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.

Monday, 2 December 2019

#COP25 Sing in support of the conference aims from this threefold pamphlet

On the opening day of #COP25 Five Climate concern hymns and a children’s song formatted to produce as a threefold (A4) sheet. All are written to tunes that will be familiar to church/ chapel musicians and many choir leaders. I was delighted to have a Buddhist comment favourably on the language used at Friday’s Silent Rebellion meditation in Cambridge’s (UK) Grafton Centre.

Sorry - Link broken - Working to restore but in the meantime, please follow the link below


The words of the separate hymns or the song will be more easily copied from this version of the song set posted a short on this blog a short while ago
All the hymn words and the song are (c) Trevor Thorn but you are welcome to use them as widely as possible to promote climate concern anywhere.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Light and Illusions

Light
gives sight,
can play games
revealing delightful
illusions.

An illusion - but no enhancements!
This is exactly as ’snapped’ -
and a complete surprise to me.

The short 1-2-3-2-1 word format poem and the extraordinary and completely chance photo above, arose from a visit to the 'Cutty Sark' at Greenwich with two of our grand-daughters on Monday as a half-term treat. On the main deck, there are three stunning display work-cabins with glass at each end to allow the interiors to be viewed without visitors walking through them. We were either side of the galley, thus facing, I think, south (me) and north (the girls). If you look to the left of my reflection, you can see some cups and saucers just behind the ‘Walley’ figure, part of a hunt game. A strong early afternoon sun gave rise to this  remarkable illusion of a wholly curious, insubstantial me with Cutty Sark headphones on, fading into the chequered pattern floor and seemingly holding a brightly lit photo of my grand-daughters, Grace and Catie.

So, a moment, perhaps, to give thanks for the amazing gift of light which enables those of us privileged to enjoy good sight to see all the amazing glories of the world around us: and to follow that with thanks for the dark which enables us to see deep into the vast sweep of the universe.

May you enjoy the wonders of both the light of day and the darkness of night both of which can give us far wider perspectives on life - which are so needed today!


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Inspired by Psalm 150 and re-imagined for C21

Moth Nebula - (Acrylic: imagined): Gold of
the cosmic background to represent
the sovereignty of our Creator God.

Praise God in his holiness;
Praise him in heaven, his glorious dwelling-place

Praise him from the unknown depths of stars, moons and planets; and from the soaring wonders of the vastness of space.

Praise him for the marvellous gift of matter; and for his extravagant love for all that lives.

Let great aquatic creatures and enormous land-bound mammals, miniscule animals, insects and microscopic cells, praise the Lord.

Let forms of life wholly beyond human comprehension, praise the Lord.

For the neural pathways that birth our imaginations and give rise to all our understandings, give thanks and praise.

Let everything that exists, Praise the Lord.

No better reason for posting this other than it is ‘A new song, to The Lord’ (Psalm 33 v3: Ps 96 v1: Ps 98 v1: Ps 149 v1: Isaiah 42 v10 among other invitations to sing a new song).

Other psalms and Bible passages re-imagined for the twenty-first century can be found as under
Psalm 8 verses 1 and 2 reimagined for C21
Psalm 24 re-imagined for C21
Psalm 93 reimagined for C21
Job 38 verse 4 ff






Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Five Climate Concern Hymns and one song

                                                                  Wildfire in the Amazon 2019

At ‘Once in a Lifetime’ conference. Here are five hymns and a children’s song on the theme of climate justice. All to familiar tunes.

As Mighty Glaciers Recede
(Tune 88.88 Suggested – Grenoble)

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

When coastal glaciers discharge
their rapid melt, to chilly seas:
we know, that ocean levels will,  
rise swiftly and inexorably. 

By contrast, inland 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 far lo-o-wer.

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.

Does the God who Lived a Human
(Tune 87.D Suggested - Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow/Marching)

Does the God who lived a human,
weep with anger, weep with rage,
at the vile and gross injustice 
of 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.

Make us Good Stewards, Lord 
(Tune: 66.66.88 Suggested - Hills of The North Rejoice )

Make us good stewards, Lord,
of this your earthly home.
help us be resolute  
in curbing damage done
by fossil fuels and plastic waste,
and other ways earth is defaced.

Help us encourage hope    
that the world can achieve   
limits to harm caused by  
products to which we cleave,   
which strip the world of minerals rare,     
and plunder water without care.    

Give us your people, Lord,  
zeal so we might protest, 
when justice is denied
by wealth’s voracious quests    
that ransack earth, afflict the poor, 
as greedy profiteers make more.    

O Great Creator, Who Desires.
(Tune 8.88.88 Suggested - Eternal Father, Strong to Save/ Melita)

O Great Creator, who desires
that humans should protect the wild,
and weeps when tiny sparrows die,
forgive us when we close our eyes
to grasping greed with single aim
that spoils and kills for short term gain.

Lord, wake us now to recognize
when caring people stand aside
from finding ways to stop the rape
of threatened creatures’ habitats;
your clear command is disobeyed,
with species failing day-by-day.


Lord, help us to change attitudes
and work to challenge such abuse
that linked with trends through climate change
will utterly destroy the range
of species in life’s fragile tree
and make earth sterile, needlessly.



Suns of Great Brilliance
(Tune55.54.D Suggested – 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.

God Gave us This Lovely Earth.
(A children’s song with a tune based on London Bridge is Falling Down)

God gave us this lovely earth,
lovely earth, lovely earth.
God gave us this lovely earth
so let’s help save our planet.

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.

After song - chant:
Scientists draw more power from the seas, please;
and also build better batteries

Friday, 20 September 2019

We Have a Lovely Planet

This children’s song, ‘We Have a Lovely Planet (for Key Stages 1 & 2) is an advance issue of one of the songs which will be incorporated in a new songbook of 30 songs titled ’Sing of God and Science’ due to be published by Kevin Mayhew in June 2020: so watch this site to learn more as the publication date comes nearer.

Credit NASA: Blue Marble

The purpose of the book is to make it better understood that science and faith can complement each other in showing the glory of God in his Universe. There are a few more songs in the same vein on this blog they can be found at the address shown below.

However, it is very appropriate to post this this particular song on this, the day of protest by children across the world demanding that politicians take the issues surrounding climate chaos seriously. So this song is published in solidarity with that youthful generation who are going to have to live with the mistakes of the older post-war generations: they deserve all the support and encouragement they can get. Well done! all of you.

Why not ask for this hymn to be sung in collective worship times in school to help keep the issues sharply in focus. And, Oh Yes! Some of you might be able to write better songs on the subject - which could be one of your contributions to keep the profile of the issue where it needs to be: top of the political and economic agenda

We have a lovely planet
For God’s creatures all to share
He asked us to be kind to it,
Look after it with care:
There’s lots of things we can do
To tend to God’s creation;
Look after plants and animals
And people of all nations.

Cars and things with engines
Are harmful to the air.
We can walk and cycle,
Help save the world we share.
And as we look around us
At birds and bugs and trees
We thank God for creation
Asking ‘Help us love it, please’.

Now pricey bottled water
Is the same as from the tap
Both of them are H20
So why the costly gap?
The charge is for the bottles
Which at sea disintegrate
Into a billion fragments
Sealing birds’ and fishes’ fates.

Then in a spoken chant
You could buy a flask, to fill as you need,
Your water stays cool,
It’s a ‘Save God’s Earth’ deed.

Further Care of The Planet songs, hymns and poems can be found at https://crossandcosmos.blogspot.com/p/care-of-planet-collection.html

Saturday, 31 August 2019

The Wisdom of Women

Iona: The Nunnery

Soon to catch the train to Iona with brings to mind the beautiful buildings there and their messages. This poem is a companion to  an earlier poem I wrote on the subject which can be found at IONA: The Nunnery

I lament the waste of the wisdom of women
Down the long ages,
And still in those places
Where men are too frightened to see,
That half the societies
Which they inhabit
Have great things to offer 
if freed from the shackles
Of male domination,
suppressing the brilliance
Many women can offer;
So is at its heart, 

Such stupidity.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

O Great Creator, Who Desires that Humans Should Work with the Wild

Threatened Species (CGI)

This seems to me the sort of new song we should be singing to The Lord.

O Great Creator, Who Desires.
(Tune: Eternal Father, Strong to Save)

O Great Creator, who desires
that humans should work with the wild,
and weeps when tiny sparrows die,
forgive us when we close our eyes
to grasping greed with single aim
that spoils and kills for short term gain.

Lord, wake us now to recognize
when caring people stand aside
from finding ways to stop the rape
of threatened creatures’ habitats;
your clear command is disobeyed,
with species failing day-by-day.

Lord, help us to change attitudes
and work to challenge such abuse
that linked with trends through climate change
will utterly destroy the range
of species in life’s fragile tree
and make earth sterile, needlessly.

© Trevor Thorn July 2020

For further ecology/ Care of the Planet/ Stewardship poems songs and hymns click on the ‘Living With Integrity’/ Care of the planet image near the top of the right hand column.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Lord Fill Me With (Digital) Wisdom.

I chose today’s picture to convey something of the extraordinary scope of the world-wide web and the confusion some of us can feel when trying to comprehend the rapidity of communications today compared with 10, 20, 50 years ago. To pray for wisdom in our use of this amazing technology and especially for the ability not to be distracted by trivia or worse, feels wholly appropriate. And if a suitable opportunity arose, the three verses could be sung to ’Streets of Laredo'

Lord, fill me with wisdom
each moment I access
the content and threads
of my tablet or phone:
keep me from time-wasting
on dangerous distractions,
or seeking for dark sites
to which I feel drawn.

The internet offers
the world on our small screens:
it tempts us to spending
on things we don’t need.
Invites us pursue links
that lead us to darkness
and sometimes self-loathing
through sex, hate or greed.

So, Lord help me focus
on sites that are wholesome,
avoiding all those
that will bring me to harm.
And if I am moved to 
express web-opinions
please help me to foster 
love, justice and calm.           

