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Why choose to sing your song in me?
Humility’s too proud a word to utter
Or to breathe.
My whole being’s exploding –
Animated by a heartbeat not my own.
The seed of becoming is bursting within me;
A kicking in the deep
My heart can’t help but leap!
Sheer undeservedness and disbelief;
Who am I that you are soulful of me?
My song is love made known.
© Paul Booth : Advent 2001

BEYOND by Paul Booth (EN)

Or ‘New Ways of Seeing’
What’s out there?
Waiting to engulf
And stultify
Restrain and terrify
Suppress and harm if I
Go and peep?
But hey, from another slant,
Like the one I can’t
I’m ‘out there’!
Waiting to engulf and stultify,
Restrain and terrify,
Suppress and harm if they
Come and peep!
What they need’s a new horizon;
‘Put new eyes on!’
See me?
I won’t bite!
Come and find me!
Don’t stare blindly –
Fly a kite!
Push the boat out!
Put the goat out,
I don’t mind!
I’m here to find!
Yes, you come to me;
Touch and view me . . .
Thought you knew me?
Come and see.
© Paul Booth : November 2002

Butterflying by Paul Booth (EN)

Crabbing gets there sideways,
Not looking where you’re going,
Scuttling through a crowded life.
Spidering takes too long—
All those webs to weave,
To trap others in your world,
Of which you are the centre.
Centipeding has too many feet
On the ground,
Too many shoes to clean,
And too many toes to be trodden on.
But butterflying sets the spirit free,
Unfurls the wings
Held tight by binding shell of chrysalis.
Butterflying is faith let loose
With colour
And freedom in its wings.
Paul Booth
Manresa SDE 2008

ENTOMBED by Paul Booth (EN)

From the echoing tomb reverberates the tingle of life
The short-forgotten Christ a passing phase
Remembered only by the faithful emotionals
How dare the tomb breathe life?
Lifeless, death was sealed there,
As it is in many cavities of human frame:
Life forgotten as meagre existence is reluctantly resumed after sadness or
disaster seals its death deep in the sap of being,
Cold and stony – who will roll the stone away?
How dare the world keep turning, relentlessly turning?
It stopped in that moment of hell –
When did it start to turn again?
Why didn’t it stop, as a sign of respect for my loss?
How dare life pretend nothing happened
When all was changed for me?
Voices should be veiled in silence
Laughter has no business laughing
All in silent black should pass.
It’s cold in here. So cold.
And dark. Pitch ebony.
Impenetrable hardness blocks the arteries of my soul
And no light squeezes through cracks of hope;
I dare not let it.
Entombed, I push darkness into those light-threatened crevices
And shiver in the security of darkened death
Where none can hurt nor feel nor see
Nor be.
The stone is firmly fastened.
Can’t you see I’m safely locked in here?
Hiding from the pain
Excruciating pain.
Tightly balled like an armoured Charlie-pig
Nothing else can reach me now to harm.
Nothing need.
All wrapped up in these dark-swaddling bands
The hurt is tightly held within.
Only one who hurts as much as this
Could roll the stone away.
© PB April 2005

HARD PRESSED by Paul Booth (EN)

The olive grove had long since ceased to be fruitful.
Gnarled branches on old stumps
With a barren beauty all their own.
An attractive place of solitude,
Though once the hub of toil;
Of industry, hard-pressed to make a living
From extraction.
Oil from olives? Now there’s a joke!
Yet in this very place with tears, sweat and blood,
A harvest was ground from the fruit of the grove
That gave livelihood and worth
To those who tilled the earth.
Enough nostalgia!
The hour has come
For crushing of another kind.
Of sweat from a brow,
Not from those crushing,
But from one being crushed.
Pushed to the limits of expected agony
Anticipated pain.
Not only sweat
But blood.
Pacing to and fro with impatience - or was it patience? -
With those who watched and waited
And slept.
Whilst he kept
The Father’s will,
As we must still,
Through anguish, pain and torment.
Oil from olives?
Or blood from a stone?
Paul Booth © 2001

HERE by Paul Booth (EN)

Here I stand
In awe of One
Who made the stuff that even awe is made of.
He made mountains,
Music, moles,
And me.
Here I sit
With toes dipped in the ripples of the stream,
Whiling away time
In which to dream
Of unimaginable joy,
And adventure yet to be.
Here I lie
Gazing nonchalantly up
At twinkling giants of life and light
Dancing to the song that nature sings:
The silent sound of vibrating strings.
© Paul Booth Nov ’98
Inspired by Jurgen Moltmann’s theology of creation as ‘a symphony of vibrating strings’.

