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I place my faith in the Good Shepherd,
in his clear voice, one I knew I knew,
seeking me out, drawing me in
from the dark.

I place my faith in the Good Shepherd,
in his broad shoulders as he lifts me,
carrying me back to good pasture,
back home.

I place my faith in the battered shoulders of Jesus,
shoulders forgiving enough to haul a cross,
strong enough to bear my full weight
whatever the cost.

Yes, I believe in the shoulders of Jesus,
shoulders broad enough for every black sheep,
strong enough when we are lost
and when we are weak.

I believe in the shoulders of Jesus –
throwing his arms welcome wide
and lifting me into this embrace,
safe from all wolves and the thickest of thickets.

I believe in the shoulders of Jesus
betraying His Father’s family trait
of rescue and acceptance.

I believe in the good shoulders of Jesus.
That’s where I place my faith.
John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
Luke 15:  4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home.
The red folk and the purple people were distinctive in their hue.  In contrast, the Set Up bunch were chameleon, and to the casual observer they could pass for members of the congregation. That was by design, to be known only by their levite nature, their early arrival and late departure and (if you looked closely) by their hands.
The early bunch had remarkable hands. They were strikingly ready and willing, and could be turned to a wide variety of tasks.
They could never be described as specialist, and would never wish to be.  Their true specialty, if they have one, is only to be quick to serve and never draw attention to themselves.  
If they were ever persuaded to wear team tee shirts, they would have 'Ninja' brazoned across the back.  And that would be kinda cool.
At Sunday church, the kids workers wear red, the welcome team wear purple.   The team that do the heavy lifting don't have team tees.  Here's why.
1d · 74
Sunday Spinning
I know Jesus can't turn in his grave
(because, well you know).
But if he could,
He'd be spinning most Sundays.
1d · 22
Flag thoughts
What is it about a national flag
draped over shoulders,
tied at the neck
or wrapped like a toga
that makes me cross the road?
Why do I suspect it covers anger?
Why do I hear a shout of challenge,
rather than a song of honour?
Was it too many urban marches?
Flying London bricks?
And cracked skulls?
Let's put flags beyond reach
on flag poles,
and preferably not at half mast.
#livinginlondon
Blessed are you who know hungry.
Blessed are you who know thirsty.
Blessed are you who know hollow, empty.
I'm not talking to you peckish;
I'm talking to you who are conscious
of just how long it's been
since your last real meal.

Blessed are you when you pass up
on the offer of a fast food snack.
Blessed are you when you don't make do
with just any old crap.
Blessed are you who know your true need,
you who know where to truly feed.
Blessed are you who look to me,

- for I am the true life-giving manna,
sent down by your Jehovah-Jireh.
I am the bread of eternal life.
Whoever comes to me
should be ready with a butter knife.
For you will never go hungry.
First of a series, written for a planned sermon series at church.  
Matt 5.6 and John 6.35.
5d · 431
Rust Bucket
When I kick the bucket
I want it to be proper rusted,
zinc exposing steel.

When I kick the bucket
I want it recognisably mine,
a signature rattle.

When I kick the bucket
I want it made into a planter.
I want my bucket to bloom.
[Not sure this is finished yet.  ...
Jul 13 · 97
Solitude
Steve Page Jul 13
Take an isolation of loneliness,
add one park bench,
sprinkle liberally with sunshine,
blend with mixed bird song
(and an optional warm breeze).
Leave to ferment for at least one hour.
Resist the temptation to disturb,
and you will have yourself
a healthy dose of solitude.
Take one as part of your five-a-day.
Solitude can be positive, you know.
Jul 8 · 143
stop recycling
Steve Page Jul 8
Recycled conversations
won't ever save the world.
We need to stop recycling
and use more one-use words.
Recycled conversations utilise the same anecdotes and fail to really engage.  One-use words are purpose built for each conversation.  Prompted by Will Demou in conversation.
Jun 12 · 114
Tight Grip
Steve Page Jun 12
Sometimes
it's about pushing through.

