Animoto trailer for Maker of Footprints

Hey, look what I just managed to make! Click the link below. I used Animoto and found it amazingly simple – though there’s a lot to learn to make more complicated videos and trailers. I can imagine Animoto being useful for all sorts of bits and bobs of life, such as schools, churches, family memories etc.

Have any of you used it? Or do you know a similar program? How useful do you find it?

Now I’m going to have a chocolate and feel smug!


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Amoeba – a poem of regret

Like an amoeba
that breaks its skin
and spews itself
along to move
its microscopic bulk

Here I sit, empty,
in desperate
need to redefine
my boundaries
to heal the jagged breach

Through which I have flowed
out of control
of my entity,
betraying things
I had spoken on the wind.

So let me sit here
alone awhile
for I must study
secrets, and learn
great things from single cells.


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Sipping: a poem about a choice


You are a vibrant soul
and answer my soul’s calling
as water answers thirst.

I sip you, frightened
to indulge my yearning throat
for you are poison –

Sweet, sweet honey poison too!
This benediction on my deepest life,
it blights my better self.

Yet blight and blessing as you are
I am enmeshed within you
and have been so

Since time was timeless,
For before this separation of our souls
our fusion was complete.

And so I sip you
for to drink deep would be to drown
those other loves I hold.

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Limbo Days – a poem of grief

When I read the moving poem by @debbierea on her web site, “On the Death of my Father”, I was reminded of this poem I wrote after the death of my mother many years ago. I do urge you to read Debbie’s beautiful poem.

Limbo Days

In Limbo days I knew no pain
Nor sorrow for the cold cold flesh.

Upon the bone was only dust
And in my heart no sense of loss.

No tears fell into timelessness
From eyes blind to finality.

But limbo days crept into time
And time began to know a change.

Love lingered long around the grave
Bewildered by the missing days.

Dust upon the bone; and I
Could wish for limbo days again.


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Judas: a hand that never reached

The childhood years of Jesus are illuminated on only a couple of occasions, quick flashes of a torch in a dark, intriguing piece of history. I wonder about the people who would surround him in his final three years. For example, was Peter born before or after Jesus?

I’m reminded of a song by Rich Mullins Boy Like Me/Man like You, in which he wonders how alike Jesus’ boyhood was to that of any boy then and, indeed, now.

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot (Photo credit: Missional Volunteer)


I wonder about Judas. If he was born before Jesus, where was he, and what sort of a family did he belong to? Was his mindset formed by strong family politics imbibed at the dinner table when discussion turned to nationalism and a hatred of the foreign invader’s presence? I think he believed passionately in a coming Messiah but his mind was constrained by preconceptions and moulded by rigid aspiration.

A lesson for our times

Certainly, when Judas breaks the surface of history, we can trace where such a mindset led him. There is a lesson for our own times. Here is a poem which imagines how Jesus may have viewed him.

No, Judas.

I am not the only man of sorrows.

You knew a cross of bitter tears;

You touched the belly of the underworld

And floundered in the thick and choking seas

Of yourself and your narrow world’s despair.

A desolate try from the soul to me;

A cry from parched lips and an arid heart;

One hand that reached and groped and yearned to me

I would have grasped and held and never loosed;

You would have seen myself upon your cross.

I loved you, Judas,

But I could not hold a hand that never reached.

Beyond all tears you died, prisoner of an eternal plan,

Incapable of breaking loose the bonds

That held you from the loving truth of me.

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The Enigmatic Cat: a love-hate kind of thing.

My current laid-back marmalade version.

My current soooooo laid-back marmalade version, Crunchie

Anyone who owns a cat knows that they are enigmatic creatures. I find that being a cat owner can stir some pretty contrary feelings in the owner too!

I just came across two poems, reproduced below, which I wrote years ago when I had a beautiful half-persian marigold-orange cat called Casey. They struck me again as encapsulating the rollercoaster of cat ownership.

Casey  l

Sly, systematic,
Hips lumping through the pelt,
You jumped the fence
And slunk through the grasses
To the hawthorn.
The parent birds screamed.
I ran to throw stones
At the head I had often stroked.
Ears cocked over your forehead,
Paw crooked, immobile in mid-air.
Then snoop. Sniff.
A sudden jerk in the grasses.
The hawthorn rustles.
Nestling cries cut suddenly
You bounded off, mouth full of feathers.
And I hated you.

Casey  2

Damp-darkened you came with the rays of the evening;
New-breathing you suckled your world of delights.

Soft-padded you walked down the aisle of your days;
Pied-piper you made me a follower be.

Purr-token you gave me for lifting my heart;
Gold-glowing you stole to my deeper concerns.

Pain-ridden you went in the dark heart of night;
Tight-curled in the clay you have left me bereft.

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“Our ones” and “Your ones” – the fragility of nationhood

No One Will Play with Me

No One Will Play with Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a child there were six or seven of us who used to play in the street and in each other’s gardens. We played tig, hide and seek, raced each other, squabbled and forgot it again in seconds. Further up the street was a family with two boys about my age. I used to wonder why they didn’t play with us. When they did venture in our direction, some of the parents of my group would come out and bring their children in. Only years later did I, who had the most non-sectarian upbringing possible, realise that this family was Catholic and we were all from ‘the other side’.

Our desire to belong brings with it an opposite – the drawing of boundaries against ‘the other’. Humans like to know where we belong and where ‘the other’ starts. We belong to families (‘our ones’ and ‘your ones’), clubs, societies, churches or gangs. We define ourselves by the invisible cordons of our circumstances.

This is why immigration without integration is heaving with danger. When pupils are taught what makes a nation, elements mentioned are: a common language, literature, history, religion, even shared legends and folk memories. Is it possible that, if there are too many variations of these elements within a nation, brittle fault lines appear, sensitive to unease, perceived interference and inequality?

A nation at ease with itself embraces ‘the other’ because it is assured in its own identity. Problems arise when a nation has lost that sense of identity, its own cohesiveness. When it is attacked, as we hear daily in the news, there is nothing solid to resist the incursion. The lines of strength have been turned to wool. The breakdown of the family is one such kick at the supporting structure. The upsurge in a secular fog of thinking is another. We will lose freedoms inexorably because freedom without morality and responsibility is unsustainable. Forgive a biblical reference because this is not a religious post, but if the law is not written on people’s hearts, it must be written down elsewhere – and we may not like that place.

I still remember those two little boys from our street. Two friends I could have made. In another country they might have been black, Chinese, Muslim. And in a confident society they would still have been friends I could have made.

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