MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Does the God who Lived a Human (Durham 2)

Earth from Moon: Credit NASA

During the last term as a visiting fellow at St John’s College, Durham the issue of climate change emerged in several contexts. This hymn has its roots in a conversation with a very convicted theologian who has very deep concerns for the next generation. I am indebted to her for these ideas which follow very appropriately from my last post ‘As Mighty Glaciers recede' 

Does the God who Lived a Human
(Recommended tune:Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow 8.7 D)

Does the God who lived a human,
weep with anger, weep with rage,
at the sweep of gross injustice 
in this money-driven age?

Wealth and arrogance are forcing
powerless people to the brink;
such as those who live in terror
that their homes and fields will sink.

Add to that the lies and falsehoods 
in our corridors of power: 
Lord of justice, cause your people 
to rise up in this dark hour.

Seeking truth and resolutely 
challenging both lies and wealth  
that are careless of resources,
or strip others of their health. 

Listen now to children’s wisdom,
many of whom recognise
that unless we change our lifestyle
earth is facing its demise .

If we strive more for your vision
of an earth where love and care
guide the actions of its people,
hope can flower and rout despair.

So, bring hope, O great Creator,
let the planet’s saving be
hastened by your Holy Spirit,
calling leaders, calling me.

Other Care of our Planet hymns and songs on this blog can be found HERE

Thursday, 21 June 2018

As Mighty Glaciers Recede (Poem/Hymn): (Durham 1*)

Credit NASA: Muir Glacier 1941/2004


 As Mighty Glaciers Recede (Poem or hymn which can be sung to any 8.8.8.8 tune: suggested tune Grenoble (Awake, Awake, Fling off The Night))

As mighty glaciers recede
and leave great scars which cause alarm;
Be sure it is the rising heat
Of greenhouse gasses causing harm.

When coastal glaciers discharge
Their rapid melt, to chilly seas:
We know, that ocean levels will   
Rise swiftly and inexorably. 

By contrast, mountain glaciers
cause havoc through reduced cascades,
so downstream waters can’t suffice
to turn hydraulic turbine blades.

We need to switch from fossil fuels
To wind and wave and solar power:
Renewables already can
make all these risks a little lower.

For everyone who loves the earth
Clean energy must be the aim,
To strengthen hope the planet can      
Be saved through this essential change.

The evidence of shrinking ice
invites all those who love the Lord -
Be stewards wise – and build up hope   
of justice for the coastal poor.

For as such massive change takes place
The least resourced will bear the toll
Of harshness in the furious wake
Of worsening weather through the world.

* I would like to thank Professor Chris Stokes in the Geography Department at Durham University for his help in inspiring the idea of writing about glaciers and ensuring the accuracy of the scientific aspects of this poem/hymn: composed during my stay at St John’s College as Visiting Fellow for the term.


Other Care of The Planet poems, hymns and songs can be found on this blog HERE






Friday, 8 June 2018

Source of The Fundamental Forces (Hymn)

Source of the fundamental forces,
Jesus Christ our Lord;
Setting primeval plasma coursing
Through His mighty Word.
Called from the womb of the void,
Particles deployed,
Wisdom decreed
These are the seeds
Of creation’s form.

Source of the simple organisms
That evolved on earth.
Deep in the wellsprings, God was minded
To bring life to birth,
Through several billion years
Reasoning minds appeared
Shaped to explore
Wonder and awe,
At creation’s forms.

Source of the love that deep enfolds us,
Saviour, Master, King;
Seeing our wayward human natures
You gave everything
To liberate our race,
By your amazing grace:
Tortured to death;
In your last breaths,
Promised eternal rest.

Source of all holy inspiration,
Spirit of the Lord,
Breathe into us desire and urge to
Worship and adore.
You, Lord, who formed all things, 
Hear us as we now sing.
Giver of light,
Giver of life,
Praise to you, Lord of all.

(c) Trevor Thorn, April 2018.





Monday, 28 May 2018

Hot, Clear Steam (Hot Cross Buns)

Hot, Clear Steam - sing it to the tune of 'Hot Cross Buns’ (Score below)
This might be helpful in thinking about the Trinity.

Hot, clear steam: hot, clear steam,
When it cools it turns into
a water stream.
If it keeps on cooling,
it will turn to ice.
So as steam cools down and down,
It changes twice.

Butterflies, flutter by:
caterpillars, chrysalids
until they fly.
Eggs to caterpillars
which in time pupate,
then emerge with gorgeous wings 
as they change state.

Toads and frogs, start as spawn,
tadpoles soon, grow breathing gills
as they change form .
then as they develop,
tails will disappear,
legs grow strong to swim and jump 
In pond or air.

