26May '11

Ragamuffin Men

UPDATE – here is a Video of me performing this poem at Greenbelt 2014!

I’m the ghost of a not-dead man
A waste of space, an also-ran
A failed attempt at something great
A player caught in fools’ mate

A man who saw the truth, and yet
Risked everything and lost the bet
A swine who took his pearls and
Cast them into sinking sand

A battery, flat,
A dieter, fat
An eaten hat
A deaf bat
A dead cat
A pointless worthless careless loveless good-for-nothing rat.


I’m the child
Of a not-dead God
Who comforts me
With staff and rod

Whose love will never ever end
And in whose hands I’ll break, and mend
And who, despite our flaws intends
Into this broken world to send
Such punched-up patched-up stitched-up love-struck
Ragamuffin men.

This was the first poem I ever wrote that I was even remotely happy with.  It arose out of a personal journey – after my decision to follow Jesus, after my failed attempt to plant a Church in North Sheffield, and after a period of mental disorder that followed.  Instrumental to that journey was a book, The Ragamuffin Gospel which my Pastor lent me… this poem is reproduced in one of his books, Moving Beyond Mediocity.


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