless age, unnumbered years,
According to His plan.

The hue most beautiful of all
Tells of His righteousness,
A robe of snowy, spotless white,
In faith ours to possess.

The tree’s bedecked, the window’s bright,
A star and tinkling bell,
The gifts are made, the carol’s played,
Do not the story tell.

He came to die and not to live
We worship not the child,
But God incarnate, holy, great,
Not virgin, or infant mild.

We cannot worship stars above,
Nor mangers filled with hay,
Not e’en the cross made out of wood,
Raised to the sky that day.

But Christ alone, for He is God,
He’s all we’ll ever need.
Remember not His birth alone,
For in His Word we read:

“This do in memory of me,”
His death, for this He came.
His body broken, bleeding sore,
He hung in blinding shame.

The sun refused to shine at noon,
The darkness fell as night,
The temple veil was rent in twain,
God spurned this Prince of Light.

On Him was sin, all yours and mine,
A black and ugly guilt.
The world’s Light died, “It’s done,” He cried,
His precious blood was spilt.

It’s crimson red, it’s giving life,
We have in faith believed it,
For sinners we can now be free,
Because we have received it.

So, Christmas lights of red and green,
Of amber, blue, and white,
We look beyond the lovely scene,
To God our Christmas Light. 

By Majori Morrison

Medley of christmas poems

download.jpg123
The Star

I have a star that’s shiny,
Its like those up in the sky –
That radiate a brightness,
From the heavens, oh so high!

Stars like to glimmer and twinkle,
Constellations are fun to find –
But the star that shone over Bethlehem,
Led to the Savior of all mankind.

Let us thank God for the star
That led the shepherds and others to him.
We want to praise our  Lord Jesus
Beautiful star of Bethlehem

The Heart

I bring you my heart
That is now filled with love,
Because God sent a baby
From Heaven above.

I bring you my heart
Its so happy within,
I know Jesus loves me –
He died for my sin.

I bring you my heart
You should give yours away,
Give it to Jesus –
And be saved today!

The Wreath

I would like to show you this wreath.
Isn’t it shaped 
so perfectly round?
You see, there’s no end of it’s circle,
And the beginning cannot be found.

That is how it is with God’s love –
We don’t know when it first began,
But He promised it would last forever,
And one day with Him we will stand.

uld like to show you this wreath.
Isn’t it shaped 
so perfectly round?
You see, there’s no end of it’s circle,
And the beginning cannot be found.

That is how it is with God’s love –
We don’t know when it first began,
But He promised it would last forever,
And one day with Him we will stand.

The Bell

Ring the bell!
Let the whole world know,
That Jesus was born
In a manger long ago.

Ring it loud,
So all can hear.
Go tell the world
That the Savior is near!

Ring it for the saved,
But especially for the lost!
Tell them Jesus loves them,
And died upon the cross.

Ring it with joy
When to your friends you say,
“He didn’t stay in the tomb –
He rose on the third day!”

We ring the bells with gladness
Now at Christmas, a time of joy.
We thank our heavenly father,
For Bethlehem’s baby boy!

The Baby

I have a tiny baby,
I like to hold it near –
So it will know that I’m the mommy (or daddy)
And won’t have any fear.

God had a tiny baby,
That he gave to Mary one day.
She laid him in a manger,
On a little pillow of hay.

I love to kiss my baby
And I think that Mary did, too.
I’ll send a Christmas kiss to Jesus *
And then I’ll send one to you!**

 

The Stone

The angel appeared to the shepherds
And gave them such wonderful news.
As they started running to Bethlehem,
One almost lost his new shoes.

You see, his foot hit a rock,
Not a boulder, but a stone big enough
To trip him and cause him to stumble,
And he landed on ground that was rough!

But he managed to get to the manger
In spite of that rock in the way
To worship this baby, this Jesus,
He would serve Him till his dying day.

This baby grew up and was followed
By many as he preached and he healed,
But He died on a hill called Mt.Calvary,
Then to a borrowed tomb that was sealed.

It was closed up with a very large boulder,
A big stone of magnificent size,
But it would take more than this rock to hold him –
He had told them that one day he’d rise.

The stone was moved from the entrance
Jesus came forth on the third day
I would love to have been there to see it
As that great stone was rolled away

 

The Gift

The wise men searched for Jesus.
Following a very bright star.
They finally found him in Bethlehem,
And brought gifts to him from afar.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
Were the presents that the kings gave.
They worshiped this very young Christ-child,
They were glad their souls he would save.

I will offer three presents to Jesus,
That money cannot even buy,
And I’m sure that he will love it –
I’ll give Me, Myself, and I !


The Lamb

I have a little baby lamb,
Shhh, I think he’s asleep.
I am a Bethlehem shepherd,
In the field just watching my sheep.

