The warm sun caresses the frosty face

that has long kept watch in the winter night

with a light that feels like a long summer love

though  the  season  has  passed  as  day  to night.

How treacherous the promise of lasting warmth

that is made at the break of the awaited day,

but the noon always comes and the sun soon sets;

our hopes are broken as the blue skies grey.

In  the  coming  dark,  cold  armies  of  fear

besiege in their ranks and our watch must be set:

first, second, third, fourth, but none sleep with ease

for who rests in such coldness

and yet...


There is a light that shines outside of time,

in  spite  of  days,  years  and  ice-ages;

a warmth that burns in the cold without fuel,

without flicker though the storm about rages.

We shall not wait for the slow coming dawn.

We shall not cry in the night when its cold -

not stumble, not fear, but sleep in sure peace

when the warmth of the light of the Lord

makes us bold.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










In the desert, make way for the Lord.

In the house of sin, prepare His seat.

Praise Him with your humility.

Learn as He washes your feet.


On  the  dark  hill,  do  not  betray  Him.

When the cock crows thrice, do not give Him a kiss.

Do not hide in shadows when they crown Him.

Be there in His strife as you were in His bliss.


Will you strike and mock your unknown brother?

Such as these are Him - to clothe and feed.

And do you judge without discernment?

Will you wash your hands while others bleed?


Do not watch for the Groom at your ease.

Starve not your camel for the needle’s eye.

Fear  not  this  longest  of  cruel  nights.

The One you should fear counts the tears you cry.


And when you hang next to Him, do not curse.

See His victory beyond His death.

You listened in peace when your belly was full -

now hear the words on His final breath:


“Today you will be with me in paradise.”


Copyright © Jason Horsler

04/01/02 - Luke 23 v. 39 - 43.









And did He really stand,

                          before those traitors and the triers

and silently reign in peace and pain

                  over all His crucifiers?


They said He was a blasphemer

                                             to fill the crowds with fury.

They said He claimed to be a king

                                      to sway the Roman jury.


And yet, in mock reverence they crowned Him

                          and draped a purple robe around Him.


They did all this and washed their hands

                                      with the gore of whip and rod,

while He stood on trial before them

                            and they stood on trial before God.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










What a beautiful aluminium whale,

Lies beached on the asphalt and sighs:

Its spinning baleen mouths

Hungrily awaiting to feast on clouds

                                                      in the skies.

It winks with a hundred flashing eyes;

Deep and high is its sounding.

It strains at its chocks with an eagerness

To leave this heavy unnaturally blueless


The willing Jonah approaches it with awe,

For soon I shall swim with the whales -

Breaching the overcast into the light

And blowing twin jet-streams into bright

                                                            lofty gales.

In the leviathan’s belly I am close to my Lord,

And so I pray there is no Ahab on board.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










‘Cry out stones!’ sang the palms,

‘for these, our bearers, cannot shout

The hail of the universal king

As He turns their logic out.

Like a rudder the size of a hand,

Upon a ship of seven oceans,

That achieves the impossible steering

And defies inertial motion.’


‘Wave!’ the stones replied,

‘for we are too heavy to dance,

And though we live ten thousand lives,

This season’s crop has chance,

To suffer the donkey’s footsteps

And play a susurration.

In this short time that binds all times,

Let us aid His coronation.’


Copyright © Jason Horsler










A man had a fig tree planted in his yard,

A man who loved his land and worked it very hard.

       He sowed upon the right time

       And reaped the grain grown tall.

       For years around the fig tree,

       The crops would rise and fall.


One day he went looking for his first ripe figs

And only found a handful, too rotten e’en for pigs.

       So he took up a sharp axe.

      ‘At least I’ll have firewood,’

       Said he, ‘it’s wasting soil.

       Its meagre crop - no good.’


But his servant begged him for one more season

And his master consented for the servant pleased him.

       So that servant gave it water

       And furnished with mulch the tree,

       And after that year of love

       What shall your harvest be?


Copyright © Jason Horsler










When I think on myself,

I become drunk in this heady air

And Champaign youth bubbles tickle my swelling ribs.

Still dizzy from a spinning world,

A turning head and my late rocking cribs.

The patterns I walk are fractal.

The soles of my shoes tread on shifting infinite towers

And I lord it over my history;

My mind spinning webs

Of insubstantial fancy and thought-thin powers.

I love too much my pretty hands.

I dwell too much on the façade of this temple;

this grave bound feisty frame.

I work it leaner and over fuel it,

Sometimes burning it on every cylinder,

Other times leaving it to rust in shame.

Now sober, I seek my speck on this grain in a space eddy

- this little earth -

Making light of myself and praying for enlightenment.

I trust God to be the truest judge of my worth.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










I heard the sound of marching

In the tops of chestnut trees

And rose me from my couch

To attack the yawning day.

I moved quickly and fell upon my knees

For thus may one stand

The army of God’s way.


Though the plains before me roll

And the enemy seethes and boils,

Their horses will fall beneath them

                             To the Lord will go the spoils.