Father, Son: Spirit come,
never changing, Everlasting 
Three-in-one.
God our great Creator,
Jesus, Lord and King
loves to care for everyone
and everything.





Monday, 14 May 2018

Suns of Great Brilliance


Suns of Great Brilliance
Can be sung to the tune ‘Bunessan’.

Suns of great brilliance pierce through our darkness,
From their colossal distance in space;
If their light dips it may be a planet
Making a transit of that star’s face.

Like ours, those suns may have many planets
Circling close or orbiting wide,
Rocky or gaseous, balmy or frigid,
Maybe benign or sterile to life.

Far in the future there may be humans
Making their way to planets afar:
Will they be stewards with good intentions,
Or will their greed those pristine worlds scar?

Pray that our race would honour the wonders
Of God’s creation’s beauty and worth,
Ever alert to how careless commerce
Threatens the fragile, as here on earth.

Other material with a ‘Care of the Planet’ theme can be found  HERE






Friday, 4 May 2018

There is No Planet B (Following President Emmanuel Macron’s address to the US Congress April 2018)

There is no Planet B, that can credibly be  
home to eleven billion*,
needing drinkable water to survive,
food enough that they might thrive;
air that is safe for all to breathe;
energy that does not bequeath
problems for all their children.

If there is, it is far too far 
for all but a few to access
and even then improbable
that migration would stand any chance of success
for the transit time – generations long
and the perils enormous – mostly unknown
thus we need Planet A to be viable.

So, with thoroughgoing determination 
of leaders and people of every nation,
the tools are here to be wisely used
to reverse the damage, the commercial abuse
and make Planet A, our earth, truly flourish;
so let us renew every effort to cherish
the water, the soil, the air and all creatures:
that as we progress, we might quite clearly see
there is no point in thinking about Planet B.


May God’s people, stewards, as the Bible presumes^
be aroused by this peroration,
knowing justice for the poor, can only bloom
when we work to sustain God’s creation.   


*A UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Report in 2015 estimated that by 2100, world population would be in the order of 11 billion (compared to 7.3 billion in the first half of 2018)

^These Biblical references, among others, acknowledge proclaim God’s sovereignty over the earth, its people and resources  
> "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)
>  To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it." (Deuteronomy 10:14)
>  Psalms 104 and 113 
>  Colossians 1:16
  


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Who, or what is your Avatar?


So this is me and my Avatar - prepared with a programme that gave no opportunity to introduce lines in the face nor a varied complexion! (At least, I found no provision for such changes). So my Avatar would almost certainly not be recognised by my real-life friends. And it is those, and far more radical differences in some people’s Avatars that gave rise to this poem.

When you get to the line about your parents, please recognise that is a question for everyone - not just  children and young people.

Who, or What Is Your Avatar?

Who, or what is your Avatar?
Does he, she or it bear your name
Or another: and whichever the case
Do you use it for many or just for one game?

Would your parents like meeting your Avatar?
Would they recognise you in the traits
Of the character you have so carefully built
To be ‘you’ in gaming forays?

Does your Avatar look at all like you?
Perhaps round the mouth or the eyes
Or have you formed a creature or person
With deceptively cunning disguise?

Is your Avatar weaker or stronger than you?
Does this other-self have mighty powers    
That you really desire to reflect in yourself,
But are only for internet hours?

Does your Avatar lead a clan or a guild?
Or follow when ordered or told
To fly, leap or jump from dizzying heights:
Is your Avatar always ‘The Bold’?

Does your Avatar kill whenever it can?
Or is mercy a part of the game,
With gentleness, thoughtfulness, love for another?
All so crucial in life’s real domain.


Monday, 9 April 2018

Energy from Sun, Wind, Tide,



This simple song, with its ecological theme is a part of the ‘Sing of God and Science’ collection and sung to the tune of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down'. I am grateful to Sylvia Miles who scored the song and whose notes for teachers follow underneath the printable music sheets.

Energy from sun, wind, tide,
Sun, wind, tide; sun, wind, tide.
Energy from sun, wind, tide,
Can save our lovely planet

Fossil fuels must be turned off,
be turned off, be turned off.
Fossil fuels must be turned off,
To save our lovely planet.

Batteries must better be,
Better be, better be:
Batteries must better be,
To save our lovely planet.

We've been giv'n this lovely earth,
lovely earth, lovely earth.
We've been giv'n this lovely earth
by God. Let's save our planet.

After song chant:
Scientists draw more power from the seas, please
And also build better batteries.


























