Saturday, 31 May 2014

An embarrassing confession

When I was about 15 me and my mate Jammy designed an imaginary album cover for our imaginary band:Astral Head.I wrote some lyrics for some of the non existant tracks.One of them was called "An Unearthly Child" (Dr Who fans will know this was the title of the first ever episode).The first lines went like this
                        "Unearthly child with eyes of green
                        Such as the world has never seen"
Not very promising really eh?  

One of Us

One of us 
Not one of us
Walking clean through our sludge
But always on the high mountain pass
That leads to the the promised land
Where only He could live
And we could never go
But where He brought us home
                                                Wilf 12/2005

The Promise of the Path

To one, this path promises all
To the other, nothing.
To both in different ways 
It threatens everything

One cares too little
One cares too much
But for both,everything must go;
During the journey
Or at its end
For life or for death.
                                         Wilf 12/2005 

A Well Balanced Man

He was a well balanced man
He said yes
As often as he said no
He walked here 
As often as he walked there
His words and his deeds
Cancelled each other out
Very well balanced
Nothing in the scales 
                                    Wilf 12/2005

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The child is father to the man

'The child is father to the man',
No wonder then 
That hardly anyone grows up properly;
Being wrenched from childhood
Before it has matured
Into that peculiar wisdom
That only grown up children can have

Somewhere between childhood 
And what comes next we are made
To jump over a chasm so wide 
That we can carry little with us
So we are unprepared
For the next stage of our journey.
It is called adulthood and we,adults
Trouble is,we're not
And for most of us 
Life is a limp and stumble
From one false security to another.

If you can,if you dare,
Go back
Retrieve what you left behind
You might just become a father of men
And not just another insecure teacher.

                                             Wilf 07/2006   


"Pass through the lines of wise men
Those who have spoken of Me;
They will gladly let you pass and come to Me
If they are truly wise"

"Do not lean on their understanding
I am here and it is time
You will always see what they have revealed
But now is the time to stand
And let Me speak to you
Stand on the feet you have been given
And make a path"
                                                         Wilf 08/2006

I Wish I were made

I wish I were made 
Just of this longing.
For it knows exactly what it wants 
And where to look
It aligns itself so well with God
But the rest of me-mind, emotions
Even my imagination
Seem so mismatched to this yearning
So dull to you dear God
And yet You became man
So there must be some resonance between us
But what changes must be wrought
For me to take my true place 
In Your eternal bride

Sometimes it is tempting to believe
That this bride is just a metaphor for something less
God forbid
If it is a picture it must be of something much greater
Unboundable by any frame
Untraceable by any hand
Unsearchable by any mind
As only the longing of love knows
And we must be transformed by it
                                                      Wilf  08/2006

In the Footsteps of the Mystics

Following the high road
Of ancient men and women
With wrong? ideas and right passionate hearts;
Here the leaves are strange as stars

Leaves and stars charged 
With a wonder I never saw
But now seeing the Invisible
Held within and holding all His world
Ever warm from the oven of His imagination

In the world you see
You may be many things
But here the best you will be is a child
For the unfolding of wonders outruns discovery
And that is another wonder.

If you're made of the right stuff
You'll never get used to it
                                             Wilf 08/2006

I know the world is upside down

I know 
The world is upside down
And the sky is really a sea
A sea that everyone and no one sees
Apart from you and me and
I hope and I hope that you see it too
For the sea can set you free

There are
Ships that sail across that sea
Laden with gold and spice
And only children can sail to the sands
On the shores of paradise and 
I hope in many years you reach there too
For the sea can set you free
                                                    Wilf 09/2006

A Poor Boy Crying

A poor boy crying at the edge of the wilderness
Orphanned of all his hopes
Everything behind him has broken
Everything in front is strange
And he's crying because he wants
What is found in the wilderness

Hes'  afraid to go
But more afraid he'll say no
He needn't fear but,
For a long time on the journey he will.
He is weaker than everything he will face
But something stronger has captured his heart
He'll go.
                                               Wilf           09/2006

To a distant Spiritual Father

I have grown in the soil of your love
In the rich humus of a life laid down
My roots go deep and will not be moved
I curve and swell in the wind
Our wind
But my movements are mine
Please don't take them from me
And do not try to dictate the number of my boughs
Or how my leaves should grow-
They know,from the roots
Let me interpret what you taught me;
That freedom is better given graciously
Than taken angrily.