But more often
it's more about
timing the next turn

or taking the next bend

with a tight grip
against the rain.
Life's lessons.
Jun 8 · 177
Driving
Steve Page Jun 8
Driving your son
is like dispensing a truth serum,
extracting revelation

Driving your daughter
is like tuning in to an ongoing drama
with you a minor player
I have a son and a daughter.  Two very different driving experiences.
Jun 8 · 83
Burden
Steve Page Jun 8
Don't be so quick to judge.
Not until you've walked a mile
(or at least for a while
in the park)
in my soft bedded,
anatomically shaped,
suede mules.

Then you'll appreciate
the air with which
I bear my superiority
with barely a hint
of complaint.
Prompted by a pompous radio discussion.
Steve Page Jun 7
coats are discarded, but the hall hooks stay empty
*****-top wine is opened without ceremony
fingers are favored over tooth picks without apology
conversations touch past pain and current joys effortlessly

shared memories are shared and new ventures discoursed
loved books are returned (unread) or offered
repeated yawns are ignored, reconnection preferred
until later… and dark rain greets their departure.
a lovely evening with lovely mates
Jun 7 · 86
Ink
Steve Page Jun 7
Ink
I watched my name
emerge from my pen.
It seemed strange
that there was so much ink
left at the end
of my letter.  

I watched my name
emerge from my pen.
So much ink
left at the end.

My name emerged.
So much ink
left at the end.

My name emerged.
So much ink.
Caught myself.
Jun 3 · 148
In pieces
Steve Page Jun 3
I leave myself all over the place
then retrace my steps
and while I try to collect myself
there's pieces I forget
I overheard the first line this evening
May 15 · 358
Street survey
Steve Page May 15
Out of 100 people
Who were around that day
Who stopped
Who didnt instantly walk away
Who understood the options
Who expressed an opinion,
Out of those 100 people
When asked a binary question
All 100 said: yes,
They do answer questions
From strangers.
On the reliability of surveys.
Triggered by Wisława Szymborska’s “A Word on Statistics"
May 9 · 102
Good to talk
Steve Page May 9
How you doing?
Not too bad.
What's new with you?
Oh, you know, not much.
Where you been?
Around.
Where you off to?
Nowhere special.
Well, it's been good to talk.
London.
Apr 25 · 335
What matters
Steve Page Apr 25
Beauty matters
and matters more
amongst the monstrous.

Remember that the monstrous
will always be with us
and so will beauty, just so long
as you continue to see it
and, seeing it, you recreate it
carefully, beautifully,
because you know it matters.
Apr 25 · 199
Faith
Steve Page Apr 25
Faith is a choice
Not a compulsion
Not a feeling
It's a decision
And it has to be made
by you.
So make it.
Apr 23 · 171
Saint George
Steve Page Apr 23
Saint George is an englishman
Who never came to England
Born in ancient Turkey
Fighting for the Romans

Saint George is an englishman
Who never met a dragon
Willing to be martyred
Killed for saintly passions

Saint George is an englishman
Adopted as our own
Our nation full of mongrels
Imports a classic hero
It's St George's Day in England today.
Apr 23 · 215
Swiftie
Steve Page Apr 23
I met a tortured poet
In sequins and despair
Her torture was unusual
She's now a billionaire.
Reading about Taylor Swifts new album, The Tortured Poets Department.
Apr 18 · 238
Run and Fight.
Steve Page Apr 18
Runners Run.
One stride at a time
One push at a time
One lap at a time

And when the climb is steep
when you feel like
you're losing ground,
then every stride,
every push, every lap
that leaves you in the race
takes you to your prize

And every time you stumble
only to regain your feet
that is a victory that is worthy
of your team captain
our captain, Jesus.

Boxers Fight.
One step at a time
One blow at a time
One round at a time

And when life throws
all it has at you,
all at one time,
then every step
every blow, every round
that leaves you in the fight
takes you to your prize

And every time you hit the canvas
only to beat the count
that is a victory that is worthy
of your champion,
our champion, Jesus.

And we will not be disqualified
from the prize.
------
1 Corinthians 9:
24. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. - NIV
Apr 9 · 140
Joys found
Steve Page Apr 9
Where's your joy?
Where have you found it?
If it's not there before you
turn your face to it.

