Trapped

“There IS no escape!

No way out!

No place to hide”

HE is bigger, faster and his legs are long;

He is older, cleverer and his arms are strong;

He has guns and whips,

he punches and kicks,

he slaps and canes,

but the worst is the SHAME…

– the words…

the lies,

insults

and blame

guilt and blame –

shame!

He is damaged and hurt,

has had his share of dirt;

but the Truth was never revealed

– to him

and the pain was never healed

– for him

– So he dumped it all on us!

And I am TRAPPED –

trapped in the room, by the walls and the space;

trapped by his power, his will and disgrace;

trapped by his threats – barbed with cutting words –

and trapped by my own fear of never being heard!

Too late!

Fear of pain and of torture and death

fear of being wiped off the face of the earth!

Too late?…

For I am insignificant, powerless, silenced and small

and confused, controlled and overwhelmed by it all…

But Lord, I turned to You.

YES!

You are my HOPE.

You rescued me! You set me free!

To You I can run and in You I can hide –

in Your big, loving arms, I am strong at Your side!

You rescued me! You set me free!

You hold me and heal me, with salvation and Power,

forever my refuge and my faithful, strong tower.

You rescued me! You set me free!

Thanks be to God!

Girl! Run from evil, to the Lord, and He WILL rescue you. Amen

“Even in death, the righteous have a refuge” Proverbs 14 v 32

Read by the author.

Communion

dawnfanshawe

I was challenged to write a poem about communion. I based it on the gospel of John (John 6), where Jesus had fed the 5,000, walked on the water and healed the sick, but still they asked for a sign. When He said “I AM the Bread that came down from heaven”, many of his followers left him, saying “This is a hard teaching.”

This is my response:

Lord,
Often as I read the gospel accounts
A veil of familiarity dims my eyes
And the stories that they there recount
Seem commonplace and of no surprise.

Then suddenly, in awestruck wonder
The veil is lifted and there I see
Radical love of unfathomable depths
Knocking, calling and inviting me.

The things you did that blow my mind –
And challenged customs of the day –
Were downright bold, if truth be told
But to the father’s heart you showed the…

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Communion

I was challenged to write a poem about communion. I based it on the gospel of John (John 6), where Jesus had fed the 5,000, walked on the water and healed the sick, but still they asked for a sign. When He said “I AM the Bread that came down from heaven”, many of his followers left him, saying “This is a hard teaching.”

This is my response:

Lord,
Often as I read the gospel accounts
A veil of familiarity dims my eyes
And the stories that they there recount
Seem commonplace and of no surprise.

Then suddenly, in awestruck wonder
The veil is lifted and there I see
Radical love of unfathomable depths
Knocking, calling and inviting me.

The things you did that blow my mind –
And challenged customs of the day –
Were downright bold, if truth be told
But to the father’s heart you showed the way.

You healed the sick and cured the lame
Proclaiming the Kingdom of God is near
And you commissioned your followers to do the same
Forgiven, loved and released from fear.

You taught us love, You washed our feet
You redefined what it meant to serve,
Untouchables, sinners, You graciously greet
With transforming dignity undeserved.
You fed your people miraculously with bread
You turned their water into wine
Yet more and more demands they made
And constantly begged for another sign

But miracles don’t satisfy our hunger for God
Contrary always to popular thought
Only a personal relationship with You, for
“I am the bread of life” You taught .

Your words, “I AM”, Your deity exposed
and scandalised the sceptic band
to eat your flesh and drink your blood
was more than they could understand.

Yet, Word of God, in flesh you came
A perfect, pure and holy life
For hopeless folk in sin and shame
To set us free from guilt and strife.

The debt man owed, only You could pay
So your flesh was beaten, your hands were pierced
There wasn’t any other way
Your blood You gave in sacrifice.

You ask me only to believe
In your finished work upon that cross
And your grace and mercy to receive
As You restore all that was lost.

So your body was broken and your blood was shed
To bring us wholeness and make us free
To bring forgiveness and eternal life
Your mercy and great love did all this for me.

So I eat your flesh and drink your blood
And remember Your miraculous gift to me
For everything You give is good
And only You can set me free.

Thank You, Jesus.

Communion cup and bread with crown of thorns in background

Faith?

We all live our lives with faith: –
We believe that tomorrow we will wake from our sleep
That when we open our mouth our voices will speak
That turning on the tap, water will flow
And planting seed, the crops will grow…

On things electric we now rely
We all believe that planes can fly
Even though we know not why
With science and reason we can try…

We believe in science, justice and reason
We hold all these in great esteem
Though learned folk of the previous season
Thought today’s inventions just a dream.

