Journeys of the heart

 

 

 

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Its true that the greatest journey we can make is the inner journey of the heart. Like those cavers in Derbyshire UK who discovered the biggest cave in Europe from an old 200 year old map, we can be amazed at what we find.   #soulexplorers. #newhorizens

Titan Caves

The journey from mind

to heart is oh such a journey,

from mind to heart a journey it is.

Its like those cavers

tunnelling through honeycombed hills,

digging shifting rocks and stone

and slowly going deeper.

Seven years of bloody sweat,

and then that day- breakthrough.

By rope descend deep down

Into the unknown blackness.

Hanging there above abyss

till lights flicker and reveal

A cathedral, a sculptured cavern.

Majestic vast breathtaking space.

Unseen beauty.

The journey from mind

To heart is oh such a journey.

From mind to heart a journey it is.

 

 

 

 

There are days when the morning mist lifts over the East and its like the opening of eyes and ears long closed. Today its a new way of seeing…………

 

steve pic june

The Singing Bowl of Alhaurin

First light,

and there’s orange gardens, ragged

Patchwork of olive groves

spread before me.

And behind? The rim of Sierra Nevada.

Encircled by misty blue

snow-capped mountains

Creates this singing bowl.

Bark of distant dogs, bullfrogs

In these pastures of heaven.

Fragrance of jasmine,

chatter of chaffinch.

As faintest breathe of breeze

softly wraps around my skin.

And light pours through these hills.

Multi -layered mountains ripple back

as far as eye can see to sea.

In early morning light

flash of swift wing.

At last this singing bowl

Begins to sing.

Awake

dawn chorus just

to bless this

morning.

 

 

Sometimes its good to walk beneath the stars and gaze into the heavens on a clear night. I remember walking under the Southern Cross and the Milky Way so seemingly close in New Zealand. Such majesty brings such a sense of awe as the radio telescopes and observatories scan the skies. Out there is a story waiting to be told…………. 

Sky scanning 

And sometimes

It’s like those domed eyes to the skies

built high

in the soaring mountain peaks

where eagles fly.

Beneath those dark clear skies .

Those eyes that search the night.

They survey infinite tide patterns

and snow blizzard galaxies.

Deep space, distant worlds.

And now I too lift my face

to  heavens above, heart  so alert

to a silence in which

another voice may speak.

Waiting, looking, searching

I  interrogate the silence.

Eyes now trained and ears attuned

always listening, always waiting.

Earth and sky star gazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we scramble across this rough, bleak lonely hillside. Here we find these  three small streams. Who would imagine that from these three springs come three of the greatest rivers of the nation

And so in us, That which appears so insignificant can in future days become  the most valuable of all. Sometimes it’s good to go back to the place of the source of smallness and insignificance and so often  that’s where we find the solutions and the keys  that we are searching for.

BACK TO THE SOURCE

Springing up from this cold earth

That clod wet ground.

Sounds of icy waters flow

on singing dancing stones.

And from this source

wide rivers flood

shaping distant shores.

So now we come to fresh heart springs

of streams that rise today

And who’s to know there’s not dreams in us

That won’t flow  to distant seas?

From source to spring to stream to shore.

Its back to the source for me.

 

 

 

 

geese

The Journey Home

Early that morning we set out

from the Great North West.

Signs in the sky as

wings of wild geese beat high above.

The journey home begins  for them as us.

They fly away to safe havens

catching their trade winds.

They’re  going home.  Ah journey  home.

I too feel that pull, that prompt

that inner radar, calling me home.

That place of heart  belonging.

Place of beginnings

place of roots

place of likeness

mosaic of presence….

…… Then turn oh heart

and walk towards the open door.

Home.

steve picture

It’s always  in these places where new grace is found for the next stage of the journey. Out on the estuary for me that night……

Stars, Tides and Breath

Above me, distant constellations

turning, moving.

Beside me waves roll in

turning, crashing on the shore.

Within me the heart beats.

I breathe in and out.

Pulse beats to heart rhythm.

Pulse beats.

Pulse.

And I?

I know yes!!

As the stars, so the tides,

so the breath, so the pulse.

So the patterns, colours, rhythms of life.

And so the silence.

The life I live.

The life that lives in me.

I watch the star patterned sky

listening to tide turning sea.

Touching the silence.

Then  silence touches me.

Sometimes as  we walk through these pine trees we learn to listen again, breathe and stand tall………

 

Wisdom Of Trees

So I’m told that

trees breath through their leaves.

Walking through these tall

Stately majestic pine,

Their rich canopy spreading

To the heavens above. Autumn

Leaves falling like golden rain.