Who knows the final trumpet’s time?

The victory sounded before.

They foolishly fight this long-lost battle

                         On the Fields of Evermore.


How long have I been sleeping

In times I did adore

While  my life is but one pebble

                         On the Fields of Evermore.


Bring me the armour of the Lord.

Show me each corner of the war.

See all the angels that march before me

                         On the Fields of Evermore.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










Why are clouds flat underneath?

I could explain it with science,

But is truth belief?


We could discuss adiabatic lapse rates,

The effect of temperature on water states,

Thermals,  the  dew - point  and  height,

the absorption and reflection of light,

Entrainment, insolation, latent heat, convergence

Expansion, low pressure, chaos, turbulence …


and knowing all this they still strike me as odd

flat – bottomed  clouds  are  a  creative  quirk

-of God.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










In a dream …


A beach on the edge of the universe

And an angel as my timeless guide,

I stood and watched the turbid waves,

Him speaking wisdom at my side,

And as I gazed that golden arch,

I noticed something far away;

Something stacked and massive distant

On the sand at the head of the bay.

Curiosity then drew me near.

I beheld millstones by the score

In neat rows forbidding and heavy

And I asked, ‘what are these for?’


The angel replied …


‘It was said: ‘an eye for an eye,’

And so also for a tooth,

But this is the reckoning day;

Too late now to mend and toil,

Too late to work for right.


These stones are for those

Who professed the truth,

But lied in their way,

And so lead the unbeliever

Further from the light.’


And I concluded:


More have been turned away for frail promise and faithless life,

Than difficult God or unfair strife.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










Hard stone walls and cold stone floors,

Ceilings distant and smoke-blue beyond reach,

Sunlight through the stained glass falls,

As the teacher drones and the organ pipes preach.


Words sound from ancient places.

The living tread the graves of the living

With onion-skin bible faces

And Sunday purses; forgiven and forgiving.


For want of a warmer church

they light candles to mend their weekly ways

And burn with shame and search

For devotions that last beyond Sundays.


And all the while, as they struggle and grapple,

they forget the body is their travelling chapel.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










When did I stop growing?

Why did I recede?

When did I betray me,

Taking wants above my need?

How can this tree lose height?

What branch shrinks to bud?

Too little rip-rap at my roots,

I’m undercut in flood.


But I have not toppled yet

Though my lower boughs are wet.


God, I know you hear me.

Lord, before I slump

And bow to raging maelstroms,

Remind me of the stump -

Stripped and torn of crown,

Shattered and forlorn,

But when the waters receded

New shoots of life were born.


And though I may fall too,

Make new trunks where I grew.


As pruning makes for better fruit,

As clearings allow more trees,

Make this flooded sapling a forest

From the man now on his knees.


Copyright © Jason Horsler








There is a place between blades

Where there are two simple ways;

Where there is freedom to trim

And the foolish heart stays.

On the one side of the cut

There is the fabric we use

On the other side the throw away.

But damaged the threads that do not choose,

They hang in the tailor’s air -

Motes of regret  and the snip is their song

Of sorrow for not being part of the suit.

No choice is choosing to do wrong.

Before the cut and before I die,

Lord, on your side of the cloth am I.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










   I grew faint with war and the rumours of war.

Did I so quickly forget the words below the olive tree?

Two thousand years on were they spoken to me

   And all the worriers who fell before?

   Though a quarter have died and starve and waste -

The horsemen’s work is vicious and thorough.

What seal breaks and trumpet calls tomorrow,

   As endless time draws to its end in haste?

   Now, when we may cross the world faster than wind,

When we may learn the truth behind the stars,

Do we ignore the vellum from broken jars?

   We who have excelled, we who have sinned?

It is easy to see that we too often are blind;

The end times but, by grace, not the end of our kind.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










Here there is famine in the lands of the fat,

Though fields sway heavily and trees bend.

   Here there is starvation.

It is said there is a thin person in each of us

But there is something undernourished there.

   A harvest won’t bring salvation.

The mirror tells only the outside truth.

Reflection the truer with eyes shut.

   Here is revelation.


All the stores of the world will dwindle and spoil,

Though many find comfort in this time

   And will not leave their seat.

You best feed your starving self when you reach out

And give it all away now.

   See why God gave you feet?

Remember how well he once used his own;

He stood up that humble body then

   And said in love: ‘take, eat …’


Copyright © Jason Horsler










You will find the edge of the universe

Before you find the edge of God

And yet He is the Lord of small things


He welcomes children

Cares for scattered seeds

He counts our tears

And looks for lost lambs

He is the God of small coins

Little fish and few loaves

He invented the mustard seed

And He never misses the shortest prayer


He is powerful enough to say

‘Let there be light.’

And kind enough to bear our woes.


He is a God of astonishing detail

In immeasurable capacity.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










Woe to you unleavened youth

Where is the yeast of experience?

You so quickly escaped oppression so fast

That you went into wastelands unprepared?