LABYRINTH by Paul Booth (EN)

Tears wash my soul with guilt and bewilderment;
What should I have done, Lord?
Which way should I go, Lord?
Keep on.
Another corner. Endless corners.
Scrub out my corners, Lord!
Why don’t my tears clean my soul?
Why so messy? Why so cluttered?
Keep on.
One more corner.
Do I want to be there? At the centre?
At the hub of a square wheel?
I don’t yet feel unburdened.
Not ready. Got there too soon.
Should have walked slower, taken longer ……
Keep on!
Deep breath. What release!
To be accepted at the centre; touch the centre.
Clear, refreshing water.
Living water.
This is water that cleans thoroughly
Gently releasing the potency of its simplicity
Its clarity on my confusion
Its wonderful assurance of life beyond measure.
Lord! What a treasure!
Here I would stay!
Here, where it’s clean and fresh.
Keep on ……
Washed clean in the water of life
Which flows through you.
I love you ……
Go now.
Be a tap for others to drink from.
A conduit of oxygen and hydrogen gloriously become life
And life giving.
© PB May 2004
Inspired by a very ambivalent walking of the Labyrinth at The Hayes, Swanwick
during the NRA Conference ‘Faith Let Loose’.

LONGINGS by Paul Booth (EN)

Don’t scream at me,
don’t scream.
My head is splitting with
And desolation;
My heart is aching -
anticipating the upheaval
of change -
having to re-arrange
Patterns that have been
comfortable companions
of my being.
So comfortable that they
have absorbed the pain
of their discomfort;
Stifled the scream
of disenchanted unfulfilment
That has been echoing
in the deep.
So deep.
The buried deep; too deep to
dare to delve;
Unfathomed hopes hidden
in avoided fear of failure
Undiscovered parts of self
created by the One
Who longs for me to
lift the lid;
disturb the status quo
- the stifling status quo
, And listen to the scream
That is an amplified whisper
of Wounded Love
Who wants the best for me:
The best is yet to be.
Paul Booth
© November 1999

MAGNIFICAT by Paul Booth (EN)

Why choose to sing your song in me?
Humility’s too proud a word to utter
Or to breathe
My whole being is exploding –
Animated by a heartbeat not my own
The seed of becoming is bursting within me
- a kicking in the deep
My heart can’t help but leap!
Sheer unreservedness and disbelief
Who am I that you are soulful of me?
My song is love made known!
© 2002 Paul Booth
Inspired by an ‘Annunciation’ music meditation workshop led by Keely Hodgson at the Bradford Diocesan Spiritual Direction Course, with particular appreciation of ‘Magnificat’ by John Rutter


Elohim, my God!
Your even, endless ebbing now escapes into awesome activity.
Disgrace is violated by a niggling awareness of acceptance
and affirming grace
announced by an angel, appearing out of …
… what?
Darkness and drear? Not really.
ordinariness; disturbed routine.
How dare you! Whatever’s coming next?
Is this adventure or ordeal?
Why so telling?
What are you dumping onto me?
I’m the skivvy of the synagogue,
not the handmaid of the Lord!
Not yet!
I cannot bear this tender treatment
This tremendous wait of pain.
Too much effort – too dumfounded
All is torment once again.
© 2002 Paul Booth
From an exercise held at the Bradford Diocesan Spiritual Direction Course,
where the group ‘brainstormed’ words expressing Mary’s experience of the Annunciation,
and wondered about their own response to God


The pirouettes and pas de deux
The leaps, the grace
The stillness, poise
Now energy
Now stretched and tall
No static form
But bursting life;
The dancing prayers of God
Paul Booth, February 2009
This was inspired by the candles we lit as prayer during the Eucharist Without Words.
God prays in us The prayers are God's, not ours. We open our souls, revealing sores and aches, and God dances there.


Clarity is not
An abundance of light rays
Penetrating glass
Clarity comes when
Light fights through crevices of
Grime and brokenness
Refracted shafts of
Wisdom, love and healing squeezed
Through fractured beauty
Grit, the stuff of glass
Becomes at once the friction
And the womb of pearl
Paul Booth, February 2009
Inspired by the windows in the Chapel at Arnold Janssen Klooster, Wahlwiller. The design of the windows was constructed from shattered glass and pieces of broken glass as well as having areas of clear glass.
Rev Paul Booth
Tel: 01274 551071
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
3 Gilstead Court : Gilstead
Part of The Annunciation Trust

CONTEMPLATION by Marcel Neels (EN)

So still,
No will,
No thoughts,
No oughts.
No need,
Just breathe...
No place,
Just space.
Just there.
Your spot,
o God!
Your trace,
Your grace.
Marcel Neels, M.Afr.
written after an intense moment of prayer.
Brussels, 18 May 2007


