Father’s heart – Spoken word poem

Father’s heart – Spoken word poem

Dad was there at my birth,
He met me for the first time
Red-faced and outspoken within seconds
A third life-changing arrival heavy in his arms

The truth is though, I’ve got two dads
Dad and Daddy

Daddy already knew me
Grew me for nine months
Fitting me together like a jigsaw
Each piece pressed into place at the perfect time
Their edges aligned, tiny and fine

He knew me, in fact, before the world began Marked out my life just like He
Marked out the oceans with the palms of His hands

And those same hands
Which reached out and hung each star in space
Sketched out my nose, my mouth, my eyes, my face

My DNA, twisting like the rope ladder on the Old Oak
Speaks of Dad’s gifts to me
Wondering at the wandering journeys of words that
Diverge, converge then morph and merge
Tuning into melodies long left by the rest of the world, and
Batcalls at nightfall
Their darting flight scored out in the fading light
Tracking the paths the stippled-back deer leave
Screened by the dappling green of sheltering beech trees
Seeing what, at times, others don’t see

Daddy too has written Himself into the letters that make me – T, G, A and C – The
Tenderness Daddy has for His family which is
Guaranteed by His Spirit He’s placed inside me, and
Amazing love like no other, shown by
Christ, who’s now, incredibly, my Big Brother

One lunchtime, a boy in my class at primary school
Was taunting my younger brother
Took away his ball
And after it all we found ourselves
Both sent to face the wall
The boy with blood still on his face
Me with my knuckles tingling and grazed

And I’m not for one moment condoning violence
But now I’ve got a Big Brother who comes to my defence
Who stands for the weak and the hurting
The hopeless and helpless
The ones who can see (and those who can’t)
That they’re in a mess

And I should have been punished for
Hitting the other kid
But my Big Brother was punished for Everything wrong that I ever did
So that I could come home to Daddy
Gathered up in His arms
Smothered in long-missed kisses
And not kept away by the stuff that I did

And my maths has never been good
But I can see that doesn’t add up
My Big Brother died for me
So that Daddy could add me to His family
That’s not fair
Any child will tell you that
But Big Daddy wants a big family
And that’s a big and beautiful fact

Instead of skin to skin satisfaction
Caught up in His arms
Knowing His embrace
Cocooned by His love
Resting in that safe place
The call of independence is so attractive
That we’re taken captive
And we decide to go it alone
Abandon our home
Developing a dependence allergy
Opting instead for selective surgery
Volunteering ourselves to go under the knife –
Do whatever you have to,
To cut Daddy out of my life –
So matter of fact
But we forget that the chain reaction
Is guilt-induced retraction
Drawing back and
Playing our cards close to our chests
Trusting no-one in case they betray us
Hurt us in the way they know best

The One who knows you best
Knows what’s best for you
Loves you like no earthly father could
No matter how good
So don’t put His love to the test
Receive it
Believe it
Don’t be deceived
You can’t earn it
You don’t deserve it
Daddy’s love is a gift to you
Given freely yet costing Him dearly

What baby must perform to know it’s loved?
Or try its hardest to sleep or feed or cry?
Knowing it’s only the things it does
That bring about the father’s smile?

Looking around we can see that’s crazy
But when we look at ourselves
Our clear vision gets hazy
‘Cause we’ve broken the bonds we believe
Bind us to Him
Limit our freedom
But really we’ve cut the anchor that
Kept us in safe harbour and
Now the wind’s blowing harder and
We’re powerless to resist the tide that
Draws us out of sight of land
And suddenly it’s
You against the world
But not in the way you planned

So forget the world’s maths that’s tell you that
You minus Daddy equals freedom multiplied by unlimited pleasure
You need to see it from the right angle –
You plus Daddy equals maximum adventure
With the only One who’s totally committed to you
This one plus One is infinitely more than two –
It’s being home forever in the One who square roots you in His love
Loving others to the power of Daddy’s love for you with not even a fraction of fear

‘Cause you might feel all at sea
But you’re not in this alone –
Your Daddy’s beside you
And when wave piles on wave so it
Darkens the sky
You don’t need to worry ’cause
Your Daddy will guide you
There’s always a way through and
No matter how dark the darkness gets
Nothing can threaten or lessen His love for you
And morning is waiting
If you’ll stick close by Him

The story behind the poem

One of the pastors of my church approached me to ask if I would write a poem to sit alongside a documentary that was being launched as part of the Kentish Fleet Festival, a collaborative project to celebrate creativity in Kentish Town, Camden.

The Father’s Heart documentary was shot by Joel Bennett, featuring two young fathers and the involvement of another friend, Maktuno Suit, in his mentoring role at South London charity Working With Men.

Until that point I had only written as inspiration struck so it was a challenge to write to a theme.

I wanted to celebrate my own father and also the father heart of God in the poem so my aim was to weave these two strands together, whilst also extending the Father’s invitation to join His family. The two strands sort of swirl within the poem with a look at natural and spiritual DNA, some childhood lessons and spiritual applications, and the overarching perfection of our Creator Father God.

This poem was written to be actually performed and that was a bit terrifying. Until this point I had only shared my poems with my church in prayer meetings or during the praise time and either with my eyes tightly screwed shut (and sometimes leaking) or glued to the piece of paper in my hand.

Some friends came up with the genius idea for me to perform the poem while sitting on a high stool (so no one would see my legs shaking), holding my cup of tea firmly (to stop my hands shaking and for moral support) and with my eyes set on a fixed point at the back of the bar (more on how that turned out here).

Miraculously I managed to remember the whole poem, didn’t either collapse to the floor or pour tea over myself, and hopefully put everyone in mind of 90s boy bands during the slow numbers.

Being billed as a ‘local poet’ was both lovely and terrifying

5 thoughts on “Father’s heart – Spoken word poem

  1. So powerful!! Thank you for these words and for you boldness to step out more with what God has placed inside of youZ


  2. That was awesome! I loved listening to you as I read along the text. My favorite bit is
    ‘So forget the world’s maths that’s tell you that
    You minus Daddy equals freedom multiplied by unlimited pleasure
    You need to see it from the right angle –
    You plus Daddy equals maximum adventure’

    YES!!! So good!


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