Subverting your world with a handful of stories



Selected poems


Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

Tales as thin as milk-skin
taller than the night.

A mother bares her child
to sky, to star,
blessings on our foreheads
a cross to scar our backs.

Holy water falls,
with textures of song & suffering, 

a prayer to rinse our mouths in,
a room to box our sins. 

Somewhere in the distance
a tomb breaks open, 

we remain a voice,
to the past & all its failures.

Buried in our conscience
executed on our knees,

the flow of blood runs deep
on scriptures old and new. 

Blessed lips pursed skyward
and down on flinty ground, 

do you see what I see?
those lice on holy spine.

— Ellen Shelley


Subverting your world with a handful of stories

The telling of stories 
is at the heart of making a new world
they have inherent within them 
seeds of many possible futures
that take root in the most rocky of soils
and surprising places of uncertainty
creating strongly blooming imaginations 
that have decided to live for ever

— John Cranmer


Words and wings

are our climbing anchors
we bury them deep
into the rock-face
of every living moment

Word by word
lifting our heaviness
towards a possible summit

There to find the one
who has grown wings
and is moving on
towards an horizon
hidden in the cloud-haze
of what might yet be.

— John Cranmer


Topic tags: Ellen Shelley, John Cranmer, poetry



submit a comment

Existing comments

Sublime. All of it.
Pam | 23 April 2018

Thank you so much. Beautiful poems & imagery. I have begun writing Life Stories with Residents in Aged Care. These poems express the beauty of the experience.
ruth | 24 April 2018

Beautiful poems John Cranmer. A pleasure to share your page.
Ellen Shelley | 24 April 2018

Many poets could claim a share to these beautiful words by Francis Thompson “Turn but a stone, and start a wing! ‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces, That miss the many-splendoured thing”… certainly the writers of the three edifying poems above.
Kevin Walters | 24 April 2018


Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up