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.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Two contemporary Carols to greet you in this Christmas season.

Two of the contemporary carols posted earlier on this site to wish all who visit it from time to time a blessed and peaceful Christmas: one of the carols is to a well known tune, the other to a new tune.

 Carol of the Cosmos                         Finlandia *(

Be still small earth, this is the night of nights,
Your great Creator hovers at your gates,
In human form, now to become a babe
To Jewish maid, who for this moment waits:
Fulfilling now the ancient prophecies,
Her child, the Saviour of the human race.

You nightly stars surrounding Bethlehem,
Prepare yourselves to be eclipsed this night,
An angel host, with joyful beating wings
Clothes all the waiting hills with brilliant light.
And shepherds, spurned by those of wealth and might,
Are first to see the Christ, this holy sight.

O dazzling skies, welcome a stranger star
To play its part, a brief and guiding role:
To bring from far, sage watchers of the night
Who linked its light to what the prophets told.
Trav’ling with gifts to celebrate The King
Rich myrrh and frankincense and precious Gold.

‘Twas by this child th'eternal Word came flesh
God’s pledge unveiled, such holy mystery.
Come praise him now, this coming was for us, 
His cosmic task laid by to set us free.
From death the natural end in time and space
He calls our souls beyond to his great grace. 

* * * * * * *

This second carol, unusually, gives Joseph a ‘voice’ in the stable as he expresses his hopes for his newborn son. (Find a printable score below the words and hear the first verse and chorus from the video file beneath the score)

‘This manger’s well made’,
said Joseph to Mary,
‘Its joints are a joy
 to a carpenter’s eye’.
‘I hope that our son 
will be skilled with timber, 
so neighbours we serve
will be e’er satisfied.

‘Oh Joseph love,
 you are so wise and good.
yet our son will, perhaps,
work with far more than wood.’

‘That crook there is shaped 
with skill and perception;
‘tis made for a shepherd
who’ll both dare and save’.
‘I’ll show our son how 
sheep are protected,
so shepherds will ask him,
to shape them good staves.

Oh Joseph love etc

‘This yoke is a work
of marvellous honing.
It never will chafe:
the ox scarce need a goad.
Our son must learn ways
of both beast and ploughman, 
then contour his yokes
to ease burdensome loads’.

Oh Joseph love etc.

‘I‘ll teach him the strengths,
Of timber, dear Mary,
show him all the things
he must and must not do’.
‘Like ne’er make a cross
for fierce Roman soldiers,
Nor sell them our wood 
To hang slave, thief or Jew.’

‘Oh Joseph love,
 you are so wise and good.
Yes, our son when time comes
Will be smitten by wood.

Listen to the first verse and chorus 

‘Stable Talk’ is part of ’The Cross and Cosmos’ Christmas collection which you can find HERE

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'