Category Archives: Poetry

What cancer cannot do

A friend, Ross Ferguson, sent me this poem that reminds us that Cancer is not omnipotent – it cannot destroy the really important things

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple Love,
It cannot shatter Hope,
It cannot corrode Faith,
It cannot eat away Peace,
It cannot destroy Confidence,
It cannot kill Friendship,
It cannot shut out Memories,
It cannot silence Courage,
It cannot invade the Soul,
It cannot reduce eternal Life,
It cannot quench the Spirit,
It cannot lessen the Power
Of the Resurrection.

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Posted by on 19 November, 2008 in Devotional, Poetry


In Lighter Vein – “Life’s Cliches”

Life is not all doom and gloom. Just so you don’t think I’m sitting around staring at my navel all the time, I thought I’d post another poem I wrote shortly after penning “Light in my long night“.

Life’s clichés

If a faith-lift’s what you need
And you’re down at the mouth
The heat is on and you can’t stand the pace
Get on your knees and wait on God
And He’ll transfuse His strength
So you’ll leap through any hoop
And hurdle walls.

If you’ve said that you would die
If you had to front the crowd
Death to self is what He wants for then His power
Will enable you to do it
And the crowd will be aghast
As the Master gets the praise
For what they see.

If a mass of crocodiles
Makes you lose sight of your goal
And it slips your mind you came to drain the swamp
Remember what God did for Dan
When thrown among the lions
What God did to shut their mouths
He’ll do again.

If your gas tank is empty
And there’s nothing left to give
And your get-up-and-go just got up and went
That’s when the Father starts to give.
For out of nothing He makes worlds
He turns serpents into fish
And stones to bread.

When life has turned to custard
And then you’re served a lemon
And your time is filled with silly trifling things
Pour the custard on the trifle
And add sugar to the lemon
Set the table and enjoy
A cordial feast.

When you cant see the highway
For the tears that you have shed.
When you come to ‘wits-end-corner’ and you’re lost
God who knows the way will meet you
In a bottle store your tears,
Slip into the driver’s seat
And steer your life

It’s a paradox
A heavenly paradox
That Jesus turns our failures into joys.
He who died to die no more
Lives to even up the score,
So for those who own His name
He’s Guarantor.

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Posted by on 25 October, 2008 in Humor, Poetry


“Light in my long night” – another poem

I wrote this poem the day after I received the initial diagnosis of primary cancer in my bowel with secondaries in the lymph nodes and spots on my liver. The surgeon had told me they would not operate ‘at this stage’, and that my case was being taken over by the Oncologist. I then had a ten day wait before I would discover the spots are too extensive in the liver to be successfully removed and that treatment would be palliative. I have always been moved by the tune Hamabe no uta , a cello solo by Mischa Maisky on the album Silent Woods. The melody seemed to capture my darkness, the Lord’s response and the rest I discovered in His care. By the time Bronwen and I met the Oncologist we had discovered a profound sense of peace and were not at all shattered by the prognosis. I hope some of you might get strength from these words.

2-11 Narita

(set to the tune: “Hamabe no uta” by Narita ) Click on the media player to hear the tune in the background as you read the words.

Light in my long night

My soul in distress cried aloud in dread,
Oh my God, I feel so alone;
The night is so cold, and I can’t see ahead
And my strength is almost gone.
Where is the joy I knew when
My faith was fresh and young?
So dark! Are You there? How have I sinned? What’s wrong?
Rend the heavens and speak again.

My child, you are safe in my powerful hand
Do not fret, but rest in my care
My Word is your rock, what you feel is sand,
I am with you everywhere.
My way is in the tempest
My purpose to refine.
And when, just like gold, you are purified
I’ll in you be glorified.

Now, shut in with God, I have found new peace,
Though the storm has yet to subside.
In midst of my foes He’s prepared a feast,
And my soul is satisfied.
Not dark, nor pain, nor peril,
Can separate me from
The love of my Saviour, Redeemer, Friend,
Who’s restored to me my song


Posted by on 21 October, 2008 in Poetry


Thy will be done

I wrote this poem the night before visiting the surgeon to find out the results of the Scans and blood tests. Obviously I was looking for the best outcome and wrestling with my own emotions. I do not believe Christ’s final statement “Thy will be done” was a defeatist cry or sigh of weak resignation. He had broken through to victory and was ready to call His betrayer “friend”. I am seeking to come to the same point

Not my will but Thine
Creation trembles at the Master’s plight:
Like Him I wrestle with my vows
The test of values I espouse
A heart divided cowed with fright
Can’t nerve me for the coming fight.

Not my will but Thine
My will would have me save myself and run
The blasphemy of sallow faith:
From duty’s call to seek escape;
Safety first, makes cowards run,
‘Tis not the focus of a son.

Not my will but Thine
His will, to face the danger and the foe;
To crush the tyrant’s dark campaign;
Release the captive from his chain;
Restore creation and bestow
His glory on it here below.

Not my will but Thine
Sees past the fight to conflict won.
No hint of resignation’s blight
But an embracing of the fight
And echo with heav’n’s favourite Son
The vict’ry shout, ‘Thy will be done!’

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Posted by on 7 October, 2008 in Poetry