Where's your joy?
Are you able to grasp it?
If it's not within reach
take steps towards it.

Where's your joy?
And are you enjoying it?
Life's worth the effort
for the joy found within it.
Life is too short.
Apr 6 · 307
Soar
Steve Page Apr 6
Lord, keep us dreaming
Remembering your faithfulness
Believing, looking for more
Keep us singing
Ready to soar
Joel 2.28
Zechariah 8.8
Is 43.19  Is 42.9
Is 42.10.  44.23
Is 40.31
Apr 6 · 255
What's to come?
Steve Page Apr 6
As a kid, was I
as accomplished a storyteller
as I remember?
Did I truly evade consequence?
As an adult, was it a little similar?

Is it just me?  
Or lately have I found more truth?
Do the stories seem to you
to be intertwined with unexpected twists?
Do they immerse you,
despite their incompleteness?
Do you find that this gives space
for imagination, for permission
for grace to flower?
Are you surprised by the colour?
Does the sweetness of the fragrance
stagger you as it does me?

Have I always been a storyteller?
A teller of stories?
And are they really unfinished?
Is there more fragrance to come?
I was reminded of the power of questions and so wrote this version of the previous poem (Story To Come).
Apr 5 · 116
story to come
Steve Page Apr 5
As a kid I was an accomplished storyteller
an evader of consequence.
As an adult it was a little similar,

but lately, I’ve found more story with truth
intertwined with unexpected twists,
and immersive but unfinished narratives,

which gave space for imagination,
for permission for grace to flower
in familiar but unexpected colour.

And sweet fragrance.

I have always been a storyteller.
A teller of my stories.
And they’re unfinished,

with more fragrance to come.
Apr 1 · 219
Ripples
Steve Page Apr 1
I can’t reach you, you far off,
you unborn, you yet to come.
I can’t reach you, touch you.
converse and engage you.
I can’t reach you, embrace you,
you beholders beyond my borders.
But my love invested,
my ripples,
in time, just might.
After Rob Mckelvey’s workshop: Cultivating a hundred-year vision.
Mar 31 · 272
Perspectives
Steve Page Mar 31
Immediate or infinite.
A different perspective as I look down at my feet and then up to the next bend in the road, if not out to the distant horizon.

Immediate and infinite.
I hold both in my hands and in my heart. Both guide my path.

Immediate and infinite.
My God has made them beautiful and is Lord of both.
after Ecclesiastes  3: 9-15
Mar 28 · 367
Endurance fathering
Steve Page Mar 28
Fathering involves running,
reaching out at full stretch,
as they get to the edge

Fathering involves running
close and distant alongside
a first bike ride

Fathering involves running
meeting them more than halfway
to reduce the faraway

Fathering involves running
to more accurately display
a father’s love
that will not go away

Fathering is being ready to run
all day
revisitingthis as a grandfather
Mar 26 · 130
True friend
Steve Page Mar 26
May you find a true friend when walking alone
May you find someone there to embrace
May you find deeper joy than you've tasted before
May you offer more love than you've faced

May you dampen your haste to self criticise
May you find the off-switch to self-doubt
May you recognise when you're just talking *****
and tell all your demons to get out

May you give more time for self celebration
May you find more inside to love
May you recognise more of your God-given beauty
and see gifts to be truly proud of

When you don't echo lies you're hearing from others
When you speak more of truth instead
That's when you begin to live life again
and you're ready to enjoy what's ahead.
Lessons from therapy
Mar 26 · 103
What violence
Steve Page Mar 26
What weight do you hold?
When will you weary from the holding?
What form will the release take?
How long will the cascade flow before it is spent?