If I'm to outlive you 
Both in span and depth of life
I will need what you gave to me every step of the way
But I have to walk that way myself
And long after you are gone
I will be faithful to it
Genius is uniquely specific
And easily broken
You had the chance to express your's unhindered
Now let me explore the freedom of mine.
I will always be your son
Even though I may travel far
On roads you would find strange at first glance
And maybe never understand
But we are sons of the same vision.
                                                         Wilf  09/2006

A Universal Tragedy

It is always a tragedy when a child dies
But inside most adults a funeral has taken place,
Secretly and unmourned.
Somehow we think there is no room for two,
For all the child inside might want to dream and do
In the proper world of adulthood.
Adulthood? A dull thud.The child
And the dreams drop dead
Something somewhere told us it had to be so.

But sometimes the child lives on way past its years
And holds our hand,
Just to make sure we don't get lost
For when our resources fail
It is the child who prays for more
With a spirit that is happy to be poor
And when life's complexities
Make all roads impassable 
The child's simplicity finds the way
And is hailed as genius-"Why didn't anyone 
Think of that before?"
Inside most adults....                          

Thursday, 22 May 2014

What's it all (or even a little Bit) about?

That's me up to date until I write some more,although there are still some older ones to add.While I'm here I'll let you into a secret,people who write poetry aren't some strange breed of people(well actually some are!) and they don't all understand every poem written.So you're not alone and it's ok to ask what it all means.Having said that as I have been posting some of my stuff I have wondered quite what I was talking about!!!!

The Model

Jack Hakes looked around the room and did a last check,
“Seats ok,stuff in the middle ok,and must check the thermostat;boss goes mad if it’s too warm.”
Jack was certain it wouldn’t be warm enough,particularly for this kind of thing.He imagined the poor model shivering all the way through,not that he stayed to look.
Mr. Julian the organiser of the event looked around the room,adjusted the chairs by the appropriate number of millimetres and checked the thermostat,
”Expensive to heat these places” He tutted.
                                                              The model came in to the empty room,and when perfectly positioned,prepared to keep absolutely still for the next two hours;an impossible task for which the pay was meagre but much needed.Soon the room filled up with artists, photographers and other cultural luminaries including Professor John Symington who was due to deliver a lecture as they worked away.It was a very highbrow and cerebral affair.The fact that over half the people present felt something rather more basic at the sight of the model was never acknowledged either publicly or privately.
                                                                                                         The Professor prepared to begin his lecture.He had spent the last twenty years preparing lectures and his much neglected wife, Amelie had spent the last fifteen preparing to leave to leave him then changing her mind.Today she was packing.
The lecture began and showed no sign of ending.
                                                                        Hector Johansen was present with his mother, Clara.She was an art critic for an international magazine.She probably shouldn’t have brought her eight year old to this event but it suited her.Hector noticed that the model was shivering,
“Could the model please keep still!”whined Mr Julian,”Sorry Professor do continue”,Julian was angry,”These models are paid good money and they can’t even do the simplest tasks”
Hector noticed a tear slide and drop on to the model’s chest,he felt sad.
                                                                                                          Eventually the lecture, the drawing, the photography finished and everyone went to the foyer for drinks.After a while Hector spotted the model walking out unnoticed towards the main doors,he went over and said “Hello my name’s Hector,what’s yours?”
WILF 25.06.2013

A Boy needs a Man

My dad was a good man
He taught me some of the best things in life
The value of honesty, happiness, friends
And the value of money-less than all of these.

He never went to church,
But he prayed every night down on his knees by his bed.
God remembered his prayers
He told me that years later.

My dad was a good man,
But he didn’t come with me through adolescence
He didn’t know how,
And a boy needs a man to follow,
So I lost some of my bearings and by eighteen
I wanted to be something of a cross between
Aragorn and Marlene Dietrich.

My dad and me were both insecure.
He hid this behind very conservative dress,
I took a different approach encouraged by my girlfriend
Sometimes dressing like a medieval peasant,
A Gandalf the gay,
A hippy mystic,
Or a Bowie-esque camp tramp.
It worked beautifully
I felt safe hidden behind this lot
Although I did get thumped by a skinhead
For wearing bright red girls sandals.

In case you’re wondering
How much of a tranny I actually was
There’s not much to report really-no sexual aspect
Just a happy lost boy with lots of odd clothes of both genders
Looking for an identity
As I didn’t think mine was any good
I borrowed bits of other people’s.

What I really wanted though
Was to be a strong and beautiful man
But unless a boy has a man to follow
He’ll get lost.
It was only a sweater...
Admittedly it was grey angora with big pink and white flowers
Embroidered down one side
It had been a standard bit of kit up to that point
But now,
A few months after God first chased me down
It did not feel right to put it on
So for reasons of conscience I did not understand at the time
And after the usual wrestling match between man and God
I got rid of it and went to the church fireworks event in plainer gear

This was the start
Of the Holy Spirit dealing with my wardrobe
It took time and obedience but
I was following the Man who was worth any sacrifice
Even the red sandals went eventually!

