• Welcome to the Rough Writer's Collection

We first met you in the garden
It was the one where we were made
You walked with us through Eden
And you called us each by name.

Then in the garden of Gethsemane
on the night you were betrayed
you chose the cup of suffering
the price of death you paid.

And on that Easter morning
when tears had filled our eyes
You revealed you’re in the garden
Risen, and by our side.

So today if you feel lonely
isolated in your home
Know he’ll meet you in the garden
where you’ll never be alone.

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Tell me something good today

Tell me something good,
Tell me something good this day

Something hopeful, something bright
I am expectant; it must be coming
Good news awaits – a peace is rising
In the depths of misery love enters in

Tell me something good
Tell me something good this day

Let me see the other side of this story
The side I can’t see in Gethsemane
But three days later –
shifted my world.

Tell me something good today

A welcome guest

One day it arrived.

It rushed in like a wind blowing open a door which was left slightly ajar, as though there might be a very small possibility of a visitor arriving later. “I’m not staying up for you but you can let yourself in you need”.

And by the morning it had come. But it wasn’t a visitor in the normal sense. It was a feeling,
A feeling with a deeper meaning. A peacefulness had entered in before I had time to scare it out again, and it had settled right here inside.

At first it felt so foreign I didn’t recognise it. But then my heart knew its name. It was forgiveness.
I had forgiven you, as you had forgiven me. Bitterness no longer being entertained had sculked away. Anger had followed it. And forgiveness had arrived.

With this new guest came a deep sense of peace. And I asked the peace to stay; and it said it would.

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Paint me a Picture by Helen Sherwin

Paint me a picture.
What of? 

Of a pretty pub I once knew whose garden backed onto the churchyard.
Where people would sit and chat with a beer, comfortable in the company of their neighbours.
And on Saturdays you could see wedding parties arrive. And later, newly weds exiting in a whirl of confetti and laughter; ready to take on the world.

Paint me in the corner under the Sycamore tree. The very time we first met.
When I was watching Larry on that spring day whilst my Dad was inside talking to the vicar.
You stroked his mottled coat, whilst enquiring after my name and winning me with your wild eyes and even wilder hair.

I smiled.

Paint me that picture, and forever capture a moment when we were happy.


to be loved

I want to be loved.
Here, now and always,
to be treasured, and held,
to be valued, and seen,
forever in the perfect light.
Not judged by my worst day,
or even my best.
Loved because I am.
No longer marked by what I do,
or didn’t do.
Instead given grace again,
and then again, and again,
because I am yours,
because I am worthy of love.
I want to be loved,
simply because
I am human.

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Fill my lungs with your air once more
For my own will no longer sustain me
Let me feel life again
as my diaphragm expands
and a welcome presence enters
Do again what you did in the garden
Forming man in your likeness
and breathing into him
his very existence
Remake me by the spirit of the living God
So I can offer up my praise to the heavens

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Life Got Harder by Helen Sherwin

Life got harder when you left it.
It’s not that I didn’t appreciate you whilst you were here:
I did.
It’s just that I appreciated you by your presence;
I enjoyed your company, your quirks, your goodness.
But now I’m appreciating you by your absence.
Realising all that’s missing,
How life got harder when you left it,
Each day like wading knee-deep in mud.

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The Making of You by Helen

Don’t you see that it could be the making of you?
As you stand here now, flooded by the pressures of life
Wondering how you are going to survive
Gasping for breath amidst responsibilities,
decisions, work, bills,
Circular problems that have you going dizzy
Because they don’t stop rearing their ugly head over and over.
And it’s tiring, and it weighs you down

But it could be the making of you.
And you should “look on the bright side”
And it sounds proposteous
because you’ve looked on the bright side before
and it hasn’t made it any brighter or any lighter.

But you should know that, it is ‘making you’ whether you like it or not.
It’s making you into something –
for better or for worse.
Building in you resilience, everyday that you persevere
And it’s giving you wisdom
so that next time that circular problem comes around you’ll be that bit wiser,
That bit closer to solving it.

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Have I lived well? That’s the question I’m asking myself as I sift through these boxes, dusting off old photographs of people I haven’t seen in years, and birthday cards inscribed with messages, which boldly say we’ll forever be friends. The truth is we’re just not that close anymore.

Did I spend my time the right way? I ponder as I discard old essays which I don’t remember writing, and postcards and trinkets from countries I’m sure I’ve never visited; souvenirs of experiences which have no bearing on my own. I suppose they were once worth keeping but now they will be lining a black bag.

Is this what my life amounts to? I ask as I pull an ancient phone and a physics exercise book out of a warped brown box and I remember the way I flunked that exam. And I recall the fight I had over the phone causing my first relationship to crumble shortly after. A feeling of failure washes over me.

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Be You by Helen Sherwin

It must be such hard work having to be that person all the time.
Constantly pushing out that same image,
Not letting it slip for one second.

Because people look to you to be that way.
You have a following.
And you can’t let them down.
No, you won’t let them down.

But is it really you?
Or just an image you’ve created of yourself?
An image people like,
You liked once.

But now it’s exhausting.
Aren’t you a bit tired?
What if you put it down?

That’s it, stop for just a minute.
Take a step back,
and breathe.

OK now start again.
But this time:
Don’t be anybody else –
Just be you.

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