A seaside tale

The little girl approached the sea
and watched its spray with awe
the pounding sound relentlessly
bewitched her need for more.

She settled on the smooth flat sand
and there began to build
her castle fairy-tale delight
determined, and self-willed.

The towers rose, the moat dug deep,
seaweed for the trees.
For people: pebbles, children: stones,
a triumph in the breeze.

But hour by hour the sea encroached
and soon her father called,
‘Come here my dear, the tide comes in.
We’ll soon be growing cold.’

At noon they went for sandwiches,
yet she could not remain.
She tugged and wriggled to be free
to build her castle fame.

With pride she boasts, ‘It is the best
this world has ever seen!
They’ll travel far from all around
and I will reign as Queen!’

By half-past two they tottered back
and to the child’s dismay
she saw the sea lap brutally
as the tower washed away.

Ne’er defeated, she dug in
and reassembled it
but soon was howling in despair
sea-soaked and in a fit.

Her double efforts fury-filled,
she threw her spade aloft
Raged at the sea and wailed aloud,
knee-deep and all awash.

The dear papa drew her aside
contained her in her tears;
‘My darling child you must submit
to the encroaching years.

‘We’ll wait awhile and watch the waves,
take high ground while our work
is washed away with all our pride
and all our aching hurt.

‘These middle years are turbulent
they make or break a soul
but trust me, dear, when all is done
hope makes the billows roll.’

The hours slipped by, the child grew still,
the evening sun sank low
and over virgin smooth brown sands
the light began to glow.

A highway stretched from where they sat
as waters slipped away;
a silver pathway touched the sun
to close another day.


The Tree: a Good Friday meditation

‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? … For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’
1 Corinthians 1:18‭-‬20‭, ‬25 NIVUK http://bible.com/113/1co.1.18-25.NIVUK

Art work my own… where Genesis 3, Psalm 1, 1 Corinthians 1:18ff and Good Friday/John 19 meet… 

Image: (c) Ruth Marriott 2017

‘Why are you hiding?’

My first response?  I’m not hiding, I’m right here!

Yes, right here in the busyness. Right here in the scheduled activity, the planning, the cleanup from yesterday, the forecasting and arranging of tomorrow.  And next month.  And next year… And retirement…  I’m right here, doing life.  It takes a lot out of me, you understand?


Where are you?

OK, you got me.  I’m here… I’ll put this down for a moment.

But soon, I’m feeling itchy.  Maybe I can get on with the list.  I’ll just get it out of my mind and then I can focus.  Then.   Wait a moment, let’s put some background noise on… it’ll help bring my racing mind into the present.  Oh… now I’ve got some space, I wonder how so-and-so are getting on?  I’ll just check… Facebook…  Oh, and I wonder whatever happened about… [that thing]…

Hey… why are you hiding?

Why are you hiding in all this noise?

I told you. I’m not hiding.  It’s the noise.  I can’t turn it off.  I can’t hear you.  Heck, I can’t even hear myself.  OK, I’ll lean in… just a bit.  I’m trying.  Really.  I’ll just put this down.  I see it.  I’m the one fixated on my phone, my screen, the distractions.  I know I judge all those others in the coffee shops, having no-dates with each other behind their devices.  But that’s me too.  Me with You.


God. This is hard.  Actually, it’s awkward.  I don’t know what to say, or do.  Are you really OK with this?  If I’m honest, I’m actually squirming under your scrutiny.  I don’t want to see it.  I don’t want to see what you see.  I don’t actually want to admit this addiction. This chronic self-avoidance. And God-avoidance.

I don’t want to deal with it. Maybe, actually, if I let the truth surface, I’m terrified, and I’m terrified to see it, afraid to name it.  I don’t want you to see me scared.  I don’t want to admit to you that I’ve messed up our relationship in the middle of all…. this…

Could it possibly be my fault?

Hey.  Where are you?

Why are you hiding?  Really?  Don’t you know I’m not judging you?  Don’t you know I’m not going to leave? Don’t you know that Love don’t run and I can take it?  I can take whatever you’ve got to say to me, whatever you feel, whatever you accuse?  I can take your pain and fears?  I can take it?  I won’t turn away, no matter what you bring?

Why are you hiding?  Don’t you know that I’m the one that can help?  That wants to help?  Don’t you know that I’m right here? Don’t you realise that my heart is aching for you, watching you crumble under the weight of ‘all… this…’?

Why are you hiding?

Love Don’t Run by Steve Holy
This is gonna hurt, this is gonna hurt like hell
This is gonna damn near kill me, sometimes the truth ain’t easy
I know that you’re scared of telling me something
I don’t wanna hear, but baby believe that
I’m not leaving, you couldn’t give me one good reason
Love don’t run, love don’t hide
It won’t turn away or back down from a fight
Baby I’m right here and I ain’t going anywhere
Love’s too tough it won’t give up no not on us
Baby Love don’t run…
Let’s lay it on the line, I don’t care if it takes all night ’cause
This is gonna makes us stronger, it’s gonna make forever longer
I know it’d be easier walking away but what we got is real
And I wanna save us, baby we can do it, Baby we’ll get through it…
Full lyrics on Google Play Music
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” – Genesis 3:8-11

“Success is measured… by the intimacy of our relationship with Jesus Christ.”
– Edmond Sanganyado, The Good Shepherd

31 days: Zephaniah


You didn’t think that in my head
I’d think of an animal starting with zed
Maybe you thought I’d go with zebra,
but no – your assumptions have surely misled ya!

The zebra fish is a marvellous sight
Sporting stripes in black and white
The colours work as an optical illusion
Throwing the sharks into blind confusion!
They will never be able to catch him
because his pattern is so distracting!



marvellousmenagerie150Here come the animals!


31 days: Yorick


And now it’s time to meet Yorick the yak
Who has an enormous hump on his back
It’s not a chip on his shoulder,
he’s actually gracious
To assume he has attitude would be fallacious.

His parents were noted Shakespearian actors
And that must surely have been a big factor
When the time came to choose a remarkable name
for their son:
they picked on the jester of fame.

You know, the one Hamlet discussed at length,
Sadly reflecting on dying and death.
But I think his parents named him in hope
that he’d grow with a talent to tell a good joke.

Sure, Yorick’s a serious name for a yak
But he’s able to give us a laugh despite that!
His horns might look scary but you just can’t tell
When he’s wearing a jester’s hat, festooned with bells!

marvellousmenagerie150Here come the animals!


31 days: Xavier


X is another challenging letter
But given time I thought I’d better
Go and find the African squirrel
Xavier, whose brother is Cyril.

The xerus live in families large,
but Xavier is the one in charge
leading the band from day to day
for sticking together’s the only way.

Yes, Cyril and Xavier, sociable chaps
I hope you can visit them there, perhaps.
You’re bound to find the heat quite frightful
But the wonderful sights and sounds delightful.

marvellousmenagerie150Here come the animals!