Author Archives: Keith Wallis

About Keith Wallis

Keith Wallis Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. He is currently ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby e-zine and a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrastic* poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970 he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Val is a literacy teacher and occasionally despairs of her husbands rebellious use of punctuation. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by David R Morgan at that time the local community writer in residence. A number of small press magazines and anthologies took the work (poetry and graphics). Four small booklets were published over the following few years, three published by Stride Publications and one by Sol Publications. Joining ChristianWriters.com in 2005 (and subsequently becoming a moderator) re-energised his writing. Recently work has published by: RootsWorship, EveryDayPoets, PoetryMonthly International, Word Catalyst Magazine, The Cypress Times, Christian Poet's Pen, Perpetual Magazine, Bewildering Stories, FaithFilledFamily magazine and Ruby magazine. Recent books : 'in moments like these': http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2004342 'a River of Small Stones': http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1943350 'by still waters' : http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1488528 'a River of Small Stones ii': http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2419455 *ekphrastic means using one form of art to inform another – Keith uses his own photography as that base on this blog.

The trees are watching (CV19)

What sights pass before them:
a parade ground
of the incarcerated
taking exercise
like lepers.
A plague of the condemned
sentenced without trial.

The media spews air-raid warnings
where homes
are the only shelters,
in a reversal of roles.
Closed doors
are drawbridges
warding off attack
from unseen assailants
and the breath of strangers.

Lovers, separated by balconies,
are echoed Romeos –
lest the distance police attend
their prenuptial perambulations.

The trees are watching
this is something new.

Standing on the threshold of the season

Standing on the threshold of the season

Standing on the threshold of the season,
waiting for the darkness to clear,
waiting for the travellers on their journey,
waiting for the new star to appear.
Standing midst the songs of celebration,
waiting for the dawn of that day
when the tide of time begins returning
to keep the dark of night at bay.

Standing at an inn or border crossing
waiting, always waiting, for relief
shunned or hounded by oppression,
bowed beneath the heavy load of grief.
But still we’re on the doorstep of tomorrow
still a hope, still a reason why,
still a light beyond our darkness
an answer to the prayers we cry.

Standing on the threshold of this season,
singing songs of angels and of kings
singing, always singing, for a future,
singing for the joy that singing brings.
And the song began way, way back, in glory
before the world and all created things
when the spirit sang above the waters
and the tune, like feathers, formed his wings.

Author’s Footnote- Beginning to formulate stuff for an Advent Sunday service. So this is a rough draft of a new piece.

Kintsugi soul

Made whole
these are not the scars of damage
but the rejoice of healing,
golden veins of repair –
the signature of God exposed.

Changed yet unchanged
the past is celebrated,
history revealed,
identity retained.

The beauty of the broken –
more valuable in restoration,
more beautiful
for being broken

*Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery
by filling the cracks with amalgam mixed with powdered gold.

Kintsugi is translated as “golden joinery.”

It makes me cross

It makes me cross
when decisions are made for me,
not by me,
by the faceless.

It makes me cross
when the infirm are discriminated against
by those without understanding.

It makes me cross
when justice is ruled by bank balance
or education .

It makes me cross
when security is compromised
by assumption
and my peace ignored.

It makes me cross
when my community is overruled
by bureaucracy
and those with privileges they won’t share.

It makes me cross
when access to health
is restricted by postcode.

It makes me cross
when my small voice
is ignored by the loud hailers.

But I have a small voice
and it makes me X.

weighed against the ashes of the tears

Untidy time and tide return
as blood unfolds
and houses burn,
as children cry as they journey on
to other lands
for theirs has gone.

And limbs lie strewn across their way
unattached
from easy prey
who simply lived before migrant fear
destroyed the old
and they fell victim here.

And all who seek to move frontiers
with bomb or gun or knife or spears
should place them in a balance
weighed against
the ashes of the tears.

The coming storm

The coming storm

The coming storm
hides the sun
though it may still shine
in the beyond.

Mistrust becomes argument
become rows
become skirmishes
become battles
becomes war
as the clouds
of disillusionment
build their battlements
in the streets
of Ferguson.

Looted of the high ground,
plundered and raped
by stormtrooping opportunists,
the abandoned souls,
hands in the air
shout ‘don’t shoot’
for we are the poor.

We are the poor,
we are not black,
we are the colourless poor
with no axes to grind.

The Last Supper ( the moment that faces many ways )

This is the moment that faces many ways:

A dozen men

looking backward and facing the comfort of history,

the gentle remembrances,

the ritual of familiar things,

the benevolent God who delivers his people:

a meal that speaks history in every crumb.

The promise of a new order of things

where peace and justice rule.

This is the moment that faces many ways:

A recent history more turbulent;

the noisy exuberance on a journey into Jerusalem,

crowdly accolades and the remembrance of scriptures.

Then the storming of the fortress of the privileged;

strewing tables, scattering animals and temple coinage

in a rage that was not anger

but the raising of a flag of war.

A dozen men as uncertain of yesterday

as they are of tomorrow.

This is the moment that faces many ways:

The end of the beginning, the beginning of the end,

the promise of a tomorrow cloaked in pain and separation.

A wondrous horrible day

when the robber of souls claims his victory

and darkness grips its noisy festivity

in the abyss of time.

Ascension

artwork by KW

At Bethany,

He is there

but gone,

He leaves

but doesn’t go.

 

The broken sky gapes wide,

a curtain torn again-

and the crack in the wounds of time

begins its healing

with the dressing

of a cloud.

 

There is no fanfare

at this pseudo departure

no sounding of bells

or beating of drums,

no salute of guns

to roar the air with their invasion,

no wail of mourners

nor wine-fed wake.

 

There is only

the drumming of heartbeat

as the words of blessing fade.

There is only

the turning to a page

saying death is not the end.