And then, how long before
the reservoir needs release once more?
We all need an outlet for frustration and anger.  The psalms is full of it.
Mar 23 · 227
Road
Steve Page Mar 23
wiper beat
indicator rhythm
steady hum
of tarmac
together speak truth,
comfort and song
wise beyond words
miles from home
while the beat sinks in
and we drive on
The hypnosis of a car drive
Mar 22 · 326
Temples
Steve Page Mar 22
When we offer
a sacrifice of praise,
our lives as living psalters,
are our hearts altered?
Watching the movie, Mary Magdelene
Mar 21 · 201
Parakeets
Steve Page Mar 21
The flash of parakeets in the rain,
in darkest Ealing,
raise heavy souls away
from the drizzle,
up from the road
long enough to gift
a memorable
collision.
Things you see on  Sunday morning
Mar 17 · 431
For The Joys
Steve Page Mar 17
(Hebrews 12.2 – expanded version)

"…looking to Jesus,
the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him...

For the JOY of following his father's will
For the JOY of offering us salvation

For the JOY of putting an end to death
For the JOY of his promised resurrection

For the JOY of ascending to his Father
For the JOY of sending the Spirit of truth

For the JOY of commissioning disciple makers
For the JOY of preparing many rooms

For the JOY of planning his wedding feast
For the JOY of coming for his bride

For the JOY of gifting the water of life
For the JOY of drinking kingdom wine

For all these JOYS set before him,

…Jesus endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

where nothing will rob him of these JOYS.
A poem for Good Friday
Mar 11 · 215
Sheep
Steve Page Mar 11
We’re all called to be sheep
watching the staff
held by the shepherd
led by his laughs.

We’re all called to be sheep
some lambs, some rams
the flock flows together
bearing God’s brand.

We’re all called to be sheep
some to be shepherds
I’m a little of both
both serving and served.
Credit to Kevin, Stephan and the rest of the meet up at the Hub these past few weeks.
Mar 11 · 66
Blackfen, 1976
Steve Page Mar 11
Our biscuits were in tupperware
Sealed tight but not tight enough
Digestives and custard creams
Slowly got stale and soft.

Our biscuits were in tupperware
Bought in bulk, a cheap job lot
Garibaldis and dry rich teas
Tea-dunked to hit the spot.

Our biscuits were in tupperware
Mum was a tupperware lady
Biscuits, cakes and crackers
Stored to last til pay day.
Happy childhood
Mar 9 · 130
I See You
Steve Page Mar 9
I see you there, looking for me.
I see you; do you see me?
I see you distrusting yourself.
I see you and all your doubt.

I see you much better than you do.
I see through the you in the rearview.
I see you there out in the desert.
I see you and your trembling heart.

I see true and love you still.
I see you and always will.
I love you more than anyone else.
I love you more than you love yourself.  

I see you.
I see through.
I see true.
I love you.
Genesis 16.13
Mar 9 · 186
Reflection
Steve Page Mar 9
Pallet is just a trick of the light
Echo a deceit
All we have is reflected
- for all that
it's no less sweet
I heard a radio interview where someone referred to the colour of a birds plumes as a trick of the light.  I shouted at the radio at that point.
Mar 8 · 233
Warmth
Steve Page Mar 8
Your warm armour enfolds me, equips me for loving battle.

Your warm sword stabs the cold, severs frostbite's grip.

Your warm shield shelters me,
shoulders the weight of attack.

Your warm tears flow artery deep, steel me for winter battle.

You're my warm core,
warm to my touch.

You're my warmth.
It started with warm armour.
Steve Page Mar 2
as he sat soft beside me.
“Sure,” I said, with ill feeling.
My instinct was not to cross my friend,
I had too few left.

I nodded to the Ape behind the bar and he obliged
with one lemon & ginger and one green tea.
He knows his regulars well
and we know we’d need to wait til later for anything stronger.

“Look,” he said, and I turned to see
a gap and I counted the two teeth that were missing -
no, not missing - he opened his hand
and there they were, both accounted for,
safe and secure in his grey leathery palm.

“Look,” he repeated, (a little slurred this time)
and turned his fist so I could see
the missing skin and the bruises
that gave testimony to his amateur status.  

His ****** grin and wet laughter
shook the silverback back into action
and we got a plate of malted milks.
Like I say, he knows his regulars well
and he’d listened when I told him
where he could get a regular supply,
direct from Staffordshire, in the UK.

