Poetry from the pen of Pat Marsh

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Holy Fire

it came
out of nowhere
a great thunderclap of sound
and a rushing roaring wind
powering through the room
like the stormiest gale on a wave-whipped sea
pure unadulterated power
ripping through the space

and a great explosion of fire
saturating the senses
blowing apart all concepts of God
tongues of flame
raining down on us
vibrant infusions
of red, orange, gold
heavenly spotlights
homing in
on their targets

and then


a long, loud silence

as the fireball
dispersed itself
and we were left with
flickering dancing candle flames
on each one of us
with the gentle hypnotic beauty
of fire that danced and blazed
yet did not burn
flames that covered
but didn’t consume

and after the moment
of shock-filled fear
a sense of quiet wonder
rippled through the room

and someone
Matthew I think it was
began to smile
a warm
bringing a sparkle to the eyes kind of smile
as the huge relief
of recognition
came upon him

the fire of God
he whispered
it’s the fire
of God
the burning bush that does not burn

he’s done it again
he’s kept
his promise

remember what John said?

he will baptise you
with fire
with the Holy Spirit
and with fire

and suddenly we were laughing
embracing each other
not understanding
but knowing
knowing this was him
this was the gift he’d promised
and we were touching the flickering fires
daring to hold
their flame dancing beauty
in wonder-filled moments
of joy
and recognition
and indescribable
and humility

the Spirit
was with us

and power
rippled through us
with all the grace and wonder
and profound simplicity
that we had to come to expect
of the Master

and everything


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A Christmas Prayer

risk-taking God,
re-enter our hearts
as we ponder your coming amongst us.

Holy and beautiful
radiant God,
shine in our dark
as we think of your birth in the stable.

Peaceful and merciful
all-loving God,
pour your compassion out through us.

Let us love like you,
live like you ,
bear your Good News to our world.

Let Emmanuel
live on through us.

risk-taking God,

re-enter our hearts
as we ponder your coming amongst us.


Spirit of the Incarnation

Spirit of the Incarnation

Holy birther
of possibility

rushing wind
dancing flame
within the womb

gentle whisperer
promise nurturer
of change

in this flawed
and wounded temple
of my being

be the energy of God

my resistance
to your flow,
break through
with power and wisdom,
and shine
gloriously shine

Spirit of the Incarnation

be fully enfleshed
in this place
this time
in me

A Whisper in the Night

He came
out of nowhere,
like a whisper in the night,
delivered the message,
the truly astounding message,
and then
like a half forgotten dream in the morning
he was gone
as if he'd never been,
leaving me wondering
wrestling with questions unanswerable,
knowing that everything
every single thing
had just

I had said my yes
and now
there was no turning back.

I rested my hand
on my belly
and pondered
the mystery of it all.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Longing

         The Woman with Bleeding  -  Mark 5.21-34

no-one knows what it’s like
inside this blood-stained loneliness

twelve years
of ‘unclean: don’t touch’

a decade and more of discomfort

my body drained
by the constant issue of blood
hard edges of rejection
chiselling away
at my self-respect

the whispers

keep away
don’t touch
she is unclean

with the pain
between my loins
tired of being ostracized
of the fruitless search for help
my spirit hemorrhaging                                                   
with the blood

I long

for the bleeding to stop



Sunday, 9 December 2012

Headlong to Christmas

the rush
has begun

and we know
it can only get worse
as we race
what passes
for the celebrations of your birth

holy child
give us
islands of stillness
in the frenzy of preparation

give us snatches
of peace
amid the tensions
of others’ expectations

and in the excesses
of the shopping mall
remind us
of the simple poverty
of the stable

holy child
as we rush towards Christmas
give us your stillness
your peace
your simplicity

give us especially
the gift of yourself


Almost Unnoticed

an angel
an ordinary day
the Holy Spirit
comes upon a simple girl
a pregnancy begins

almost unnoticed
everything changes

in a hidden corner
of a city that had no room
a birthing struggle
a Saviour
lies in the straw
a new world order
almost unnoticed
everything changes

heaven’s announcement
is placed in the hands
of those
whom society rejects
the first shall be last
and the last
shall be first

almost unnoticed
the Living Word, Prince of Peace
Promised Saviour, Mighty God
slips into the world
with flesh and blood skin on

and everything