On the beach

Her voice cuts sharply through the haze

'Come in, come here with me:

the water’s lovely; just see!'

Stepping back, I run hard and jump

adjusting my angle,

the dive becoming a bomb.

If the sea proves itself freezing,

as I know it will, I’ll make sure

God gets well and truly soaked.

Essential baggage

Trudging up the icy hill

to visit someone nearing death

I become aware of my poverty,

of the little I bring with me.

Pausing to gather strength,

I blow my fingertips

as if to warm my courage

and kindle my heart.

The reassuring voice:

'You carry nothing

but love

in your bag'

(with thanks to Stevie Strang)

Andy Delmege is an Anglican parish priest serving in outer estate parishes in Birmingham. A sabbatical walk to Santiago de Compostela kindled a developing interest in pilgrimage and has led to the blog pilgrimpaceAndy enjoys walking, cycling, reading and writing in his spare time. He was a founder member of the Society of Sacramental Socialists.

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