Slowly I was learning that I was not my clothes
I was someone walking round inside them and
Something of the strength and beauty of true manhood
Was being formed in me, I didn’t need the disguises
And less and less did I want to be anyone else.
Going back to my dad,
He died a few years after these events
Still not understanding what his son was going through,
But in one of the very few times I have felt God speak directly to me
He told me He remembered my dad’s prayers
A lot was implied in those few words from God
And I have come to believe
That in the reserved English heart of Austin Copping
There was a place for God
Maybe it was only small
Certainly it was never spoken of but I believe
He kept it true and in that I aim to follow him.
                                                      WILF 31/12/13
Just to clarify things this poem is autobiographical

The Lost Voice(for a dead artist)

In his early days he could charm words
Like birds from a tree
Singing on his lips
Beautiful, meaningless and free,

Songs of wizards and elves
In forests full of fauns
Willow women dancing
Before the noble unicorn,

A guitar strumming
Hand drums drumming
And all the acid folk
Came tripping and running
To the king of the meaningless and free

He could have taken down
His ill fitting crown
He could have learned
He could have turned
Then his songs would have soared
From his heart and strings
To the only
True king

But he went down to the fairy woods
And they swallowed him up as fast as he could
A crippled fipple
A neutered flute
A ruined tune
And a voice now mute
Down in the wood 
Just splinters and blood

But another song will go on without him
Ten thousand times ten thousand singing
In that new magical dawn
And though there is room in it all for him
And he like everyone is like no one else
Still the the harmony is complete.
The tears that were shed for his lost voice
Cannot diminish this song of praise
And if any dissonance is cast on account of him
God alone could hear

                        WILF 26/03/2013
                        Fipple-part of the            mouthpiece of a flute or recorder which makes the sound

We won't live here forever

We won't live here for ever.
One day we will tumble
Up into the side by side world
(any name for it is at worst an insult
at best-an insult)
And standing there,
With each discovering
Of eye or ear or unknown sense,
Declare,"Of course!"
                                      Wilf 19/03/2013

Response to a song about God's Holiness

I suppose the holiness of God is lovely-to Him
But the times I've been aware of it it wasn't.
My first experience was that it was dangerous and unapproachable
Fortunatly this particular time was short lived
Or I think I would have been.

In our world the word "lovely" is too domestic
It's an "ok" kind of word
And the holiness of God is probably not ok
I'm guessing because I have only felt it when
I've been on the wrong side of it and(thank God)He came too close
But it certainly isn't safe for the likes of us
Not without some of the other things God is
Then the whole thing becomes a different story
And God is good at writing those.

These days I have no words
With which to speak of the Holiness of God
That other story has changed everything

When I was ignorant of God
I knew something of His holiness by contrast
Now I suppose I know more
But of His holiness?

I do not say that nothing can be said
But by me from here
Probably not.
                                                           Wilf 11.12.2012

You don't have to read this

You don't have to read this
But I do have to write it
Your life would still be full
But mine wouldn't
I don't know why,it was ok before
It will become richer or poorer
It cannot stay the same
Now this idea demands its birth.
It is a risk like love,
I hope I can bring it to life
And I hope it makes yours fuller.
                                                    Wilf 11.12.2012

The Weight of Souls

             Our souls made light as a ton of mist
                    By lies and careless lives
              Weighed on him like a ton of dung
                           A ton of gold
                    A world beyond all price
                           In every soul
                   And countless as He hung
                                                          Wilf      11/12/2012

Robert Copping Becomes Invincible

I knew what the bogey man was like
He had no name and he was bad.
Long old coat worn shiney
In shades of bogey grey
It had never been bought in a shop
It had always been the bogey man's
And he had always been
The bogey man

That afternoon I had been imprisoned
behind a little wall that surrounded the
Electric board's shed,with the instructions
"Stay thee-er else t'bogey man'll get thee"
Stern stuff for a five year old to face,

In that moment I knew.
I stepped over the low wall
And walked home past the big boys
Who must have been impressed,
"Eel ave thee",they cried
But there was no bogey man
I had taken the great step of freedom
That's when I first realised that
I was invincible.
And it took a lot more than the bogey man
To convince me otherwise.
                                                             Wilf 11.12.2012

My Front Door

My front door needs mending
It won't close properly
So everything gets in leaves wind rubbish
Tricky to fix apparently
The bit of kit it needs won't
Without making a mess of a nice door
Me and my front door
I don't open wide enough
Don't let enough in
The same
I'm tricky to fix
Without making a mess
                                   Wilf 04/12/2012