But faith in God or a Higher Power –
There scepticism abounds –
We see divisions that we have made
And ignore the evidence of life around

The intelligence in the seed and brain
Are mysteries we can’t explain
And what of longing, valour and love
They are not explained by the theories above.

For who witnesses birth and does not wonder
Or looking at the stars does not ponder?
Or seeing the beauty of a flower
Or the sea in its mystery and power…

Does he not ask why?

If there is no power greater than me
Then from naught I came and naught will ever be;
If the highest intelligence rests with man
Where is he going and what is his plan?

Man didn’t fling the stars into space
Nor did he set the oceans in place
He didn’t design the maple’s seed
And doesn’t meet our deepest need.

A rational response to reality
Requires a sane humility
To acknowledge with serenity –
No matter what I conceive it to be –
A power infinitely greater than me!

The Promise of the Rainbow

Even in the stumbling of night
His stars twinkle mysterious light
Sparks of the unknown, infinite
And eternal hope.

Daybreak heralds a fresh glory
Erasing dreams and strife;
The dawn of a new story
Illuminating mercy and life.

New days radiate hope for us –
Warmth, promise and growth –
Visible and glorious,
Powerful – but delicate – both.

Our star is not quenched by the rain;
The waters don’t labour in vain,
But soften the earth, relieving the pain –
Causing life to rise from the ashes again.

As they cleanse and germinate seed,
That the diligent purposed to grow,
A multitude then he can feed –
With grateful hope indeed;

And a light through the rain he will show –
Is the promise of the rainbow.

Giving Birth to Sobriety

Giving Birth to Sobriety

My life is so varied and rich
But…
There’s always a but/ a glitch.
Like I’m looking for something I had,
That in itself wasn’t bad,
But it was not what I needed and when I conceded
That in fact it was keeping me sad,
I looked for a new way
A way of recovery…

When I drank I thought drink was my friend –
Daily I brought “work” to an end –
I opened the bottle , turned down my brain
Played music, lit candles
And danced in the rain;
I’d cook and have friends round
Would chatter and play –
Felt duly rewarded, every day.
Thinking and doing seemed to be done
And now I considered it time to have fun.
Having the sense of completing my duty,
Then I allowed me to enjoy all the beauty –
The senses, emotions, creative and free –
This was Dawn-time, time just for me.

It was time to relax, to be warm and more giving
A time to feel like I really was living;
But the key was the bottle that I used as a switch
From duty to pleasure – herein lies the glitch!
For the truth in my case, the complexity I face
That emotional sobriety is new;
Alcohol and romances
Mingled their dances
And this was the state that I knew: –
Equilibrium to feel alive
To sooth myself and sense Dawn thrive;
Feeling comforted and needs caressed
Content, relaxed and greatly blessed…

But ancient wounds had festered deep
Despite these blindfolds, they would weep;
Despite these crutches, my limp grew worse
Men and drink had become a curse.

So, nine months ago, I made a decision
With romance severed, I planned with precision
What was for me an alien vision.

I had to trust my Higher Power
My God who is my strength and Tower
And trust that he would show me how –
To nourish this precious, arid flower.

So what do I do now the bottle is dry?
I can’t switch the brain off, but why do I try?
God’s Spirit is in me, healing my soul,
But I still feel a loss, a big gaping hole!

I really do love being sober from drink
And I certainly long to be free,
But I struggle to pray and struggle to think
Of a way just to chill and be me.

“It’s the truth that will set you free”
Is the scripture that beckons to me –
It’s freedom and truth that I’m seeking
Specially when I feel such a weakling,
Embracing sobriety.

I rejoice in the freedom, the joy and the gains
The reward for long-suffering, labour and pains
And I will not give up, though the journey is tough
One day at a time, grace alone is enough.

I’m reaching a place where addictions are beaten
My Lord has replaced what the locusts have eaten.
I am gratefully sober and know I can cope
With new life ahead of me, full of real hope.
Knowing forgiveness for what I’ve done wrong,
Growing in strength I’ll sing a new song!

Elusive Excitement of Newness

The new toy, bike or friend as a kid,
The new job, car or painting that I did;
The brand new dress with matching shoes
The latest sensation to hit the news;
A husband or wife – vowing never to part
Salvation, new life – we give all our heart…

We reach our goal, a dream fulfilled
The yearning of our heart is stilled
With treasured pearl and joy we shine
Full of promise now it’s mine

Initial vigilance, adoring and keen
We want our treasure by all to be seen;
We display, protect, polish and gaze
And use every moment to offer our praise.

But often having thus acquired
The prize we had so long desired
We imperceptibly grow tired,
And the thing which once was pride of place
Unguarded hearts may swift erase –
While something new attracts our gaze…

For what is it now we long and thirst
That supersedes what once was first?
What fickle nature quenches fire
Now igniting new desire?
What rose-stained lens do we peer through
When captivated by pastures new?

