Quiet Days

Let’s face it, quiet days are not my default choice of a way to spend a day. However, forcing myself to attend such a day does me good and I always come away feeling better for it.  Such were my feelings about attending the most recent Bishop’s Quiet day in Exeter Cathedral. Texts from Genesis 3 and Genesis 33 did not look like promising soil for contemplation but I was wrong:

I am, you are.

I AM, the answer to my prayer. 

“Where are you?”

Naked truth covers my shame.

Slithering, sloping shoulders

Recoil in anger, protests against

“What have you done?”

 

AM I, my brother’s keeper?

AM I, the face of God

“What is your name?”

To wrestle meaning as

Daybreak dawns, dislocating

Humanity, wrestling forgiveness

My life to preserve

I AM my brother’s keeper.

(C) Nick Shutt 2017

Posted in Uncategorized

Out of Life

A Poem for Post-Christmas Sales

Out of life

Yellow stickers

Still fresh in my mind

With trolleys tangled

To scrum for waste:

Yesterday’s dream dessert.

Yoghurt again

(Today its life expires)

Sits waiting the black sack

Or anxious hands

To save it

O happy aisle

With such treasure:

Poor as I am

Banks of food

Redeem me.

© Nick Shutt 2016.

Posted in Poem

Vanishing point – my biker friends will understand.

Vanishing Point

 

I talked of gravel, manholes, lids and rain.

While he sipped coffee

Speechless. Listening.

 

I boasted of endless rides, of sweeping corners, knee down.

While he smiled slowly

Motionless. Thinking.

 

I showed my gear, my leathers, boots and gloves

While he stared out of the café window

Contemplating the road.

 

I bragged of bikes past owned and those still coveted

While he tapped his fingers

On the table rhythmically.

 

At last he turned his loving eye to me. He spoke:

“The vanishing point is all you need.

Look beyond that and live.”

 

© Nick Shutt 2016.

 

 

Posted in Biking, Poem

A Hymn in response to the bickering US Presidential Campaign.

What me?

Change the world? No, change me first!

Give us eyes to see

Prayer in action calls us forth

To be more like Thee.

 

Stop the War? No, calm me first!

Give us ears to hear

Inner voices that seek peace

Bringing that Day near.

 

Stop the Hate? No, start with me!

Give us hands that share

All the gifts You give to us

Let us not despair.

 

Christ in us! How can that be?

Godhead humbled, see

Emptied, Jesus on a Cross

Just to set us free?

 

Glory to the Father, Son,

Holy Spirit, be

Ever present in our lives

Change us round to see.

 

© Nick Shutt 2016.

(7575 Take this moment)

 

Posted in Hymns

Devon Harvest Hymn

I was given a challenge last night at a Michaelmas Evensong to write a new hymn for harvest so this morning I sat down and gave it a go. Harvest in other parts of the country may differ but, having taken the dogs for a walk this morning and watched small gatherings of Meadow Pipits scurrying around, I got home and looked up whether they migrate from the UK for winter. The answer appears to be that some do and some don’t. I was then aware that the swallows and swifts have left already and that hedges were being trimmed and the lanes, once again, have become 3 feet wider. I was also cheered by the sight of both a Green Woodpecker and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!

So that’s the explanation for this:

Devon Harvest

Michaelmas migration, swifts and swallows fly

Seeking other harvests, throng the dimming sky.

Birds Murmurating, full of hope and fear

Now Sahara crossing, southward is their steer.

 

Silage stored for winter, hedges cut and trimmed.

Apple harvest gathered, cider vats full, brimmed

Bounty from summer, blossom set and swelled

All God’s hedgerow gathered, not a drop withheld.

 

Equinox equation, balanced day and night

Triggers winter’s onset, storms the skies ignite.

Barns full of grain, now drying. Market cheer

Beckons winter’s solstice; Christmas drawing near.

 

Praise God for the harvest. Hidden from our sight

Spirit’s life now moving, make our hearts delight

To praise the Son, whose harvest gathers in

All creation’s longing, as we live for Him.

© Nick Shutt 2016.

11,11,10,11 (Noel Nouvelet)

 

 

Posted in Birding, Hymns, Landscapes, Ministry, Music, Poem, Theological Discussion, Walking, Wildlife

Church Opening

Church Opening

The Sunlight flickers, casting discernment

Through the ancient oaken half opened door.

A cumulus cluster cancels chances

Of brightness reaching to the nave once more.

 

The stale air of centuries lingers on

Begrudging the open door, the new breeze

Battling the fug of dull, dying decay

Where languid lotus eaters lay, at ease.

 

The damp, the dust, the sense of stillness poised

To herald bats and silent bells to ring.

Pews polished, prayer books piled in readied rows

To hand to those who would in silence sing.

 

But no one comes to silence solitude

While lath and plaster, with peeling purpose,

Drops down, dangling: decay before unseen

Eyes, hearts and minds; expired, time usurps us.

 

© Nick Shutt 2016.

A stormy 20th August 2016 (Saturday afternoon) in Walkhampton Church, manning the church opening between 2-4pm waiting for anyone to turn up! No one came!

 

Posted in Poem

Spring is in the air…well on the gorse

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I am sure about the Stonechat. Not so sure about whether it is Wood Warbler or a Willow Warbler? Even more doubtful about a Meadow Pipit? Finally… I think this is a skylark…but maybe not…

 

Posted in Birding

Spring Bank Holiday

Now is the month of Maying…

I wish someone had told the weather….

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Posted in Landscapes

Haiku for a forest

Woodpecker flatpacks-2-2

Posted in Birding, Landscapes, Walking, Wildlife

Walkhampton 30 December 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized