Coffee Time Poems

From Sane to home.

Poems written to and about friends before and during the early weeks of lockdown.

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Memory Observed

New collection of poems on the theme of memory and more.

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A poem for Armistice Day

Madingley Rise

Close to the young anniversary wood,

The American Military Cemetery.

The ranks of white headstones

Fan out, like a spotlight’s beam,

Over the flat fields of East Anglia,

Up to the lantern tower on Ely Cathedral,

Beacons of hope for those late returning planes.

So many stories to be told,

Short stories that should have run long.

The captain’s impetuous act,

The sweetheart’s broken heart,

The courageous chaplain lost at sea,

The brave soldier who saved his comrades.

For too many, only the names remain,

Carefully inscribed on the wall of the missing,

Lovingly engraved on warm limestone tablets.

The trees will grow, their seeds will ripen, the winds blow,

A great wood safe in its tenure of the landscape.

We will remember those planted in this soil.

The marble headstones stand united in their sadness and serenity,

A sacred peacefulness on this Cambridgeshire hillside.

David Potter

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A Psalm a Day

Psalm 92: Sturdy cedar trees

Let us give thanks to the Lord, for it is good to sing his praises.

Remember each morning to thank Him for his kindness,

In the evening, to rejoice in his faithfulness.

Sing your praises with music on the harp and on the lyre,

For you, O Lord, have done such good things and I am glad to sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord, how deep are your thoughts!

Your plans and your promises are beyond the comprehension of so many,

They cannot see that although the wicked may flourish now,

They are doomed to eternal destruction.

But the Lord continues forever, exalted in the heavens.

You have made me strong, O Lord, refreshed by your blessings.

I have seen my enemies brought down by your hand,

But the godly flourish like the sturdy cedar trees of Lebanon.

They are planted in the house of the Lord,

And flourish in the courts of our God.

They will produce fruit into old age and stay vital and green.

Like this, the Lord is upright and he is my rock.

There is nothing but goodness in Him.

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A Psalm a Day

Psalm 91: Keep from stumbling

We are sheltered by the love of God

You can trust in the safety of his care.

He will protect you from pestilence

And rescue you from every dark danger.

His faithful promises will be your armour,

For He will shield you from any disasters,

You will be safe in His care, both day and night.

Even in the midst of evil, you will remain untainted,

You will see how the wicked are punished

But you will stay free from sentence,

Because God is your refuge from sin.

God will command his angels to protect you,

They will bear you up to keep from stumbling,

So you do not dash your foot against a stone.

You will be safe even amongst lions and adders.

God has promised to save those who love him,

They can trust in His name and call on the Lord.

He will bring them long life and salvation.

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A Psalm a day

Psalm 90: Trust in God

Lord, throughout all generations we have put our trust in you.

Trusting in a God that has existed for all eternity

From the beginning of creation to the end of time.

At your command, we are turned from dust to dust,

For you, a thousand years are like a passing day.

You brush these hours aside like the cobwebs of a dream,

Like the mown blades of grass that have withered before evening.

We are overwhelmed by your anger, cut down by your wrath,

Spread out before you are all our transgressions, every one of our sins you see,

Our years are long and weary beneath your steely glare,

And all our days are filled with wailing and sighing.

The life you have given us is seventy years, or eighty years if we are strong,

But this span is full of emptiness and trouble and soon it is gone!

Who understands the power of your anger, who pays you proper respect?

Teach us, Lord, to value our days and make the most of what you have given us.

How long will you withhold your blessings on us, O Lord?

Turn away your anger from us; show us again your steadfast love,

May we rejoice and be glad every day, from our youth until the end of our lives.

Match our days of joy and relief to those dark times of misery and affliction,

Work through your servants, Lord, and let us see your miracles again,

Let our children see glorious things and let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us.

From ‘Resounding the Psalms’ by David Potter

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A new Psalm each day

Psalm 89: Father God

My everlasting song will be about your love, O Lord,

Every generation shall hear about your blessings,

Surely your steadfast faithfulness will last forever,

Your truth is as enduring as the heavens.

God made a solemn covenant with his servant David,

To establish his descendants as heirs to the throne forever.

Let heaven praise the wonders of the Lord

And all join to praise him for his faithfulness,

For who can compare with almighty God,

All stand in awe of his power and glory

As they gather in reverence around his throne.

The qualities of God are far beyond compare

The very character of God is in his faithfulness.

You still the raging of the oceans by your words,

You scatter your enemies by your awesome power,

The heavens are yours, the world and everything in it,

From north to south, you created it all!

By your mighty arm you formed the mountains,

Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength.

Your throne is founded on the pillars of justice and righteousness,

Mercy and truth are your faithful attendants,

They walk before you in the joyful light of your presence,

They rejoice all day long and proclaim your holy name,

You are their strength and the very font of their being.

Our protection is from the Lord himself who has given us our King.

God spoke in a vision to his faithful one, his prophet,

Revealing his servant David as the one chosen to be King,

God anoints him with holy oil and promises to be with him always,

To strengthen him and protect him from his enemies.

God vows to beat down his adversaries and destroy those who hate him,

To protect and bless him always and surround him with his love.

King David will be great because of God’s steadfast love,

He will acknowledge God as his Father and Rock of Salvation.

God will treat him as his first born and make him the mightiest King.

God vows an everlasting promise to always love and protect him

His covenant is with the house of David for all generations.

But remember, if these future generations turn away from God,

If they forsake his statutes and do not walk in the way of the Lord,

Then they will be punished.

But, like a good parent, they will still be held in the love of the Father,

He will stay true to his covenant and uphold his promise to the line of David,

It shall be like the moon, an enduring witness in the skies.

But why have you now rejected the one you chose to be King?

Have you renounced the covenant made with your servant?

You, O God, have broken down his defences, trampled his crown in the dust.

He has been robbed by every passing stranger and mocked by his neighbours.

His enemies rejoice at their new found strength against him.

You are no longer beside him in battle and his sword is blunted,

His throne is overturned and his days are numbered.

O God, for how long can this go on, for how long will your wrath last?

You make our lives so short, what can we achieve in such little time?

We cannot escape the grave, when we realise everything is empty and futile!

Lord, where is the love you used to show for me?

Where is the promise of steadfast kindness you made to David?

You have left me in a desperate situation, despised and ridiculed by all,

Even though you once set me apart as your anointed King.

And yet, I will remember to bless you Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

From ‘Resounding the Psalms’ by David Potter

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