For reasons I don't fully understand
It seems that the more you look into heaven
The more your feet will be on the ground.
I think because what truly comes from heaven
Is aimed at the earth
And the Holy Vision teaches us to feel
The pain of this disharmonious planet
Set against the harmony of heaven and
To allow the two to meet in us.
It is all part of growing up spiritually
And when children are growing up
They know how important it is to be tall
Head in the sky feet on the ground
                                                      Wilf 04/12/2012

Teenagers,Entropy and the end of the Universe

If you have ever doubted the existence of other dimensions
Boldly go into a teenager's bedroom and
Behold in wonder, the chaos of matter
Flung into dimensions beyond the mind of man (or even woman)
Here is raw entropy-the beginning of the end
Of the universe as we don't know it.

(There is a theory supported by millions of dim middle aged people
That teenagers will indeed be the end of the universe
And what started with a big bang will end
Because of bad manners and Hip Hop and
The real cause of global warming-belching in public)

Despite these strange phenomenae
I can recommend getting to know one or two-
The more the merrier really
After all they know everything-that's got to be handy
Their eyesight is better that ours-they see things about us
We could never see and they will tell us.
So be prepared to be humbled and enlightened
By friendships that will last a lifetime
Because, secret of all secrets 
In all their nascent brilliance
They still need spiritual mums and dads
And in this they are the missing link
In our own soul's evolution from middle aged monkeys
To spiritual men and women,fathers and mothers.
They bring a new dimension to life.
                                                                                                                                                Wilf 28.08.2012
                                          Entropy-chaos(approx!)                                                         Nascent-coming into being   

A Poet's Prayer

Who were the Word
Before a word was spoken
Make me what I write
May the hand that grips the pen
Be gripped first by You
Before this pen touches paper
Oh Lord God touch this man
So that everything I write is
The authentic history and geography
Of a life lived for You
In all honesty brutal and beautiful
                                               WILF 06/2012

Life Was Hard

Life was hard
And even now when I think of the hardest parts
(Some of which were the longest)
There is still a ball of pain
Which swells at the memory.
It often seemed impossible
But then it wasn't lived because it could be lived
Rather because it had to be to follow you
And if You hadn't been You
It wouldn't have been so hard then
Nor so wonderful now
And when I think of that
It doesn't seem to have been hard at all.
                                                                Wilf 06/2012

I Am Yours

Whether I am great or I am small
Serving just a few or all
If I am chosen or forgotten
Up on the top or at the bottom
I am yours.

Whether or not I see the hand
Making me whatever kind of man
Regarded as a wise man or a fool
Whether life is kind or it is cruel
I am yours.

I am yours in the darkness of my room
When only a woman’s warmth would do
For you are more than wife to me
Far more than family,
I am yours in the sunshine of your love
But give me grace so I do not move
For in the summer I so easily forget
The sun on whom my heart is set

When I am fighting in the war
Or just listening at your door
Lifting up my sword or my ear
Whatever it is I am here
I am yours.

In the storms of love
In the fire and the flood
My friends, my God
I am yours for good.

Wilf 04/2012
We’ve been talking a bit at home about making worship,devotional songs less fluffy and more manly.This started out as a few lines psalmed to a fairly dreary Leonard Cohen type tune and I realised whatever else he may do he sings as a hard bitten man so I wanted to emulate that.

The Spiritual Man Pt 1

The earth, the crumbling earth is in his fingers
Fingers that have carelessly let diamonds drop
Shattering to nothing but a quick play of light.
He remembers and laughs
As he climbs the hill of God,

He turns from laughter to tears
As quick as the movement of a thought
For the earth the crumbling earth is in his soul
The soul of a man who turned away
Looking for something else
And was captured for ever,

But still he sees, and he weeps
For the starving child,the lonely lover
The broken virgin, the harrassed mother
For the suicide case at the end of his rope
The soldier boy who has lost all hope
For the saint afraid to get up again
For the sinner afraid to begin.

There was a time
When he could meditate much better
And he was sure of his theology
But that was before he heard their stories
And found himself in them all,the hero of none
That was his story
It was the end of something that could be grasped
And the beginning of something that couldn't,
But grasped him in the guts of his spirit
Of that he is sure.