© TT June 2019

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Cosmos (A Cinquain)


In  March, as a guest on a quiet day we were invited to experiment with a poetic form called a cinquain. The simple shape of the format as introduced that day. - five lines of 1-2-3-2-1 words with its inherent demand for succinctness felt an unexpected opportunity to try and express a mighty theme just about as briefly as possible. On the day of the writing of this, felt pens were available, so gave an added opportunity to produce a very simple image to provoke further ideas around the theme. I hope it might set you thinking. 

Friday, 12 July 2019

'The Heavens Declare...' by Susan Sanderson

Following an invitation put out on the Association of Christian Writers blog for others to contribute guest items with science and faith themes, Susan Sanderson contributed this and some other poems which will appear on this blog in due course. Thank you Susan. It is good to have the topic of light pollution introduce this short poem and be reminded of the issue. We were recently in Northumberland witnessing the exquisitely dark skies in the vicinity of Kielder Observatory in Northumberland and it was startling to see the difference that intense dark makes compared to our skies just north of Cambridge UK and Ely. What an array of beauty there is when our vision is less challenged!

Star trails over Kielder from the Observatory website

The heavens declare…

The street lights’ glow in the city
makes it hard to see the stars.
It’s a pity city dwellers
Rarely see Jupiter and Mars.

Where land is flat vast skies appear
with clouds that drift, changing shape.
From industrial fields stars
(on moonless nights) make people gape.

Where mountains cause the rain to fall
rainbows renew the promise
God made to Noah in his ark –
significance most people miss.

When storm clouds hide both sun and moon
and rain comes down like stair-rods,
it’s hard to remember times
of brightness and grey are both God’s.

(c) Susan Sanderson  June 2017





Wednesday, 19 June 2019

8 Years old - A day of celebration



This is a celebratory post because last weekend was the eighth anniversary of the first entry on this blog. So this is an opportunity to say ‘Thank you' to all of you who call up The Cross and The Cosmos from time to time. I very much hope that you find both thought provoking and helpful material here. And from time to time some fun with which to engage children - hence the balloon image!



As this is a celebration, I thought it would be good to post a shortened version of my song ’This is a Day of Celebration’. The full version can be found HERE


This is a Day of Celebration

General Chorus (to start)
This is a day of celebration,
This is a day for shouts of praise,
This is a day of jubilation,
Jesus, your Name we raise

Jesus, the Name above all others,
Jesus the name that brings release,
Jesus, our Saviour, our Messiah,
Jesus the Prince of Peace.
Chorus

This is a day of exultation,
This is a day of Jubilee,
This is a day to tell all nations
Jesus will set you free.
Chorus


Friday, 7 June 2019

Yours, Lord, is The Greatness, the Power and the Glory.



Ever since discovering that the prayer in some forms of the Anglican communion service, commencing with the words of the title, was David’s thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 29.11) for the gifts which would enable the Temple to be built, I have felt drawn to wanting to use it as a framework for a meditation. It has taken a long time to come to fruition - but here it is. I hope it will prove helpful to some of you who are kind enough to read this blog.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you.*

Your realm, Lord, is the realm of glory; the realm where Archangels, Angels, Apostles – both women and men, Martyrs, Saints and the souls of all the faithful give you ceaseless praise. 

From that eternal home, long ages before it was peopled, in your deep, deep Wisdom, you conceived the inspiration of a nurturing universe.

Then, at your Word, fundamental forces and streams of particles emerged to form an initially turbulent cosmic existence; time and space sprang into being.  

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you.

With the passing of the ages, turbulence diminished and shape and form grew into the universe we are privileged to be able to observe with contemporary equipment.

Suns, planets, moons and asteroids emerged out of primeval dust and gases to form myriads of communities of galaxies.  

Around some planets, our exquisite earth being one, atmospheres, stratospheres and magnetospheres sprang up, protecting and enriching the environments of their hosts. 

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you.

 Elements coalesced and on earth some combined to give rise to the possibility of life.

Life emerged and by amazing paths of evolution took diverse shapes and forms, some of which survived catastrophic extinctions and grew into innumerable species of creatures. 
            
As humans evolved from early ancestors, brains developed within us, eventually enabling us to bear witness to the glory of the universe and this planet’s wonderful ability to sustain  life.

May we grow in our longing to be good stewards of this shared home – yours and ours.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you

With intellect and understanding came also the seeds of evil and at a time and place of your choosing, you, Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made, took human form and came among us to redeem us by your cross and resurrection.

Our home became a planet of your visitation and we beheld your glory.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you.

And in the last days, when heaven and earth will become as one, you Lord will be there to welcome all your faithful into that realm of glory, love, justice and peace.

May we be there with them, singing among our songs of praise this remembrance of the thanksgiving of David, King and prophet.

‘Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory; for everything in heaven and the entire universe is yours, and of your own do we give you.’  AMEN

* adapted from 1Chronicles 29.11


© Trevor Thorn 2019

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.

Nativity Star (CGI)

Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.

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'

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image

Double Celebration

Double Celebration
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.

St Neots Sunset (Photo)

St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.

Assisi Sunset

Assisi Sunset
Assisi Sunset

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'