The heart is swayed, lust and greed deceive,
Despite good counsel it receives…

But when it seems that depths are reached,
Or find dismayed that vows are breached;
Or maybe usefulness to self has ceased,
Therewith the need also deceased.

When disillusionment squeezes out hope,
We harden our hearts in order to cope;
We shelve or discard what we thought we needed
And bury our love with dreams now receded.

(But as for myself, I hoard my treasures,
Stored on the shelf, I remember the pleasures
And gratitude often compels me to peep
Into the souvenirs I keep.)

Dawn 11/11/15

Discombobulation (or The Gradual Healing of a Damaged Soul)

A poetic prose from 2012

“If you ask you don’t get, if you don’t ask you don’t want;
it’s not yours, you can’t have it, didn’t earn, don’t deserve;
if it’s fun it is bad for you, how dare you enjoy?
You’re not here to be happy, you’re here to endure.
You do as you’re told, not what you want; and who are you anyway? I know who you’re not!
I know what you’re like and I’ll tell you again – you’re selfish and greedy and just like your mother; you’re lazy, a day-dreamer, real good-for-nothing!
I’ll thrash you and give you something to cry about – if you don’t stop crying now!”

The pleasure in pain and the pain in the pleasure – isn’t much fun, but is real to me!
Voices and choices – We are what we eat? That is what she says –
The powerful diet of childhood days.

Her body is strong, built to endure; strong bones and tough sinews, sharp eyes and big lungs;
blood full of iron (and oxygen now), feeding the nerves and the brain;
so feed it and work it, rest it and cleanse it; use it, abuse it and bring it to heel…

And what of her senses, oh glorious senses?
The sights and the sounds, the smells and the taste and the touch: –
The sweet smell of fresia, wallflower and lily, of meat roast in garlic, of black-berried Shiraz…
The taste of fried mushrooms, sea bass, tzatziki; the wine on the palette and fresh summer figs…
Oh delights of the senses, who says I can’t have them? What’s wrong with the pleasures that nature has given?
The sight of the blossom, the fields and the coast, the rush of the river and wind in the branches;
the colours of nature, delicate and bold, rich in their glory, surely mine to behold?
The sunrise and sunsets, richness galore, the stars in the twilight, promising more…
The sounds of the waters, the crash of the waves, the bird song, the whale cry, laughter and storm; of music that man makes, music of God, music of nature and of the soul…
And the touch of the rain and the sun on the skin, the feelings of pleasure stirring within;
the touch of a friend that warms and releases, the touch of a lover that blows you to pieces;
touches of softness, closeness and heat, coolness and tenderness, moments to keep, to savour…
Am I to deprive them? Having discovered them, are they bad to enjoy?
“No! But don’t over do it! Know when to stop”, I hear wisdom implore….
The body’s a temple, according to God;
mine is more like a mad house with this lot!

And what of the mind and reason and all – who should she listen to, the quiet one in me?
She’s a perfectionist, determined, but timid and shy;
she works hard and gets there, not quite knowing how…
She is willing to learn, but has not said a lot, (can’t get a word in) and has not a strong voice;
so is easily silenced and drowned by the noise
of the rest of the house…

Is that where the Will fits in, or is that of the mind? And who does the Will listen to?
Sometimes courageous, stoic and proud, she dresses herself for the fight;
when clad in full armour she believes she’s invincible, thinks that the battle is won..
but a waiver of doubt, a taunt and a whisper and the victory is gone, armour trashed on the ground. Who’s battle was it anyway?

And what of emotion, the feelings, the soul?
Is she tied to the senses or mind?
She is wild and creative, chaotic, unstable,
trembling, unhinged and a mess.
Palpitations and passions, overwhelmed and undone –
she loves you and needs you in bubbles and laughter, terribly empty and alone;
she will cuddle and hug you, with kisses or tears – never quite knowing which voice –
whether dreams or her fears – are driving her into each choice;
whether guilty, heart-broken, lonely, ecstatic, she’s hurting and aching and alive –
but, gosh, it’s hard work to survive!!
And what of the Spirit?
You’d think there’s no room left, but the Spirit is so vast and so …WOW!
She is the breath of my life, my energy and power.
She is the love in the meeting, the gratitude in sensing, the joy in receiving and the giving away.
She is the top of the mountain and the sob from the gut;
the hope of each moment, the prayer in each move…
It is here that I live and here I would stay,
my eternal and heavenly home.
Here is my peace. Why can’t I live here? Why do the other Dawns get in the way?
My body, my passions, feelings and mind,
Holy Spirit, unite my brokenness, I pray!

image courtesy of Ruelha

Flea Circus

They were having fun…

The last 5 weeks have been such an ordeal
An unusual problem of fleas
Persistent and tiny, they drove me insane
And nibbled my legs to the knees

I began with the cat, whose treatment was swift
The spot-on worked well and was fast
But the fleas they migrated to carpets and chairs
Though I thought they surely won’t last.