Inexhaustible beauty of design.

Flash of blue jay early dawn and

Everywhere the sound of silver singing streams.

Shadows penetrated by light

like some ancient cathedral.

Breathing trees stand serene.

These immense silent firs.

Breathing trees fragrant pine.

Deeply rooted standing tall

Stretching to the heavens,

Teaching me to breathe again

Teaching me to stand

Teaching me to live.

Wisdom of trees

steve picture

So I climb steadily high up on the hillside on a late spring evening , and sit watching the movement of the tides, tasting the salt in the breeze. Just these few moments of real stillness, and a new way of seeing. New vision. Now I can breathe again.

ISLAND OF MOVING TIDES 

There is an ocean of colour

Before me.

From turquoise blue, deep green

and mercury grey.

Shafts of silver through dark cloud

And dazzling white light dances sparkles,

Cascading down.

A tapestry, a patchwork of light

Ever changes, moving sea before me.

Below hard rock, grasses

And guillemots cry.

There are moments when

Eyes open.

New ways of looking when

Sight becomes insight and

commonplace transfigured

With a new sense of wonder.

Island of Moving Tides.

…..I love to meet those who have walked the Borderland trails and returned with stories to tell, and recently its been a privilege to sit and listen to some of their stories. Stories of hope in the midst of the storms. Stories of failures and broken dreams, yet transformation. A place of longing, and crossing over. Welcome to these trails………

BORDERLANDS

IMG_20170801_190800_277.jpg

We’re learning to walk

Softly along these borderland trails,

And even lived there for a while.

These rugged places between

The known and the unknown.

The reality and the dream.

Between success and failure,

Light and darkness.

Earth and Heaven.

Word and song.

Head and heart.

These new frontiers on the edge.

A wide place. No maps here.

To have crossed the borderlands

And returned with stories to tell?

What stories to tell!

Wild places, these borderlands.

Again they call.

And then sometimes there are moments when everything becomes clear. The fog lifts and we can see, sometimes for the first time. When we can glimpse beyond ourselves to the greater reality, and then new doors swing open. We treasure moments like these………….

           TRINITY SONG

And that river of glory

that flows cascading full of

passion, presence, beauty, joy.

That twisting, dancing river

through and out beyond me flows.

That song rising.

That great dance, rhythm of life

flowing, swirling, flowing life.

My Father, Son and Spirit

Circle of love enfolding

through and out beyond me flows.

Circle of life extending.

And you come again to me

lifting, weaving fragments, parts

streams of my life.

Joining me to your laughing

Great, joyful, triumphant dance.

Three-in-one

I worship

You.

Your story is unique, totally unique!! I read an article once that asked the question ”Who knows your story?”  Nobody really really knows your story- except you. As I was reflecting about this I realised that not one person on the planet knew the story behind the scar on my hand. Only me. And I went on to reflect on the story my hands held. What’s the story in your hands? And what seeds of destiny are held there? 

HANDS

I’ve met those

Who read destiny

By gazing at lines

Engraved on the palms of hands.

And me?

I read history in mine.

Look at these hands!

So uniquely finger printed.

And who knows their story?

Eight fingers, two thumbs

Two ragged scars

Now one torn

One golden ring.

Two hands

One hand held stone that stayed

That night on cliffs when all else

Turned to clay.

One skin.

I’m told that skin holds memories?

In hands now marked by history

We find new seeds of destiny.

Come blow new winds of destiny

Upon these seeds now blow.

New seasons, new rhythm, new dreams, new hope. Its Spring!  And so the year moves on. For ten years we lived in a house in Wales where I was amazed every March of seeing the yearly miracle explosion of colour in an old seemingly dead bush. I wrote this five years ago after a particularly cold winter.

SPRING 

Its been a long cold winter

Bitter winds blown across the estuary.

Looking from my window I’ve watched that bush

That shrivelled-dead bleak barren bush

Battered by winter winds.

March comes and brings early promise.

Flecks of gold on branch appears.

Hints of hope spring upward and

Become vibrant lemon-yellow flakes.

Forsythia sings spring!

This morning from my window

sunshine streams down

Upon that bush

Blaze afire with life.

Luminous fire-bright bush

Transfigured

Keeps burning.

At last you have my attention.

I come again and listen.

Steve Pic2

In 2009 we flew into Darwin in Northern Australia, then drove down to near Katherine, out in the Bush. For many miles we saw burning scrub by the side of the road. Here we visited an aboriginal community and what a privilege to sit and hear hear their stories!!. Later we went on to Sydney and visited Botany Bay where Captain Cook’s first ship arrived.  What a contrast to what we had experienced with the Aboriginal community, what a sense of history! And so the poem:

Kaman –   Botany Bay

Today I’m standing on the edge

of this ragged bay, towards the sea.

