Is it OK to cry for one’s country? I find myself doing that quite a bit these days. I cry for the lostness I see around me. I ache for the people who are voiceless, lonely and unnoticed. I cry for the things we are losing, for the meaninglessness of what we are gaining, for the lost children, the lost fathers, lost hope. Sometimes my tears flow because I feel lost, lost in an unfamiliar world, in a world that was once so cosy and safe, a world where what was good was good and what was bad, was bad. Now there is so much uncertainty. I cry for truth, that we might know and recognise it again. I cry for our language. What meant something in the past, now means something quite different. I cry for the freedom to question without intimidation. I just cry.

But there is hope…and as I dry my eyes I look up and see a beautiful rainbow and remember the promise of my Creator. I am not alone and I am comforted.

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Another verse about Penguins…

Penguins have names like Harry and Stan

Betty, Joan, Felicity, Cheryl, Wanda and Pam

They have only one name, they think that is cool

especially when splashing around in a pool


Penguin babies (they are way beyond cute!)

Often seen sleeping in their parents old ute

No one knows why they enjoy doing this

and all they can say to you, it is none of your biz


Penguins are tricky and slightly erratic

They sit by their radios listening to static

They eat pumpkin pie with chopsticks and fork

Very strange, given they never were taught


Penguins are pious, they pray every day

They all go to Mass, but only in May

They know all the hymns but sing out of tune

They only do this on the 13th of June


Penguins get old, they go to a home

Its a place where there’s laughter but never a phone

They share crazy stories and poems such as this

They would tell you that this place is absolute bliss.


Ian Blackburne

Copyright 2017




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I have been reflecting on sunsets over the last few days. We know that every day of one’s life is book ended with a sunrise and a sunset. We might say that there is nothing remarkable or unusual about that. True. However, when reflecting about a sunset, I begin to ponder the array of evidences showing the day is coming to a close. I look at the sky to see how many hours of sunlight remains. I start to see the shadows lengthen. The birds gradually go quiet. The breeze freshens and I shiver. In winter, I anticipate the cold as the sun disappears over the horizon. In summer, I feel thankful for the coolness of the evening and I am moved to remain in the space; not just remain, but to savour it.

I feel a connection and a protection from the sun, almost as if there is a cosmic designer smiling down on the world. I often feel a sense of aloneness as the darkness enshrouds me and I look for something else. And then I see it… the beautiful (almost ‘friendly’ moon). The cosmic designer has not forgotten us after all!! I feel embraced and loved and I can now go to my rest with a sense that all is well.

I will write about sunrises next time.

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Poem to God

I wait in silence, unsure if it
is your silence or mine
I wait, escalated to the divine
I wait in unimaginable expectation
I wait in silence

I wait…anticipating as a lover
(He is my Lover)
the spaciousness of the moment
of love, relentless
and without end.

I wait…holding this
‘sacred’ space of your presence
and in the waiting and in the silence
You are here.

Ian Blackburne
June 2016

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It has been 5 years since I wrote about Penguins. I said I would add another verse back then, so here goes…

Penguins are naughty and some are just mean

Some are just cute and some are a scream

They see everything in black and in white

They’d all love to fly, but that’s just not right

They sit around Maccas eating burgers all day

Some actually live there, but that’s not OK

They make funny noises, some actually talk

But their mates call them nutters, weirdo and dork

Some enter politics, some say for fun

Penguins don’t vote so the whole thing is dumb

Some are comedians, they laugh all of the time

Some are too serious, they think they are fine.

Some penguins play sport, Gee, what a mark!

Oh dear, I don’t think he saw that mean, nasty shark!

Some love the bat and bowling the ball

Penguins and cricket just don’t match at all!

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Pastoral Pathways…

What a privilege to walk this pathway! Today I walked this pathway with a few fellow travelers. They were gracious to share their time, their memories, their challenges, their joys and their tears, with me. While on this journey I reflected on the preciousness of all life, from conception to the grave. I experienced, through their stories, the joy of first love, a wedding, sepia beauty from another time, the sound of war and deprivation, the fracture of a final parting, home, going home, transition, loss of freedom and self-determination, the expectation of family connection, loneliness and memories. I am remembering now, the ones I have met who can no longer remember and I am grieved. Grieved for the ravages of aging, of sickness, loss of freedom and sometimes loss of hope. I find that I am thinking more,lately, about beginnings and endings…but that’s a blog for another day!

Take time, slow down and let someone’s journey, impact you.

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Night Musings

I love the quietness and relative stillness of the night. It allows one to daydream, to reflect, to be creative, to feel. I also feel the heart of God, almost like a heartbeat. I find myself talking, communing with my Creator. I wonder if God likes the night season? (For those who are theologians, I realise God is not bound by time or space!). In every movement there is a sound and every sound reminds me of my humanness and my fallibility. I begin to think poetically and musically. I let the world melt away, with all its catastrophes and trouble and I am left with a gentle urging to reach toward something and Someone beyond myself and my capability and I begin to dream of another dimension…and on the cusp of greatness, I fall asleep.

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