Nether Field

Not the Bakers field 
Or the town of Carl
Not the Gelding misspelled 
Nor Loud ham or ley of Lambs  
Not the Calver Town or the Red clay cliff

But… the nether field
You know? The lower one,
The one that floods!
The one where all the trains go to unload all their pile of goods

No cosy nook of Joyce and Bert 
Or Southerly minster well 
No ford placed west of Bridge for me
Nor Thorpe of Gun to tell…

But a village built fast 
Industrial revolution 
When the industry went
It just left wild confusion

Such a maelstrom of people 
From diverse situation 
Makes for such embittered folks 
In dark times of inflation

Single parents, congregate 
Natter over garden wall
Refugees seek solace here
Maybe it is peaceful after all!

Six o’clock the bus stop’s full 
Of lipstick, heels and pecs
Who leave behind this no hope town 
And it’s Mapperley rejects

Charlie Red potent up on top floor
Of the old faithful green number 20
Their LBD’s glitzy as they head off to Ritzy
To dance and drink MD2020

Left behind, Beggars, drunks and layabouts
And kids who want to play about
Behind the old community centre
And boys like me who still climb trees 
In search of some adventure.

Window cleaner cases houses
To know which ones to rob
Dole queue stretches round the block 
Cos no one’s got a job

Towns of industry
Hubs of community
Left behind till Retail Park revived

So offspring of the factory girls 
Walk aisles with cheese and chives
And top up Pringles on the shelves 
Now that Morrisons has arrived.

And still the cries of drunken yells
Seep deep into the night
As fearless yob rolls up his sleeves 
For Friday’s Fight Night Fight

And as I close my eyes to hear 
Another drunken groan
I smile, 

Perfect it may never 
But Netherfield is my home

P J Deakin 2016 ©

Roots

On Sunday my Pastor spoke about the Parable of the Sower.

The seed fell all over, on the path, the rocky soil, in amongst the thorn bushes and on good well-tilled soil.

We know the story, and over-familiarity can mean that we lose the crux of the story. That we forget to look at things afresh.

Dave further explained how the seed that fell on the rocky soil was shallow, and that like shallow people there is no root and so when hard times come they shrivel up and rarely thrive.

The seed which fell among the thorns represents those who are easily distracted by the pleasures of life and so become choked by the pursuit of happiness through a hedonistic, materialistic lifestyle.

As I reflected on this over a coffee after the service, I recalled the number of times my faith has become stunted due to my shallow nature.

Without roots we die.

I’ve also been guilty of pursuing the pleasurable aspects of life, selfishly… often at the expense of those I should be caring for.

Whilst I considered this, I was looking out of the window and I saw this:

  

You may not see it at first but this is a (rather blurry) photo of a small tree stump which we pruned right back about 18 months ago when a team of us did some gardening work in the grounds of our new church building.

Look closer and you will see that a small slender branch has sprung up out out that branch and has soared higher and higher! It has grown at least 7 feet high in only 18 months!!

Why? Because despite the tree being removed, the roots still remain! And while the roots remain there is an irresistible instinct within that tree to grow! Roots will always lead to growth!

At the very top of that tiny slender branch there is a single leaf. New life is budding and bursting forth out of the shell of the old.

As I looked on I realised what God was saying to me, “get yourself rooted in me, then whatever life throws at you, you will always come back stronger!”

I realised that I will not pursue selfish pleasure if I am rooted. I will not seek man’s approval of I am rooted! For myself I pray the words of Paul in Ephesians 3 and trust that you will too…

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:14-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God Bless you!

Phil