“Lo-ok,” he said (more hesitant this time)
and lifted his shirt a little to reveal the knife wound,
replete with knife, buried to the hilt.

“Loo-,“ he started to say, as he slid off the bar stool
taking his tea with him, the porcelain shattering on the stone floor.

I winced – the cups had been a gift
to the Ape from my mother.
‘Why should the chimps get all the best crockery?’ she’d explained.

“I’ll pay for the breakage,” I said
and the Ape nodded his furrowed brow
as he swung round to grab the dustpan and mop.

I drank my tea,
counting off the friends that remained.
Inspired by the vibe in Dave Newman's collection, The Poem Pactory, published by White Gorilla Press.
Mar 1 · 119
Space Jesus
Steve Page Mar 1
I hear talk of Space Jesus:
A prince escaping a slaughter,
Surviving a journey through the desert,
Joining with the people
he came to save

- and then he rides giant worms....

I prefer the historical version,
the Christ Jesus.
Listening to reviews of Dune II
Mar 1 · 149
In a state of want
Steve Page Mar 1
I want, you want, they want,
in want,
sludging through want,
wading shin-thigh-waist deep,
as we sink-or-swim
this ******* swamp,
with a raised chin
just above this slow loss
of living want.

I want, you want, they want
in a new normal
right state of want.
Observations
Feb 26 · 335
Aging
Steve Page Feb 26
I'm full of long complexity
in this shell of masculinity
You see a pale reflection
of the inner deeper me

I'm not a likely poster child
but believe you-me it's true
I span across the gamut
between them, us, me and you

Don't judge this balding grayness
by the pallid, saggy skin
Start an honest conversation
- find the truer child within
Started in a very different place and the fifth draft landed in a more honest place
Feb 25 · 173
Good tech.
Steve Page Feb 25
Why can't they invent silent tech?
Design tech that bit closer to quiet?
Why does it need to hum or to whine
to constantly remind me
it's watching, listening, waiting,
biding it's time,
denying me the silence
that might breed peace
... or perhaps simply echo
my emptiness.  
(Thank heavens for tech.)
Silence is rare here.
Feb 19 · 320
Heroes
Steve Page Feb 19
Some of my heroes wear
a cowl or a cape,
they might wield a shield,
swing from a web
or swing a big hammer.

Some of my heroes wear
a smile in the face
of foaming anger
and throw a mean hug
that will make you stagger.

I know who I'd rather
be my first responder.
Thinking about folk I admire
Feb 19 · 851
Blossom
Steve Page Feb 19
It's seems way too early
for blossom
and for blossom to fall.
But who am I to judge?
I've never borne such beauty.
Walked past a tree and was showered in white blossom
Feb 18 · 1.2k
Effortless
Steve Page Feb 18
It's good to make you smile
by simply being myself

You too make me smile
effortlessly

Let's make more time
together
and make less effort
Here's to easy
Feb 18 · 341
'Hold!'
Steve Page Feb 18
Like the comfort of forged steel in your hand or between your teeth
Like the push of a brother's shoulder against yours
Like the grip of deep tread on your boots
Like the weight of a canteen on your belt
Like the pull of a loyal hound on your hand
Like the thunder of your horse beneath you
Like the loyal rays of morning cutting through the cold
Like the rumble of reinforcements across the Vale
Like the tight knot of a bandage on your deep wound
Was the reassurance of our Captain's voice ["Hold!"] in the absence of all else.
Reading Games of Thrones and went all medieval.
Feb 14 · 333
Slowed
Steve Page Feb 14
I should have
sought your hand as we walked,
slowed and not swallowed
my next question

I should have
asked you for one slow dance,
danced instead of imagined
decades on

I should have, could have,
perhaps would have
had we slowed
and given ourselves time
Funny how decades don't fade some memories, even if you can't be sure of them.
Feb 9 · 924
Sown
Steve Page Feb 9
He walked on into his shadow
ploughing into the dust
bearing the full weight of the sun
climbing deeper, further
from the warmth, closer
to the damp where light
is a mere rumour,
a seed's blind hope.
Sometimes we can't see the sun for the shadow
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