The Beatitudes

I’ve been looking for Sonnet version of the Beatitudes for a sermon and couldn’t find one so I wrote my own!
(note: ‘blessed’ is one syllable, ‘blesséd’ is two)

Blesséd are the poor in Spirit who
for Heaven’s kingdom long with all their might
Blessed are they who mourn the dark night through
for they will see the comfort of dawn’s light
Blesséd are the meek, they shall be heirs
of all the earth. And blesséd are the ones
who hunger and who thirst for righteousness,
they shall be filled with that for which they long.
Blesséd are the merciful and pure
for in God’s mercy they shall see their Lord
Blessed are they who seek peace over war
to be God’s children shall be their reward
And you, when persecuted and hard pressed
for my name’s sake, you shall be truly blessed.

(c) Rich Clarkson 2017



I entered this into the Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition (but didn’t win!)

​He sits there on the edge, skin gnarled and worn,
wrapped in a wrinkled overcoat – a size
too big – to keep the wind at bay. His gaze
takes in the water as the passers by
pass by. They come and go, he does not mourn
for those no longer seen by knotted eyes.
He used to set the Autumn sky ablaze
but he cannot remember how, or why.

A crow has the temerity to land.
I watch him as he deftly shrugs it off,
displaying his contempt with an irate
harrumph as the wind picks up, blowing in
a further feathered throng, filling the land-
scape like a fall of soot and snow. They scoff,
cackle and caw, their chorus swells, abates
as his reluctant shade stifles their din.

He stands there quivering, rooted to the spot.
After all these years, unnumbered days
of keeping watch amidst the wild and bleak,
he knows his place in the grand scheme of Things.
He is content now, youth’s longings forgot-
ten, no more need for flamboyant displays
just quiet pride. Leaves rustle, branches creak
as every fibre of his being sings
his maker’s praise.

(c) Rich Clarkson 2017

Upon installing a new dishwasher

For many a year we have battled

At times being near overrun

As the mountains of crockery rattled

And the washing up failed to get done

But we will be vanquished no longer

No more shall we shed soapy tears

For today – oh what rapture! what wonder!

Our brand new dishwasher is here!

(c) Rich Clarkson 2017

White Church

Entered in the Worldwide Whitchurch Weekend Acrostic Poetry Competition 2017

White church, which once stood high atop the hill
Holding holy vigil o’er the town
In ages past your faith stood firm until
The night your weathered walls came crashing down
Contained beneath that rubble lay untallied
Hopes and fears and prayers of those long gone
Undaunted by the task our forebears rallied
Rebuilding what was lost and moving on
Come now and see the town which bears your name
Held firm in faith and friendship once again

(c) Rich Clarkson 2017

The Invitation

The invitation: Come and follow Christ,
walking in the footsteps of Saint Chad.
A pilgrim church, a diocese which tries
to walk the well worn ways of faith. Feet clad
with peace, armed with humility, we share
the love of Christ with all those in our care.
The steady beat of prayerful footsteps, heard
from track and towpath, high street, lane and alley,
fills this ancient landscape with the word
that God is here. From tower block to valley
floor the message goes out, seeking those
willing to wander where the Spirit blows.
Saint Chad reminds us of our true vocation:
To follow Christ, and heed his invitation.

© Rich Clarkson 2017


Bible Memory Poem III (The Church)

Jesus said to his friends “you must go on without me
but I’ll give you my Spirit, tell everyone about me”
so his friends got together and shared everything
and thousands of people said “Jesus is king!”
They baptised them in water like Jesus had said
and each week remembered him in wine and bread
They prayed to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
and spoke about Jesus to anyone who’d hear it
As time went by many saints followed God’s call
their actions and writings encourage us all
Now all round the world Christians share, pray and sing
because Jesus, our God, is our friend and our king

(c) Rich Clarkson 2017


She goes to the shelter to look at the dogs
Her favourites are loveable snuggly pugs
She cuts out their pictures from old catalogues
And covers her walls with their wrinkly mugs
She takes them for walks in her click clacky clogs
And fills up their water bowls from plastic jugs
Posts pictures and stories on various blogs
She’s smitten, she’s spellbound, she’s got the pug bug

© Rich Clarkson 2017


You can call it slow, laid back or ponderous
Lazy, plodding, hesitant or tedious
You can call it tardy, bullish or thuggish
But please don’t ever call a snail sluggish

© Rich Clarkson 2017

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