Tyranny of grammar

Means that when I say,

“I love you”

I cannot put




Elgar at Midnight

You were the music-maker,

And I the dreamer of dreams;

You were the heart’s dilator,

And I the provider of themes.


You have become an enigma,

And a hapless nimrod I;

You recoil, alarmed at my ardour,

And my hope’s exiled to the sky.


O lady;

When I hear

Your voice

And talk of

Choirs and music,


Reversed her fading

And came alive

Again and solid

Before my eyes.

O lady.


O lady;

To imagine

You, in soft

Sweet acts of love

Baby chuckling

In your arms

A shawl of

Guilt and anger.

A wrap of warmth

A cloak of loss.

O lady.

After the funeral

In addition to my father’s sermons, I wanted this site to include some of his other creative output. He was not merely a priest: he was also a poet, painter, cartoonist, storyteller and humorist. I thought that some of his poems, artwork and stories might provide both a contrast and a context for his overtly religious texts.

This poem was read at his funeral last Thursday by his widow, Christine. – SJC

Some may sing, but others sigh their griefs.

Nightingales or larks will hymn that grave

Or spice the orisons which catch the fire.

Old pains will drop their thievings of beliefs

And look to futures, and yet still behave

As nothing had addressed their full desire.

So turn to light and delights that transform

Those dusty, broom-shaped sweepings into night;

New dawns await to dry all those your fears.

These scars and memories you will rewarm

By months and days and minutes, but no fright

Can ever steal the blessings of those years.