Now you cry for manna and meat

Now you strike the dry rock

Soon you will ask the seas for a path

And follow pillars of fire

As far as smoke wreathed mountains

Dreaming of rest and milk and honey

But the promised land is forty years away

And though the road is dry and hard

The desert has God

                            The desert has God.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










Who dreams of gold from lead or blood from stone?

What fool stares at the sun praying for shade?

Who reaches among thorns for fruit

Or believes almighty a thing they made?


He who makes gods in his time.


Who weeps beside the great river

Thirsting over the smallness of their cup

Who starves while among the harvest trees

Searching the horizon but never looking up


He who believes this is all in his time.


Who is like the mouse nesting in the summer fire place

Or the traveller navigating by the cloud wrack

Who runs with assurance of victory in the race

Setting a pace without knowing the length of the track


He who places his hope in this time.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










I have heard it said:

   God is the energy of the universe

   He’s the perfect potential of our nature

I have seen it pictured:

   God bearded and reaching across the cosmos

   With flowing robes and glowing eyes to Adam


God may indeed be these things

But he is far more


When I try to ponder

   The infinite and forever

My tiny time trapped mind stumbles

   I run out of numbers

Out of descriptions


And God is the ultimate of the infinites


Satan promotes the description of God

He wants us to define him

   Thereby removing the need for faith

   Thereby confining God

To our minds


But God is quantum

If you fix one of His natures

You cannot see the countless others


God alone can describe himself

He alone has the capacity to see

His entirety

And he said,

I am.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










It’s a sad sad story

One a naked soul can tell

To live life wrapped in cotton wool

And cry about your hell

To hoard a pirate’s treasure

And feed like a king

To shout up to the heavens

That you haven’t got a thing

To work a handful of hours

And do it sitting down

To spend some time in foreign lands

To turn a golden brown

And while you’re far away from home

To see all that is wrong

With your room and with the food

And the list that grows so long

And blinded by your anger

And the holiday price tag

You cannot see the pain

Of the one who takes your bag

Nor the bent straining backs

Of the picturesque fields

Nor the dusty little children

Short of way too many meals

Nor the struggle and the strife

Beyond the window as you roam

You cannot see it here

You were blind to it at home

For you deserve the best in life

This is what you say

Convinced in all your efforts

That you made this your own way

You worked so hard to climb the ranks

You did well enough in school

You claim you made your own luck

But you know you are a fool

For no one chooses life

Nor where they start to live

You were lucky for what you’re given

Perhaps now you should give.


Copyright © Jason Horsler










The savage army raised its shields and charged

Many months had they honed their art and spears

The hafts of which were polished like stone

By hardened hands and familiar years

They knew the use of their weapons so well

They could feel their commander’s coming calls

Their lives had gyred upon this moment

When they ran screaming at the enemy’s walls

Which bristled of a sudden with gleaming muzzles

And roared to life in a bank of smoke

The treacherous air buzzed and slew

And the proud wave of warriors bled and broke

Ready as they were in their own form of war

They were not prepared for what the enemy had in store …


Know the devils tools.


Copyright © Jason Horsler













I dreamed the returning dream last night,

Standing on some compound shore

Of all the rock-pools and sandy scapes

That enriched my child before.

I fought with angels last night.

They allowed me in to enjoy the sea

Then I was out and wanting in

But they popped my hip and resisted me.

Sometimes my sleep is full of waves;

Sometimes its sea is full of fish,

But always I end up on its edge;

my return defied and enticed my wish.

The eternal water beyond my sleeping eyes

Is the threshold of God and a steep place.

The question is begged and the horizon replies;

What holds me still from all that grace?


Copyright © Jason Horsler








In the beginning there was 700 litres of wine

   It came from water that was meant to clean the outside

It was symbolic of the abundance of His blood for cleaning the inside

               It happened during a celebration


We thought the first heady wine of creation, of life, was the finest

   We grew drunk with rejoicing in our world, in our blessings

But God, our ultimate groom had saved the best vintage

               Enough to outlast the celebration


In the beginning there was only one cup

   But it was shared then and as often as we do

Soon it became real blood and the ultimate of miracles

               A death worthy of celebration


For it was when life truly started

   And that, my friend, is worthy of celebration

               More wine?


Copyright © Jason Horsler








          Oh Lord

At the Jordan of my life

I pray to you over stone

With my Kadesh spies’ fresh reports…

          Help me

To resist the tugging of the terrified crowd

And hear the small right voice of righteousness

To not seek back to the old Egyptian times

But to face the giants over the river

Having learnt from forty years of doubt

And be allowed only few thoughtful seconds


And should the river not divide

And I get mud upon my feet

Let my complaints die

let my faith decide

Not to let foolish fear defeat.


Copyright © Jason Horsler







All my poetry is copyrighted (in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) and some of it has been published. They are here for your enjoyment and commentary. If you do wish to use them in any form of publication you will need to contact me ( I reserve the right to be recognised as the author of these works.