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Category Archives: sonnets

Two sonnets on healing

Two sonnets on healing

I wrote two sonnets recently which were both, in different ways, to do with healing.

The first, “For Wendy”, was written for a friend who has recently been re-diagnosed with breast cancer and it draws on a comment she made about valuing days differently now that she doesn’t have as many left.

The second was written for a service at which we offered prayer for healing and raised funds for Age UK by participating in “wear it woolly”. It was inspired by Psalm 139.

For Wendy
Some days the sunlight sparkles off the sea,
scattering its jewels through rising mist
then, safely gathered, like the memory
of summer or a child’s cheek newly kissed,
It lodges in the eye and in the heart,
A glint of hope when worlds are torn apart.
Yet days like these are rare, most days will not
be quite so fine or filled with fire. Most days
prefer to temper “what could be” with “what
is now”, cloaking life’s gold with winter greys.
A shadow falls. A smile fades. A friend,
through tears, marks the beginning of an end.
But endings are like evenings. Even night
Is pregnant with dawn’s promise of new light.

© Rich Clarkson 2017


In my mother’s womb you knitted me
My fabric fashioned from your own design.
As weft and warp were woven, even then
You knew what this frail form would one day be.
Each stitch, with love and care, was intertwined
And tied off with a heavenly “Amen!”.
But some threads are no longer firmly tied,
and edges, over time, have become frayed,
causing                                       gaps to appear
revealing the unravelling inside.
We may indeed be “wonderfully made”,
but “fearfully” at times gives way to fear
yet one day God will take this threadbare frame
and weave it into beauty once again.

© Rich Clarkson 2017



Time is an unsympathetic master
for those enslaved to her sparse granted hours,
to fill them they work faster and yet faster,
squeezing every drop that she allows.

She does not rest, or pause, but marches onwards,
each second taking one more step along
the road which stretches on, it’s miles unnumbered;
for those held in her thrall here they belong.

But time is not as fixed as she would want us
to believe, no there are worlds beyond her reach.
Worlds where bread breathes, seeds stir, children wonder,
a world where listening takes the place of speech.

The choice is ours: to rush after time’s thrills,
or choose to seek the place where time stands still…


If “home is where the heart is” as they say
Then my heart lies in pieces, scattered round
Like driftwood on a thousand different bays,
Not lost or dead but waiting to be found.
“it’s where you hang your hat” the saying goes
But my hat does not live on just one stand;
It rests on chairs and doors and piles of clothes,
Or sometimes simply stays right where it lands.
To call a house a home robs both those words
Of dignity, for they are not the same
For ‘home’ cannot be caged up like a bird
Contained within it’s finite woven frame
No, ‘home’ is like a song to those who hear it
Unseen, unheld, but felt when you are near it.

The bible as Sonnet

At Spring Harvest this year the daily themes were the bible as Sonnet, Symphony, Screenplay and Streetmap,i wasn’t sure I could write a symphony in 5 days so I thought I’d have a go at a sonnet instead!


At God’s command the universe was born;
A symphony of colour, light and sound.
Then life in all its myriad different forms
Sprang up, and in God’s image man was crowned.
But freedom and temptation left love spurned,
As God’s call went unheeded by his own.
From time to time the faithful would return
Then fall again, some other to enthrone.
But God did not give up or turn His face,
Despite the countless tears He must have cried.
Instead He stepped into this messed up place
Where Jesus lived, and laughed, and loved, and died.
So now he calls us children, His beloved
with love’s great riches ours to be discovered

Advent candle poem 3

Through Advent I will be performing a series of poems at Church as we light the candles on our advent crown.

Here are the lyrics for the third one, based on Revelation 12:


As we await the coming of our king

and darkness battles light to gain control

of hearts and minds, the prize is everything

in this great cosmic struggle for our souls.


The battle rages on but both sides know

there really isn’t much left to decide

The killer blow was dealt so long ago

when God was born a man, and lived and died


So we light these candles, not one, not two, but three

As those ablaze outnumber those unlit

to remind us that Christ’s light has victory

And darkness has no power to conquer it


So now we wait and hear that tale repeated

for Christ has won and darkness is defeated


I’m going to start using the topics from Illustration Friday for my poems, this weeks word is “immovable”.  I’ve only got my little notebook with me which has 14 lines per page so I thought I’d write a sonnet!

. .

Along the boundary line where land meets sea
The cliff face leaves the sand behind to rise
A barrier, firm against the spray and breeze
A match for howling gale and rising tides.

Each day it’s there, each day it stands its ground
The frontline in a battle centuries old
A fearsome foe, immovable and sound
unstirred by rain or shine, by heat or cold.

But water takes a longer view of things
Each day attack, retreat, attack again
And slowly, oh so slowly it begins
to chip away each tiny little grain.

Immovable? of that I’m not so sure
that cliff seems slightly smoother than before.

. .


Ode to a new notebook!

Posted on

I have just bought a new notebook for writing songs etc., it’s just a cheap WH Smiths reporters notepad but it’s always exciting getting a new book, who knows what will be in it by the time I’ve filled it!

Anyway it seemed appropriate to use the first page to write a short poem to introduce the new book.  I watched a very interesting programme on William Wordsworth the other night so I thought I’d try my hand at writing a sonnet, enjoy!!

‘Ode to a new notebook’

“A new start, full of promise unfulfilled
Blank pages wait for thoughts as yet unheard
An empty canvas waiting to be filled
With memories, poems, songs and empty words
Great works of art will sit with nonsense here
But on these pages all will find a home
Words of faith and hope, of joy and fear
Some to share and some for me alone
A snapshot of a period of time
Will one day lie within this humble book
And when this space is filled with verse and rhyme
We will return to take a closer look
But now we wait in keen anticipation
And listen in to hear the next creation”