I went to a session of Richard Atkinson’s workshop on Creative Writing.

He gave us tips for ways of getting ideas, if failing a Holy Spirit impetus; tips to start us off, work and refine and bring to a presentation that would have a resonance with contemporary culture.

So, he gave out sheets from his copy of “The Independent” for us to find short phrases that struck us from them, to develop a story or poem or just a piece of writing.

I found this touch of serendipity led me to put this piece together; the quotation marks bracket the lines I took from a report about the exclusion from school of a girl for not keeping quiet in classes – a “Chatterbox”


To be read aloud with a touch of ‘snarl’ in the voice


“Why didn’t they just suspend him?”

Not stretch Him on a cross!

They’re so sure of what they know and want –

Frightened to listen where He was coming from…..

Call themselves Pharisees!

“What a dreadful way for Teachers to act!”

Fancy condemning Him for telling stories to their sheep: for touching their hearts.

Frightened that He was leading them to question for themselves,

Revealing their minds, wanting them

to be like children – Oh so fresh……

No! they were after His flesh.