Gillian's Poetry

Please click on the titles below to see the poems
Raku Hand and Cross




Clay is built up as a hand,


hand like my hand.


I have drawn round it, modelled it,


but it is now someone elses.


A person who was crowded around,


then became solitary.




I gouged out the centre,


tore away the clay.


Cut a cross in the middle,


across and down,


then left it to dry.




It did look startling even unfired


and one of the tutors pulled a face.


Too close, too spoken out.


But I wanted it that way.




Later, after biscuit fire,


covered in glaze.


I watch technician Dan


place the hand into a Raku kiln.


A fire in a large metal tin,


dug down with the other pieces.




It stayed within


for a number of hours.


Then off came the lid


and there was my Raku hand and cross,


taken out by tongs


and guantlett arm.




It crackled and fire stuck to it.


And the outline of the cross


crisped red around black.


Molten hot Cross stuck on earth's fabric.


Now fused in place.


It can never be removed.

























                                                     Same God




A piece of writing written about Sarah Pierrepont who later married the famous 18th century Preacher and  Minister Jonathon Edwards. A beautiful piece about her relationship with Jesus Christ.




They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for any thing, except to meditate on him- that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do any thing wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her.










 It shares a  similar theme with the next poem 
















Same God




Morning light on Bara,


Flora MacDonald strikes the tinder.


Her fire is lit in the hearth,


She enjoys new warmth in her croft.


Her husband is going out to fish,


And she has many tasks to perform.


Her day is full,


She is full also.


The flame licks inside her,


She works with joy.


She thinks about Him throughout,


He who is High King of her heart.


All the jobs she will do, she does for Him.


The cutting of wood,


Milking the cows,


Weaving of thick close cloth.


She gives thanks and eats her simple cooked fish.


He tastes so good to her,


And she is satisfied,


She is satisfied.






The central heating clicks on its timer,


Flora MacDonald is up and out with her car keys.


Guitar music synchronises with passing hedgerows.


At work she enters information onto a swallowing screen.


Her hand dance with automatic speed and rhythm.


People around chatter under bright fluorescents.


But she is not listening.


She takes a stroll out into the park.


Finds a seat amid dog walkers and mothers with prams.


She gives thanks, eats, and brushes the crumbs to greedy pigeons.


Her heart is warm inside.


Her day has been given to Him.


He who is High King of her heart


And all the jobs she will do, she does for Him.


He tastes so good to her.


And she is satisfied,


She is satisfied.


Same God, Same God.









































He arrived, head lolling out of the cat basket, paws forcing their way out.
Unusual mix of colours, nutmeg and grey and soft and short like rabbits fur.
New kid on the block, charging along sofa and chairs, hoicking up bits of bendy trees,
strolling for miles, sighted in non- local places.
Fresh and springing paws, he would dance with me, a twizzling lambsie leap.
Persuasion, an art developed from the start; to cajole, to gently press, emerald green
exotica eyes.
A relationship based on loudness of presence, agreed responsibilty on my behalf,
silence bred into him, silence standing with booming motion.
In the last few weeks of summer, still he sprung like a mature mattress, but other things were wrong.
Bedraggled, unwashed fur in places, difficult eating and drinking , bright flecked eyes
with almost a question.
We moved for him, knowing that it had to be done.
Last Goodbye.
Meeting Jesus in Hangleton
She spoke quietly, resolutely.
My voice instead was crisp as glass,
Desperate around the edges, crackley
"I have to stop work now,
I just can't cope."
She listened silently, then asked me to visit,
Giving up her Saturday night.
The journey began so quietly, ordinary.
Travelling by bus on a bleak, frozen January.
She lived high up in Hangleton, where the Downs encroached,
I knew Hove well but not up here.
She greeted me, smilingly, all at ease.
Face full of bright morning light,
Though it was evening.
I sat still and spilled out my unhappiness,
Her room, undaunted by the mess.
Her face with sympathy, listening evenly.
My thoughts were tired, world weary.
People had tried to help already.
What was this woman going to do,
I waited for the crack of disappointment overhead.
Her time to speak now, swiftly.
Who did she give me in return for my words.
She talked about Jesus, only.
"Jesus, who is He to me ?", I thought.
I have come all this way for Jesus.
But Jesus she gave me.
I listened absentmindedly.
Planning my next move immediately.
But Jesus did meet me in Hangleton,
I, reluctant person with a feint outline on life.
He stemmed the out flow of death,
Starting on that evening.
She smiled, an inner smile. She knew.
So I left, with her words ringing in my ears.
I left, I thought to go back on my own plans.
But I was wrong.
Jesus left with me and followed me home.
9th November 2004
This is the first real encounter with Jesus as an adult. This poem is a prelude to the new life given to me by Him which started in January 1989.  It is literally as basic as this. Before Jesus, death: After Jesus, Life. In a matter of six months, I had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ which culminated in becoming a Christian in June 1989.