The earth the crumbling earth is in his fingers
He laughs and he cries
As he climbs the hill of God with dirty hands
And a crowd around him,
                                        Wilf 27.03.2012

To Be Here Now

To be here now
The being,the hereing,the nowing
All in place.
Here can only be here because of now
But it is the being-the me meing
That alone can know the now is here
And the here is now
God has brought all three into one
As only He could.
If I had come a different way
I would not be this,
Here and now would not be this.
I would be just another man
In another place another time
With no way of knowing me and here and now.
Two things are beyond words,
Three boyond gratitude,
To be
To be here
To be here now.
Thankyou God.
                                                          Wilf Feb 2012

The Fix

I'm not myself today,
Not that I'm anybody else, you understand
But what I am doesn't seem so good or complete
In this strange bright light.
I feel dangerous and afraid
That if the wrong thing touches me
I would explode, or spit poison
And the "wrong thing" would be
Someone I love,someone like you.
So I'm in a bit of a fix, the fix being that I need fixing
And God who does that kind of stuff
Seems distant
Though it is always He who orchestrates these things.
The happy ending is slow in coming
But he knows it will
He will be himself again
But not again
For it will be the self
He has never quite been before
Some steps closer to perfection
Wilf Feb 2012

Reedbreaker Blues

What becomes of the bruised reeds
Whom Jesus never breaks
But we do?
They loved him once, and maybe still
But now they are broken and departed
Walking empty streets with splintered hearts.
Wounded and wounding those who come too close
They haunt the night alleys
The unplaces between the places,
They haunt our conscience too
If we dare to go there.
If we allowed those alleys back into our story
And remembered again how we walked them
And secretly still do
Then maybe we would be broken
By what we find there and
Broken by Jesus
Become a safe place
For those who loved him once
To return     
                                          Wilf 02/2012

November Morning

If I am honest I am rejoicing more
Because of the beauty of this morning
Than of You being on the throne.
All this shimmer and shake of coppergold
Against a sky of virgin blue
Would drown in sadness,If it weren't for You
It would not just be a beauty that ends
For the end would cast a shadow
Over its beginning
And blot out the beauty.
So on this warmest of November mornings
I rejoice that You are on the throne
Wilf Nov 13 2011

Nora in Heaven

It was a long time
But she could see now.
All those tears that had poured from her eyes
And those inside
Blurring her vision and drowning her heart
Were all wiped away
She could see.
She came from a long line of broken hearts
Just an ordinary woman longing for righteousness
But she shone brighter than any celestial body
When she landed here upon this New Earth.
She used to be my mother,
But she is taken up with bigger things now.
It’s been a long time,
Something like and not like a thousand years
All spent gazing at this daisy
But as she will tell you
Its fascination is endless
(Like everything else here)
And there’s no rush,
For if time is here at all
It is a river without end
If not, then time has poured into a shoreless ocean
Either way there is no rush.
                                                                                       Wilf Nov 2011


The light on
The leaf
On the bough
Of the tree
On the hill
on the ground
where we stand
the ground
of the hill
of the tree
                                 WILF 19/09/11


I love Midnight but she doesn’t love me
We’re over now and I guess I’ll get over her
I always hung around Midnight
Rambling away to my Makerandmuchmore
But now when the clock strikes twelve
I’m dreaming and it strikes alone
Midnight, I love the music of her moods
Deeper than blue
Madder than jazz
We shared them all from the insides of God’s heart
Me and Midnight we were cool.
But I’m getting older
And I don’t see her much these days
But all those crazy times;
The joy, the tears, the fights,
Those secret things
I still got em all in my heart
Yea she changed my life

I won’t forget you Midnight.
                                                        Wilf          19/09/2011

Me and Tim Brown

When me and Tim Brown
Get to the New Earth
We'll go for a long walk
And never come back
We'll always be arriving somewhere new
But never leaving home
It's that kind of place
And we'll be those kinda guys-
I don't understand it either-
But when me and Tim Brown
Get to the New Earth
It won't matter

                       *In memory of a conversation
                        WILF 08/2011


A peacemaker is not a piecemaker-
Patching together
The ragged unravellings of relationships.
He is in the place of warfare
In the place of the Prince of Peace
As his pores
His tear ducts
His lungs
Sweating weeping breathing,
"Peace be with you"
In all he does.
                                                 WILF 08/2011

The Gift

It is strength to a father's arms
As he guides his children on
Up through the lofty narrow paths
And on to their mountain home

It is the gentleness of the mother's embrace
And the richness of her breasts
That brings her children nourishment,
Protection,solace and rest

It is tenderness trembling on the lover's lips
Set on fire by the love of God
It is innocence gazing into unseen eyes
That happily dies for the Lord

It is sharpness to the warrior's sword
By which the weakest may slay
Sure course to the bowman's arrows
To find the heart of the prey

For those who dare it is all these things
Single yet manifold,mysterious and bright
This is the gift of celibacy
Come down from the Father of lights
WILF 04-98