11 March 2018

Tears of Love

Of your charity, 
oh my Lord, 
let me weep.
For tears touched 
by the magic of sunlight 
become diamonds,
and golden memories
light up my dark road.

In your compassion, 
oh my Lady,
let me flourish 
like a Chinese plum tree
that blooms in winter,
flowers of pink and red,
bright with bitter ice
melting into love. 

I offer you thanks,
oh my Father,
for your sweet angel
who led me away
from self destruction
to a great high plain,
where the circle whirls
and life has no ending.

My spirit may rest now,
your heart in mine,
and mine in yours.
Washed by soft tears,
my eyes will no more
recognise deep despair,
for here is the place
of everlasting love.

The Blood-Sweeten'd Beverage

The Blood-Sweeten’d Beverage
Bristol Tea Parties 1778

So many words desperate and tumbling
but failing to achieve any clear meaning
in a city of slaves and of teatime protesting
telling the horrors of of savage dogs hunting.

Rust sailed galleys and black hearts pounding,
shackles clanking and brain shattered yearning
for freedom ebbing away on the tide lapping
on shingle and shell and never returning.

Gown black preacher earnestly preaching
pleading for freedom but the wrack is turning
its iron cold hands in the ache of an evening
to smother the shame of a master’s objecting.

But still the tea party’s challenge is thriving
in the cold dark of a city’s feigned weeping. 


Bristol traders were at the heart of the C18 slave-trade, 
as were the many fierce Bristol objectors to the hated trade.  
In 1778 Hannah Moore a Bristol teacher and passionate anti slaver, 
a friend of both William Wilberforce and  Thomas Clarkson, 
joined  the organised boycott of slave-produced West Indian sugar, 
thus avoiding any contact with what the poet Robert Southey 
later described as “…the blood-sweeten’d beverage…”