Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where does time go ... I've been jolted back into Blogland because my friend Jeff has commenced blogging with an excellent, even superlative, sharing of his most loved songs ... and how they chart his life so far ...

Jeff's Blog 'Going for a song'

Now go off and have a look ... maybe by the time you've finished there I'll have come back with something to say ...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Friday, 7th December, 2012. After hearing about the death of a nurse who took a hoax call from a radio station in Australia when the Duchess of Cambridge was in hospital ... reprinted from my Facebook Page.

So sad to hear the news from King Edward VII Hospital in London about the death of one of the nurses caught up in the hoax call ...

so glad that she had not been subject to disciplinary procedures (which could so easily have been the first reaction) ...

so heartened that she and her colleague were being supported by the hospital ...

so concerned for the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge that this has darkened their new joy ...

so impressed that the Royal Family did not issue a complaint re the breach of confidentiality and are themselves concerned for the staff ...

so incredibly annoyed that NHS staff, amongst all their other burdens, have to exercise care within a society which increasingly acts without thinking, speaks without concern and fails to consider the effect of its misguided attempts to please its fans and followers on those who do not have the opportunity to speak so publicly;

so moved to pray for all concerned that, where there is sorrow, comfort will abound; where there is anger, peace will reign; where there is arrogance, humility will overcome and where there is repentance, forgiveness will be found. x

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Breaking the silence ...

A bubble of peace
in the flood;
a secret haven, all mine.
A place of learning,
about myself,
about others,
about you, my Lord.

My Lord?

Are you merely Lord, here,
in the silence?
Is it only here
that I will love, honour and obey;
away from the stones and stares
of this noisy world?

I am safe in the silence
when you share it with me -
but it is not mine to keep
when you call me away.

Let me be silent
when you alone must speak -
then speak through me
when silence would be sin.

O teach me when to break
the limits of such silence
and feel its precious healing flow
enriching all who hear.

© 2012 Graham Oakes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just heard from Canon Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad, about the desperate situation in Iraq now that the US forces have left. There remains hope ... but it needs us to share the love of that baby who came so far to save us.

Look into the stable, feel the warmth inside.
See the loving mother, see the loving child.
See the adoration, hands and gifts are raised -
hear the angels worship, all creation praise ...

"Glory to God, in the highest place;
on the earth there will be peace",
if we share redeeming grace.

Look outside the stable, still the world's the same.
There's no room for Jesus, so few know his name.
Many hands are lifted as war and famine reign.
Hear the prayers of nations, as we cry again.

"Glory to God, in the highest place;
on the earth there will be peace",
if we share redeeming grace.

Look into your heart now, what do you see there?
Is there hope and comfort or a deep despair?
look back to the stable where the Promise lay,
hear the words of Jesus, "I AM com to save!"

"Glory to God, in the highest place;
on the earth there will be peace",
if we share redeeming grace.

(C) 2003 Graham Oakes

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Folk at the Parish ...

Thursday, 1st December 2011 I read some poems at Merthyr Tydfil in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and included a new one written for the occasion about Dic Penderyn, after whom the local Witherspoons is named! Nice curries on Thursdays!

"Dyma Gamwedd!"

Innocence is no defence
when scapegoats are required;
caught up in something bigger
than a single, just desire.

You march with fellow workers
their passion in your soul;
with little thought that very soon
you’ll have the starring role.

A soldier takes a bloody wound,
and you, my friend, were there.
So from the crowd you’re singled out
to cries of “that’s not fair!”’

The Government has had enough
of  Welshmen on the move.
They want to crush our wide dissent
they have a point to prove.

Against the power of Gentry rule,
of money and of might,
the workers’ cause is brought to heel
and many put to flight.

But you, young Dic Penderyn,
must stand upon the door.
And while you wait you tell them all
just what you’re dying for.

“O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd!”
“Lord, this is so unjust!”
And still this cry does echo,
and listen still they must!

© 2011

Also read this one which was written for Gail ...

Colour me ...

Onto the landscape
of my waiting canvas
brush me with love
and the finest of care.

Colour me free
with the joy of your laughter;
colour me deep
with the warmth of your smile.

Blue for the Spring
when we found each other,
and for your eyes
when they sparkle with fun.

Gold for the Summers
that we shared together,
and for your hair
that shines in the sun.

Brown for the Autumn:
its rhymes and its reasons
the richest of blessings,
for you are my wife.

Grey for the Winter
that closes the seasons,
yet hidden beneath it
the promise of life. 

© 2005

Saturday, August 06, 2011


I often walk along our Rhymney River through the now meadowed pathways where the railway sidings of Brittania Colliery used to be. The pit has gone, along with all physical evidence of its imposing and vital presence to the community which is now a different place to that which I grew up in ... but those of us who lived within its shadow cannot help but remember and wonder at the things that have been won and lost with its demise ...  this is one of my recent attempts to reflect on the changes

Black blood flowed 
down wounded valleys 
mixed with the rush of 
the iron-red streams
pumped from the heart 
of the virgin strata 
as men scratched low 
with their flesh and bone
for the loan of a loaf
a roof and a home.

Black scars marred 
the mountain moorland
shaped the run 
of the sun in the cwm
time clutched hard
to the wheel that winding
marked the birth and 
the death of the day
while doorsteps waited 
for their men to pay. 

Black shadows 
now a fading memory 
of washed out riches 
and wasted hills
as sunshine springs 
down natured pathways
new journeys weave
round the ancient track
for a rainbow promise 
and a long look back.

(c) 2009 Graham Oakes

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Surprising Blade

“… she, for whatever reason, finds something loveable in this most unlovable of men … and the soul, once it’s insisted upon - being loved - has only one inevitable response and that is to love back and gradually a soul gets stitched ponderously back together and something resembling a human being gets reconstructed …”  

Bob Geldorf  in a  Radio 4 interview.

Surprising Blade.

Unlovely and unloving,
full of guilt and cold remorse;
taking much but seldom giving,
letting sorrow run its course.

All the world on the attack,
low you hide, without defence.
Centuries stoop upon your back
raising walls of dry pretence.

Tough the skin and hard the core,
yet you fail to stem the tears.
Resistance only brings to fore
words that fan the flaming fears.

Helpless you; and hopeless too,
Life has failed to satisfy.
Slow to dream of morrows new,
quick the thoughts to fall and die ...

Cold the heart … but hot the steel
of that Surprising Blade
which cuts, so deep, to purge and heal;
Glory strikes: the shadows fade.  

Light, for darkness long endured,
Love, for raw and hurting soul;
Life, for Ransom, full, assured,
Hope restored, as one made whole.

Now, renewed as fertile ground,
the wilderness, in thrice blessed praise    
with grateful songs to heaven resounds,
and lives to love eternal days.

© July 2011 Graham Oakes