The ache, the air, the wind and trees.

And eight days that changed everything.

What was seen by watching eyes

From where I stand today?

What plague ships came on evening tide.

From distant shores to wound the land?

What death winds blew

To scatter life and seed?

An ache, a groan, a sigh, a cry.

And this ……

The birthplace of a nation?

Journey

I return again

Again I return

To that amazing inner sanctuary

That cathedral of Spirit

That spacious place

Deep within

Within.

That dwelling of light

Chambers of heart

Place of His voice

Place of His presence.

To this place I come

Again.

There is a secret pool

Of stillness

Where gentle breezes ripple

Across from distant mountains.

To this place

I return again.

Journey

Of heart

 

streams

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Panel 1

Poems

 

 

 

WINTER

I’ve heard it said

That there are days

When diamond dust

Glitters in the still frosty air.

There are days when

We wake up to ice crystals

Tumbling out of thick fog

When glitter floats around

Sparkling in bright winter sunshine

Like diamonds.

 

 

Days when

Clouds of diamond dust form

And walking through

We imprint them with our bodies.

There are days when

Heaven comes close,

when eyes are opened

Veils become thin

And glory shines through

In sunburst splendour.

Days when

skins imprinted

With Heavens dust

Leave us breathless

In His Presence.

 

 

So we go on an overnight silent  retreat,  sleeping out under the stars on the cliffs of the Gower Peninsular in Wales. In the morning we scatter to find individual places of prayer . I scramble down the rocks under the unusually hot sun and find a small bay where I stay by the rocks as the tide comes in.

I  start to write and the words flow. As I write I begin to see that these hours spent here were really like a mirror encapsulating the last 5 years that my life had been.

  This was some time ago now, but I have never forgotten that morning by the sea. And so the poem  Three Cliffs Bay …..

Three Cliffs Bay

Here am I

Perched, wedged between the rocks,

skin and bones squeezed between these

Hard places.

Pushed back, confined by incoming tide.

Alone.

Hiding from scorching sun.

And doesn’t this describe my life?

Seeking  a hiding place from

The unchangeable, unarguable elements.

The absolutes of life.

The sea, rocks and sand

that’s shaped where I’ve ended up.

My skin and bones are soft

in comparison to these elements.

There are some things you can’t argue

or even dialogue with.

I feel  very human this morning.

Very aware of vulnerability.

Yes, and now the tide turns.

I see the high tide mark on the cliffs.

Rocks waterlined.

The tide has turned

And I need to move with this tide.

God says, The tide has turned

In my life.

And I move out from restriction

And explore again.

The tide has turned.

I go down to freshly emerging sand

And mark new footprints

And claim new ground as mine.

As tide retreats I continue

This expansion

Then taking shoes off,

Holy ground.

Splashing into waters

Tears rolling down cheeks.

God, this is intoxicating!

Then two swimmers swim round

From next bay and enter my cove.

My appointment is over.

 …………………..

 

Sometimes there’s a blank canvas in front of us and that can be frightening, but there can be new conversations with Father that begin to open up new treasures within.  Sometimes we need permission to dream afresh, especially when hope lies broken on the ground.

And then vision begins to flow again, and new destiny begins to emerge.  We do indeed have influence in high places as Sons and Daughters. Truly.  I wonder what He is calling forth in us today?  New songs, new artistic designs, poems, dances, strategies, creative thinking?

Sonship

And that my ideas, desires and dreams

Can move you, shape your world?

A co-labourer, a collaborator

A friend, a son?

So  there’s room for my spontaneity?

I can dream with you, dance with you

Talk with you and so you

Unlock deep wells of creativity.

My life the gate of Heaven?

‘This is my wake up call, my trumpet sound for you.

Dream afresh, sing, shout.

Your dreams are my raw materials and that which is crushed I release.

I’m calling forth visions, dreams and songs.

I come to lift you up.’

To stand before you  In the full authority of sonship.

You lift me up To share your throne.

To shape your world

To shake the nations

I worship

You.

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About

Steve Smith is a husband, a father of two children and a much loved grandfather. He is a poet, a spiritual father and also has a love for photography and football. Steve’s love of Celtic Christian spirituality is a source of inspiration for much of the poetry that he has written. He put these poems together into a book called  ‘The Edge of Silence’.
He lives in Wales with his wife Issie where they were part of the leadership team of Antioch Church, Llanelli for many years. Now they work with YWAM, travelling internationally with the Leadership Development Course.