Blessing in St. Ives Parish Church


Auntie Maggie took me from Skidden Hill
as she lived next door to my Nan.
I waited for her in the back lane on Sunday mornings
near where her cats would pour from her back door.
Gulls would chatter among the dustbins
and if I dared go into her house,
it would smell of cats and old food.
Her already ancient son Raymond, rosy cheeked,
would be sitting, still healthy but waiting to die.
The walk to church was quick.
She was nimble for someone in her eighties,
robustly dressed in black.
She was of old times, old St. Ives.
This Sunday morning passion
would also include me.
Inside I looked up at the ceiling, carved in wood,
as I heard the Minister speak yet sing"Oh Lamb of God"
What did it mean?
I made some kind of sense
by picking out the painted figures high up, clinging to the wall.
What I was waiting for was the pat on the head.
Auntie Maggie took me up.
She received wine and bread,
I waited.
Father Freeman put his hand on my head,
I would get a curious feeling down my spine.
I loved it, this feeling.
The pat on the head,
back to my seat,
Now I know Him,
The Lamb of God.
Though impinging me first in St.Ives Parish Church.
Beneath a carved ceiling with painted figures high above
I received my pat on the head from Him,
a tingly backbone,
when I was nine or ten.

December 2005


















Billy Graham Crusade 1989




I had spent months getting to know Him.


But this Thursday I was to make it real.


I went on my own, up steps, all hesitant.


I could hear the music, bellowing out.


Microphone voices, filling spaces.


A thrill of sounds, enthusiasm ignited.




Inside Hove Town Hall


It was pinioned in time at this event,


1989, June. My first crusade.


Like a tracking camera, I watched,


Peoples hands outstretched, shining faces,


Large screen overhead.




In front, a young man,


Who verbalised his thoughts, full of thanks.


I felt an interloper, a bit phoney,


Though I wasn't, as I had come with a reason.


Everywhere people talked in reverence


And then the songs began: I joined in awkwardly.




The speaker came on screen, the singing stopped.


Addressing us. At last a seat.


A snippet of Billy Graham.


Like a grandfather of faith.


Encouraging, pleading, standing immutable


Forever silver haired.




My time had come now.


It had not come quickly enough.


At the front, I spoke to a woman


She listened and smiled


I returned to my seat


Different, completely different.























Invited into the Chariot




Therail is warm, like living blood.


I grasp it with my right hand only.


I am unsure of its colour,


Not gleaming, not metallic, rather organic, alive.


I am unsure of its colour,


It could be too bright to describe.


It is diffused, out of focus, but real as a tear in cloth.




The solidity of the place where my feet are set.


They are almost shapes in the stonelike smoothness,


Where my feet fit perfectly.


Heat jangles up from some root in the base,


And my feet and legs glow in safety.


I am in no danger, even though the warmth comes


From something beyond nuclear.




Nothing is pulling the chariot.


No animal, no obvious stoking power.


It is being driven, the reins lash,


The reins give direction.


I see around me and I am high up.


The muslin clouds are torn.


Rain gropes on the outside, but not here; we are dry.


And we travel this way and that, this way and that.


It is so exciting, so mystifying, so right.




I see birds below.


I see houses and trees.


I see greenery and concrete.


We travel.


I cannot understand the speed.


It is beyond my grasp.


I only accept.


Someone else knows.




I look at my left hand.


Someone is holding it.


It is a gentle cluster of skin around skin.


I see an arm.


It could pierce my eyes with the uncloaked brightness of pure sunlight.


But it is diffused to my sight, not hidden but unfocused.


To my left I feel flesh beneath cloth brush against me.


Dare I look? Dare I see?


The cloth is just to the corner of my eye.






I do hear a voice.


He is saying that I am invited.


This is a journey to savour.


We will visit places,


I will share all with the person who speaks.


Endless exploration.


In His care and chosen by Him.


I will enjoy.


I will live.


Then I will see.











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