Energy from sun, wind, tide

Notes for teachers by Syvia Miles


The song can be sung with any combination of the instruments scored. Just the tune with either piano or guitar is fine.

The piano part is not difficult and it’s pretty.

Xylophone: for each xylophone, have two children playing, one on the upper note, one on the lower; practise the rhythm first by clapping. Ensure the players use 2 beaters each and alternate, eg R-L-R; R-L-R.

The descant recorder part uses the notes C’, B, A, G, F, and optional bottom C. Maybe term 2 recorder learners!

The second voice part, the descant, isn’t hard at all; it’s largely on one note but with an interesting last line. If a recorder player can manage it, that would support a group of brave singers.

First verse: piano, guitar, xylophone and tune.
Second verse: add second voice part (descant).
Third and fourth verses: add recorders and go for it!

After the final verse, chant:

Scientists draw more power from the seas, please
And also build better batteries.

Other ‘Sing of God and Science’ songs can be accessed HERE   






Friday, 23 March 2018

News of a songbook and Cancer 4


This has been a remarkable two weeks. Last week our printer delivered 250 copies of the songbook called ‘Sing of God and Science’ that I have been compiling over the past year. It is aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children and a copy has gone to every Church of England primary school in Ely Diocese (mainly in Cambridgeshire but some in Norfolk, UK). There are nineteen songs in the book, nine of them written within schools in the Diocese; the remainder written by Barney Leeke (a fellow Licensed Lay Minister) and myself. It has drawn several favourable comments and I am in course of working out how to make it more widely available. When it is available, I will make it known here on this blog how copies can be obtained.

The compilation of the book has taken longer than we originally hoped and has happened alongside my diagnosis and treatment for Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, needing first chemotherapy and then radio-therapy. Just this week the consultant told us that he could find no residual trace of the cancer and that he thought there was a good chance it would not recur, having reached this milestone one year after treatment ended. I was moved from a four monthly to a six monthly review pattern. Wonderful news and a time for immense gratitude.

Both the treatment and the book project have entailed a lot of waiting and we have learned just how hard waiting can be, both by our own experience and through talking with some of the very many other cancer patients we met. Throughout both situations we have been very aware of being borne up in prayer by many, many friends and knowing that has undoubtedly sustained us at the more difficult times. Our grateful thanks to all of you. Alongside finding strength in this, we have also been consistently grateful for the amazing resources and the truly remarkable staff at all levels at Addenbrookes. We are so very grateful to them and I have also been profoundly grateful to Pam who has watched over me with a very great concern and done all she possibly could to help me be positive and comfortable throughout the year.

We are also very grateful to have been within easy driving distance of the hospital. For the many patients who live further away than we do, regimes similar to mine must be way, way more tiring, especially for those who have to negotiate the unpredictability of the A14 as it is in course of being re-developed.

So it has been a year of blessings amidst the unpredictability of the chemical battle being waged within me and we are both thrilled to have reached this stage. Our prayers now go out especially for friends we know who have not been so blessed and, as ever, it is so hard to even begin to make sense of the less successful outcomes of other peoples’ treatments. We can only be sad with them and for them.


This entry could go on and on, and have no-one left reading it all the way through – so I will stop now and ask those of you who have walked alongside us to give thanks and praise as we are, for all the blessed moments of our recent lives. However, it is good to be able to add into all of this the news that I have now been formally invited to be a Visiting Fellow at St John’s College, Durham for the whole of the Summer term to work on further ideas for singing of God and Science more widely than just for children. This, too, has been an amazing morale booster in the last few weeks and being ‘cleared’ by the consultant means that we can be less apprehensive about being well enough to enjoy the ‘un-flat’ terrain of Durham. once more, we feel very, very greatly blessed.
Radiotherapy mask fashioned to 
the shape of a patient’s face to ensure
that the treatment is consistently precisely 
targeted.

The two pictures represent something of the twin passage of the songbook and the treatment during the last year.

If you are minded to read more of this story, you can access Cancer 1 HERE
Cancer 2 HERE and
Cancer 3 HERE

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

After Parkland Florida: A Prayer

Here in the UK there is little we can do but offer supportive prayer for America’s protesting young people.


Harrowing picture of pairs of shoes representing 
7000 children who have died in school shootings.
picture credit Thinappuyal News. 
This news touches every nation.

After Parkland Florida: A Prayer

Precious, innocent lives
wasted once more
by the perplexing mindset
of too large a part of a nation
that claims to be Godly.

Come, Lord God,
break asunder the influence
of those whose lives
are invested
in such a godless
love affair with
instruments of hate and death.

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'