Poems and Prayers in time of Corona Virus Lockdown

Poem by Brother Richard Hendrick Ofm Cap [facebook]


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise.
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,


Poems for Week 4 Corona Virus - Anne Powell - 19/04/2020


This Easter we weep among trees
at the tomb’s entrance.
Autumn heralds the divesting of leaves
that clutch at our hearts.
Angels might cloud the tomb’s entrance yet.
Everyone has a silver lining.
This is the wisdom of trees.


New Day

I know the quiet spaces between leaves
and which tree yields
its night shade
to the first light.

The early wind
conducting the pines I know
and the enthusiasm of magpies
at a new day.

I know the mist unveiling the lake
and the morning’s first
confetti of blossom.

Why can’t I hold this
dawning grace in my heart
all the long day?


The water minds   (Mark 4:38)

This summer in Galilee
the water level is on
everyone’s mind.
Even the water minds.
It is so low that
its secrets will show
like ankles under the robes of Arabs.
It is so low that
its waves tremble
with the effort of remembering
one man drowsing on
a cluster of cushions
once in the bow of a boat.


The difference- COVID -19

This Holy Thursday
we re-set the table.
Why is this night different
from other nights
ask the children.

We are in lockdown.
We re-set the table.
We gather babies and old ones.
Around the world
so many empty chairs.

Around the table
are the small gestures of kindness.
There is receiving and
there is giving.
We break the bread.
Lamb and wild herbs are our memories.
Salt is shaking us
up in this strange season.

We re-set the table where
all our stories belong.


River of peace

May the drift of river carry you
and the sandbank not block your journey.
May the ripening flax flower strengthen you
and the breeze in the grass gentle you.
May the quiet river sing you peace.



Goodness has oo inside it.
It can catch my breath and whisk me away.
The oo can open me to “aha” moments~
points of stillness, holy drama
or ordinariness
when the God in Go(o)dness leaps into the world
again and again.

The rhythm of goodness
beats at the heart of the door of the world.

The rhythm of goodness
graces places
and I move with its easy air.


Walking the earth

I make the encircling
ripple of water
elegance of dawn
blush of rose
stirring of day

I make the encircling
quiet of earth
glow of candle
rhythm of pulse
stillness of night

I make the encircling
green of Spirit
heart of God
presence of Christ
wellspring of life


Poems - Trish McQueen - 08/04/2020

for Holy Thursday and Good Friday

Holy Thursday
Serving, loving, helping
Holy Thursday is serving each other in prayer
Holy Thursday is different this year.

Good Friday
Grieving, weeping, laughing
Jesus’ mother was weeping at the foot of the cross
God is with us.


7 more poems - Anne Powell - 02/04/2020


the blues are small
songs for big sorrows
potato crop blight
meatworks close
purse empties
candle ends

lessening of love
petals on table
loss of job
falling of tears
the blues are small
songs for big sorrows.



Morning star
let there be light.

Between the leaves
let there be light.

Children’s faces
let there be light.

On the horizon
let there be light.

Arc of rainbow
let there be light.

Candle at window
let there be light..



In moments of loss and pain
sit quietly among green of fern
and remember
all is cyclical.


Time for a change

We are targets of time
racing through supermarkets
captured by meals-in-a- moment.

We are targets of time
hurrying on highways
arriving dead on time.

We are targets of time
possessed of longing for solitude
yearning for stillness of air.


Land pictures

The land is power
pulling our souls
in under hills
deep into caves of no light
and glimmers of light like glow-worms.

The land is mother
holding our grief
in tears of rivers
and our cries
in open arms of bays.

The land is grandparent
rocking our childhood
in hollows of hiding
and hillsides for sliding
and plains as open as pikelets.


To hear trees speak

fire birthing God.

light birthing God.

humans being bare enough to hear trees speak.

Now our love of owning
and of burning trees deafens us
to all but our own voice.



Solemnity of mountain - strengthen us.
Crescent of moon        - shield us.
Wand of star               - guide us.
Fall of leaf                   - teach us.
Circle of love               - companion us.
Horizon of hope          - console us.



Saint Teresa of Avila: 1515-1582

A Prayer for those who govern and represent us

Eternal wisdom, guide our leaders called to serve us in our nation of Aotearoa-New Zealand.
May they respond to the challenges of this affliction with prudence and sound judgment.
With foresight, may their planning alleviate the economic burdens, compensate for losses,
protect employment and ensure ample food for the poor and isolated..


A Prayer for those who care for the sick

Father of mercies, we thank you for all who care for the sick.
When they diagnose, give them patience.
When they protect the vulnerable, give them your protection.
When they work to heal, give them strength.
When they comfort, give them your consolation.
When they are tired, give them rest.
When they are discouraged, bring them your hope.
May we welcome and respect them as they support others in this time of trial.


A Prayer for peace of soul

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God alone is changeless.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.



7 Poems - Anne Powell - 26/03/2020

Going deeper

Go down
to the place in you
where fire and silence dwell ~
the place of power.

Go down
to that pool in you
of weedless water ~
the place of knowing.

Go down
the moss bright path
to your Grandmother’s house ~
the place of song.

Go down
to the last strawberry ~
freshness of God.


Visit us

Visit us
in breath of wind
in endurance of cliffs
in glow of kowhai
in silence of stars
in solitude of moon
in eyes of the poor
in embrace of a mother
in pleasure of friends
in faith that does justice.


Hints for middle years

You want to get
to where you’re going
even if you don’t have a map

or a torch
or a long piece of rope
for emergencies
let alone a Band-aid.

The thing is to do the journey.

Enjoy wherever you pass
be it city
or shoreline
or paddock
or people.

And tune your breathing
to the rhythm of soul.


The learning tree

I draw on strength from rising moon
I draw on strength from Mary’s womb.

I draw on strength from tumbling wave.
I draw on strength from One who saves.

I draw on strength from kauri tree.
I draw on strength and learn to be.


Letting go

When it comes to prayer
trying hard is not the answer
Think more of flying
a kite to freedom
on a clear day
or bathing beneath a waterfall
each sense awake
or letting the heart-gaze rest
on beauty.

Beauty opens to presence.
Hafiz would shout
“enjoy the love-ride, my friend."


Like a koru

I am a listener
the split of silence
at Huka Falls.

I am a singer
music on the wind
in the tussocks.

I am a woman
the rise of yeast
and the sound of bread growing.

I am a traveller
like a koru
my ear.


Aotearoa Litany

Green of fern - refresh us
Feathers of kereru - warm us
Rocks of Moeraki - encircle us
Waters of Taupo - bathe us
Dive of gannet - focus us
Arc of rainbow - protect us
Stars of Southern Cross - guide us