Enduring the emptiness
of your fear and your uncertainty
of your anguish and your want
of your loss and your handicap
of your doubting and not-knowing
The emptiness
of lacking all security and solid ground regarding
your work
your health
your life choice
your life
your God
Enduring the emptiness,
even though…
strength is flowing off from you,
you want to crawl away in hesitation,
in self-reproach and feelings of guilt;
sitting yourself in the way;
the world and life slips away from your hands,
restlessness and bitterness are growing within,
weakness or desolation are paralyzing you.
Enduring the emptiness: wanting to do nothing;
but just ‘letting it be’,
not surrendering yourself to fate.
Not out of fear not daring to move
but, just ‘letting it be’;
like a tree in winter
loosing all its leaves
but already nurturing the new life;
like the ocean
constantly coming with ebb and flow
and never being looser.
Enduring the emptiness and believing
that each crisis is a moment of growth,
that every pain is growing pains.
Enduring the emptiness and believing:
that each darkness is a shadow side
of light
and that in each silence
the sound of life can be heard
- nevertheless -
after Marijn van Zon
Website Marijn van Zon (in Dutch):
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Volhouden in de leegte
van je angst en onzekerheid
van je verdriet en je gemis
van je verlies en je handicap
van je twijfelen en niet-weten
de leegte van het ontbreken
van alle zekerheid en vaste grond m.b.t.
je werk
je gezondheid
je levenskeuze
je leven
je God
Volhouden in de leegte, ook als…
de krachten uit je wegvloeien
je weg wilt kruipen in aarzeling,
verwijt en schuldgevoel;
je jezelf in de weg zit,
de wereld en het leven je ontglipt,
de onrust en de verbittering in je groeien,
zwakheid of verslagenheid je verlammen.
Volhouden in de leegte: niets willen,
maar zomaar ‘laten zijn’.
Je niet overgeven aan het noodlot.
Je niet uit angst je niet-durven-verroeren
maar, zomaar laten zijn…
zoals een boom, die in de winter
alle bladeren verliest,
maar het nieuwe leven al voedt;
zoals de zee
die voortdurend komt in eb en vloed
en nooit verliezer is.
Volhouden in de leegte en geloven
dat elke crisis een groeimoment is,
dat elke pijn een groeipijn is.
Volhouden in de leegte en geloven
dat elke duisternis
een schaduwkant is van het licht,
dat in elke stilte
het leven kan doorklinken
- toch -
Marijn van Zon
Website van Marijn van Zon (Nederlands):
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Die Leere aushalten
von deiner Angst und Unsicherheit,
von deinem Kummer und deinem Entbehren,
von deinem Verlust und deinem Mangel,
von deinem Zweifel und Nicht-wissen.
Die Leere des Fehlens aller Sicherheit und festen Bodens bezüglich
deiner Arbeit
deiner Gesundheit
deiner Lebensentscheidung
deines Lebens
deines Gottes
Die Leere aushalten, auch wenn…
die Kräfte aus dir wegströmen,
du zögernd weg kriechen willst,
in Vorwurf und Schuldgefühl;
du dir selbst im Weg stehst,
dir die Welt und das Leben aus den Händen gleiten,
Unruhe und Verbitterung in dir wachsen,
Schwachheit oder Niedergeschlagenheit dich lähmen.
Die Leere aushalten; nichts wollen;
sondern einfach ‚sein lassen’.
Dich nicht dem Schicksal übergeben.
Dich nicht aus Angst nicht mehr wagen zu bewegen;
sondern, einfach sein lassen …
wie ein Baum im Winter alle Blätter verliert
aber das neue Leben schon nährt.
Wie das Meer, das ständig kommt in Ebbe und Flut
und nie Verlierer ist.
Die Leere aushalten und glauben,
dass jede Krise eine Chance ist
und jeder Schmerz ein Wachstumsschmerz.
Die Leere aushalten und glauben,
dass jede Dunkelheit eine Schattenseite des Lichtes ist,
dass in jeder Stille
das Leben durchklingen kann.

nach Marijn van Zon



is a short poem with only three lines which all have a fixed amount of cyllables (5+7+5).
- a way of going deeper and getting to the point
- a way of focusing

DOORS by Theresa Jezl (EN)

I was a locked door.
What could possibly be there?
Only God at home.

JOHN 8:6 by Theresa Jezl (EN)

Adulteress caught
No man is guilty—how’s that?
No sinless condemns.

A SURPRISE by Arne Sand (EN)

Laying in the sea
Salt water keeps me floating
My Creator held me

JOHN 8 by Arne Sand (EN)

Takes stones in my hands.
Jesus still writes in the sand.
I saw my sister!



"Being spiritual - being religious" by Claudia Theinert (EN) : Download the DOC file here