One night an angel appeared,
And told us about the birth –
Of a baby that was placed in a manger,
He was the Savior of the earth!

We ran to meet this Master
And we fell down and worshiped right then –
This tiny lamb of Jehovah,
Who could save us from our sin.

So stay close to His side always,
This Lamb whose your shepherd, too.
He will never lead you the wrong way,
And will be ever faithful and true.

The Song

I have a song about Jesus
When he first came here, you see.
Its about his birth in the stable
Oh, won’t you sing it with me?

It’s called Away in a Manger,
And it tells of this tiny baby boy.
Let’s lift our voices to Heaven –
And sing of His wonderful joy!

By Cheryl Taylor

Welcome friend

 

Open the door to the spirit world,

A loved one is on their way,

To join all those that loves them,

For them it is a special day.

 

For them the suffering has ended,

Released from all earthly pain,

To walk in the presence of God,

To live and smile again.

 

To cast away the earthly shell,

To set the spirit free,

For they will be dearly blessed,

In the spirit world, they will see.

 

Just another dimension,

Just another sphere,

Returning to their home,

To those they hold so dear.

 

Do not look on their death with sorrow,

But send them on their way,

With love and reassurance,

To the spirit world to stay.

 

 

Malcolm G Bradshaw

I’m dreaming. – Promote Yourself


dreaming88888
I’m dreaming.
My head knows I am
Lying in my bed
Yet
My heart
It believes
I am once again
Living with you.
I thought he took you
From me
He burned you out of my mind
But not my soul
Here you remain.
I came to this place
To escape you.
The pain of breathing alone
They took it away
And I paid my price.
I do not understand
Why are you here
I feel you
Our life
Our plans
Your hope
The touch of your breath
On my skin
It’s so alive
How can that be?
You’re gone
This place is the fortress
That eases the pain.
The dream
It’s almost over
The pain
I can feel it
Building as quickly as
Your image fades.
It scolds
And overflows me
The heart and the brain
Look to each other for reason
At your presence here……………………….

Ask With Your Heart – Promote Yourself

ask heartxxxxxxxxxx
When the rain falls, to whom do you call?
And when you call, what is it that speaks?
For when it speaks, it does not sound sincere;
And the music it makes is awful to thy ears.

Speak what you need and not what you want;
When you wish upon a star, say not even a lie;
To be rewarded will be such a virtuous experience;
To be not will be such a painful chastisement.

I tell you, my brothers, to ask with your heart;
Whatever you ask, you shall then receive;
Be careful not to sin for you to be rewarded;
Be careful in drifting for someone might steal.

When woe comes, you shall listen to thy heart;
Yet if He does not live there, should you listen to it?
How would you realize if it is not so?
Ask with your heart, as what I just told!

Brothers, get rid of confusion and be still;
Acknowledge His power – His will shall be done!
Submit yourselves, be free from evil;
Do not do what you want but rather do what He wants.

For you are human, my brothers and sisters;
Your powers combined are not even half of His!
Speak with your heart, I said, not with your mouth;
As that is what that truly matters.

Address with your soul, my brothers and sisters;
What is so difficult in doing thus?
I will say it again, my brothers and sisters;
With your heart, please do humbly and solemnly ask.

What question should you ask if you were to call?
His love, my brothers, ask Him to stay in your heart.

Shevaun Lemieux

SENT IN BY willmeneke

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a seaman’s true ship
is the sea
he sails upon
an untamed power
of mystery
of moods
of a beauty
that will wash away
the sins
of the sailor
and lay him to rest
in its depths

THE LADY


      some people in our lives
can’t be thanked enough for things they 
  do you see they are being themselves
  Rebecca you are one
  from the bible I will treasure you and your name
The lady as my son refered to her
since and always I will do the same
a very special lady
beyond being a nurse
your voice I still hear so wonderful
like an angel sent from heaven
placed here to help on earth
I thank you from myself my son
for being who you are
not a nurse much more by far
on us first meeting im sure 
our dear lord released a special star
for the comfort we received in my sons
hour of need
was definitely sent by a higher power

        through Rebecca
    THE LADY

Sandra Cameron
       X

Blow, blow, thou winter wind – your favourite poem

Blow, blow, thou winter wind 
Thou art not so unkind 
As man’s ingratitude; 
Thy tooth is not so keen, 
Because thou art not seen, 
Although thy breath be rude. 

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly: 
Then heigh-ho, the holly! 
This life is most jolly. 

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky, 
That does not bite so nigh 
As benefits forgot: 
Though thou the waters warp, 
Thy sting is not so sharp 
As a friend remembered not. 
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: 
Then heigh-ho, the holly! 
This life is most jolly. 

William Shakespeare
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