Soul Anchor

Time ebbs as a cosmic tide, my soul reaches for an anchor.
Is there a sanctuary somewhere? For all of us?
A place like the childhood neighbourly hoods,
Where we roamed on sunlit lawns, dancing to the sway of sprinklers and sun showers,
Carefree, drinking days of liquid life.

Too soon the rainless clouds of adulthood rolled in.
The bills dried us, wars broke us, funerals reminded us,
And we saw the children despairing the world they inherited.
They hum unable to sing, shake unable to dance,
Violence and corruption absorbed through kicks and screens.

Some found you in the stars,
You found me in dreams,
Others in fields, shipwrecks or summits under dark skies dusted with seemingly cold galaxies.
So many orbits ventured, conflict and pain, and hope regained.

There is a pathway
And on this journey I find rest
In the forest, by the sea, on the land you give the gentle.
In the mountains I mourn, by the river I rage, all with you by my side.
As jagged peaks breathe ice and snow, you thaw the mirage of endless winter
A warmth of words spoken softly to the child within.
You sweeten time with togetherness, presence around the table.
Time ebbs a cosmic tide, my soul reaches an anchor.

– Jonathan McCallum

24th December 2017


Life Unfolded

Life Unfolded
Beauty I hold
A child

I too
A child
Once held
In arms was told
To gather hope, to love to wonder, to unfold
Into bright sun-flamed delight.

One day
I met you,
You who hold
Eternity in the twinkling
And the sun and all delight in your hand.

A child
Held in arms
Gathering hope,
Unfolding a time
For majesty, found in poverty
For power, found in meekness
For forgiveness, found in the friendship of a peace prince

I found a friend in a reigning King,
Wonder, love
In a hero to behold.
Hope gathered
Life unfolded.

By Jonathan McCallum

Star Ablaze

A stable birth,
Red, messy, wet, naked,
Star ablaze.
In Palestine, the West Bank.
Through warmth and pain, the earth may rejoice
Your birth,
Peace arrived in the fragile newborn.

A dangerous unarmed rabbi-to-be,
Ready to overturn empires, overrule kings, cast off any allegiance to the world-of-just-now.
Bearing a kingdom of hope, of living the moment, of eternal love.
Not arriving from above, but from within, a teenage Miriam, a womb for a while.

Heart-yearn for abundance and free,
Some abide on shore of the love-filled ocean.
We find shelter and learn to swim in the waves of your kindness
That will never stop, never cease caring for us.

By Jonathan McCallum

Peace Song

Chill of ice-licked wind, gray fog, spluttering dust, rain to mud.
We huddle beneath forest canopy.
Smoldering logs, bread broken out, wine, fish.
The afternoon light exchanged for cool starlight.
A cross of logs and
Glimmering, unburning spikes flicker.
A moment glimpsed, remembered
When the world was given a chance again for peace.
But still I see swords, I see weapons, I see children crying for their loved ones.

Orange golden-kissed sunlight drenches sideways into soul,
Showing a green rolling land,
A land for these:
A land for those that wage not war, but peace
A land for the ones who love peace

I hear a song rolling down, a cascading chorus.
It is not a song of any one nation, claiming to have it all,
Nor a song of the powerful, reading the world through the glasses of “success”.
It is a song of the broken,
A song of the poor,
A song not excluding the rich or powerful
Yet commanding them to value it all, give it away and follow the way
Danced with steps of peace.

By Jonathan McCallum

soul chateau

Along a windswept grassy hill you may find my soul chateau.
Warm days–windows welcoming sunlit air.
Winter grey–a fire crackling.

This haven is under construction:
The interior being refreshed,
But the outside less touched up.

If you stay lawnside, evaluating, you will see many broken things:
Rusty hinges, junk parts tossed aside, weeds growing here and there,
The sign neatly printed “religious man” sun-faded and askew.
Now one Name rests over eves and entrance.

“Joshua’s carpentry, chateau renewal.”
Some very regulated folk suggest changing companies,
Concerned about that radical, un-religious, palestinian jew.
A more established builder, you suggest? More neatly dressed?

I reply that I trust him, his work.
I’ve been impressed.
Come inside and see the arches of forgiveness,
That stairwell of joy,
An unmoving foundation of hope.
Yet what I love most is the woodworking of grace.

The unseen cost is the hours he hurt me
By chipping away at that old sandstone
And all the hard oak heart logs throughout the house.

The other day the inspection crew showed up again,
Quoting rigid rules, building requirements, regulations.
They halted as he simply said,
“The foundation and building are my own.
You missed that by reading rule after rule.”

I’m tired of painting outside walls.
I’m spending more time on the inside,
Making it a place of joy,
For family, new friends, a place to welcome
Creaky kitchen doors, sandstone dust,
Oak chips flying now and then

I long for the fire to roar in this chateau,
Inside beautiful, fresh, new.
Outer garden wall, rose-covered and welcoming the wild.
My life remodeled, refurbished with a new love,
A rusty, creaky windswept love.