In bare legs and shorts, with murderous thoughts,
For a many long hours every day,
I vacuumed the carpets, the beds and the chairs
And finished it off with the spray.

I used bicarb and salt, smoke bombs and sprays
And all I achieved was a stink
As they hopped on my ankles, I captured each flea
But they wouldn’t even drown in the sink.

Obsessive I tip-toed, eager to pounce
On every new speck in my home
I spent hundreds on potions, used bottles of lotions
Till defeated I picked up the phone.

I agreed to the terms that Rentakil made
And moved everything off of the floor
The cat and I then fled for the day
Leaving Rentakil keys to the door.

With the cat in the rucksack, we were glad to come back
But my mistake I discovered too late
They’d posted my keys and we were locked out
So we had to climb over the gate.

One little window I managed to open
And a rickety stool I found
Then the heavens exploded and rain gushed down
Mightily splashing the ground

One soggy moggy I plopped through the window
Wondering what I could do…
Then I climbed and I squeezed and I wriggled and heaved
And managed to follow her through.

Like every good story this comes with a lesson
Which is: To avoid being bitten
Learn from my saga and think it all through
Before saying “Yes” to a kitten!

AA Season Of Pain.

Physical pain of bitter, constant cold, hunger,

slaps, canes and beatings

Fear, terror of these – fear of annihilation, fear of pain.

Fear of death, knives and guns

Unpredictable, threatening,
lurking

– a Russian roulette..

 

Fear of emotional pain, emotional torture
Cos it’s all my fault.
I am bad, wrong, a burden
I owe them,
I must repay and make it better
But I cannot –
I’m not good enough, big enough, strong enough or clever enough.

Lonely, empty, lost and afraid,
wandering, day-dreaming, alone.
Looking for comfort, for friendship, for warmth, safety, acceptance…
I need to escape, to hide, to somehow survive and get away –
but where to?

I focus on the beauty around me
Beauty of amazing, glorious mystery
Creation – so delicate, vulnerable, persistent and powerful –
A gift into my emptiness.

I love the world and all of creation.
I want to love and to serve
I seek to rescue those in pain
to come alongside, help and hold them.

I am blessed with friends, family and God –
without them I would be long since destroyed!
But I am still so desperately lonely, cold, empty, small and afraid.

 

I escaped the physical pain,
but the bruises and scars remain
Tender, whilst the taste and strength of fear still paralyse.
Daily I hear the echo of lies and labels
How long will I let them define who I am and who I can be?

Busyness fills some of the emptiness –
work, relationships, learning, doing
doing, doing…
Big Dawn can do some of this, she can wear this mask for a while,
As long as she hides and does as she’s told.

Being hurts, so I kill the pain.
A bottle or two of Shiraz, a pint or 10 of ale –
it lessens the crippling fear as darkness falls,
it drowns the mocking voices,
dulls the heart pain,
chases the memories,
rebukes those stupid, dangerous tears
and lets me dance and live…
Or does it?

Was it me I was trying to kill?
Kill the ‘good for nothing’ Dawn?
They can’t blame me if I’m dead.
They can’t hurt me if I’m gone,
gone to where every tear is wiped away and pain is no more.

The anaesthetic has worn off now and I feel it all…
raw.
No wine to ease the pain of feeling,
no lover to distract and hold my body,
no work to busy my mind…

But I am holding to the promise:
‘plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future’*
I have support in place,
I have all I need –
now it is time to do the work!

I will employ Ms Haynes to help my little girl –
she will guide, hold and encourage both little D and mummy D
She can care for us and keep us safe
She can put her knowledge and experience to good use
She will draw on Wisdom, Truth and common sense..

Jesus, You were so sad as to death,
but You did the work.
You know how I feel –
And you love me despite my fear and mess.
I invite You again to enter the space I have made for you
to fill my emptiness
I ask You to heal my brokenness and pain
to give me ‘beauty for ashes;
joy instead of mourning;
praise instead of heaviness’ *
and to exchange the fear for the miraculous power of Your LOVE.

I choose to let go of fear, of the past, of darkness
I lay hold of forgiveness, healing and life
I welcome Grace and Mercy
and I choose to share them wherever you take me..

 

Jer. 29:11; Isaiah 61:3

– 6 weeks without alcohol after 30 years with it.