Martin Jack

Red-Letter Day

Red mist leaves black bruises

on language, breathing rage in short-

hand until words turn bloody


Christ's red-letters surround

the darkness with his redeeming blood's

font-type baptizing the page

of errors,

a back catalogue of abuses

he recycles, pneuma descending

onto pulp diction until its rubble

breathes again in apologies.


Disciple me Lord

graft your mission statement

onto my heartstrings, so they'll strain

under the weight of injustice,

which wears a child's face

tear-streaked with blood.

Tend me Lord

a young shoot still afraid

to stretch towards the sunshine,

nursery-bound to immaturity

which asks what about me

as friends mourn in open sight.

House me Lord

inside a praying church,

whose members go two by two

into dark, undiscovered corners,

driving out cobwebs with the rest of God

anointed in their hands and voices.

Send me Lord

where you will, alone and unarmed,

in partnership with faith

that guides me by its pillar

of light racing towards the prize,

New Jerusalem, your promise of home.

Martin Jack © 2008


The open invitation to meet

Christ’s holiness, and be ransomed,

arrives almost unseen among

the junk mail, except by that poverty

of spirit crying for right relationship

on its death bed.

All that wearies,


Christ buries in his blood

that seals and completes each love-

letter from the Father,

born deeply in grace.

For those who open the letter,

his blood justifies as instruments

of spirit who intercede for creation;

the seeded works of committed

brothers and sisters planting laughter,

taming a slaughtered world.

'Come, to new life

healing the sting of old ways

and appetites that leeched

you dry'.  So -

the invited become the inviting;

to Christ's smooth path

they witness

drawing out the near-sighted

into understanding,

ambassadors of human hearts

touched by God, testifying

with the ripe fruit of their lips.

Martin Jack © 2008