Poem: The Final Train Ride


A lifetime passes suddenly

We blink into eternity

As sadness, heartache, toil and care

Evaporate in blissful air.

And there she stands in such a throng

The rush of peace and noise of song

As people dressed in white and gold

Are gathered now into the fold.

She beckons one who seems to know

And asks how much to board and go

He smiles until the noises fade

And tells her that the ticket’s paid.

And as the steam comes hissing out

She hears a great and glorious shout

As passengers climb to take their seat

With eager hands and searching feet.

She whispers, ‘How will I get back?

There’s just one line and just one track?’

The porter cries, ‘Don’t sigh or fuss

This journey has one terminus.

‘No need for luggage, money, fare

It’s all been sorted, no despair!

For when you reach the other side

You’ll find his arms are open wide.’

She heard the engine strain and toil

The air was full of smoke and oil

And yet it seemed around the place

The sweetest scent of love and grace.

The train pulled out to wing its flight

The station soon slipped out of sight

Through fields of silver, pure as silk

And fragrant flowers as white as milk.

The carriage rocked in harmony

With voices raised in joyful glee

The whistle shrieked in loud acclaim

As all began to praise His name.

And in her joy she had to bring

Her offering to the Saviour King

The sweet notes of the flute she played

And there upon the altar laid.

The scenes of love had spirits high

But then the engine reached the sky

And no way they could bridge the gap

The train would surely tumble back!

Yet straight ahead the cheers rang loud

For there projecting from a cloud

A cross of wood had made a way

The train sped on without delay.

And so she cried, with tears like myrrh

To know the price He paid for her

To get across the great divide

His life was slain and crucified.

But here at last she looked ahead

And no more worry, no more dread

Instead, a city all divine

And straight in front, a station sign.

The sign was shaped just like a crown

And as the signal pointed down

She read the words that thrilled her soul

‘The Son of God has made you whole’.

The snorting engine stopped the ride

And carriage doors flew open wide

And loved ones mingled, tears were past

For death was conquered, home at last.

And so she stood, as through the smoke

She heard a voice as someone spoke

And surely there was no surprise

And yet it caused her heart to rise.

For on the shining platform place

He sat there beaming, oil on face

And in his hand a spanner wrench

And other tools across the bench.

‘I wondered when you’d come to me’

He whispered very tenderly

And taking her to his embrace

She gazed into his gentle face.

‘I knew my child would soon arrive’

‘Dear father, but I’m ninety-five!’

He laughed and smiled from ear to ear

‘My darling, there is no time here’.

‘No cares, no woe, no pain, no strife

Just everlasting peace and life

For here’s the place where loved ones greet

And celebrate the chance to meet.

‘But father, dear, your grubby clothes

And oil-stained hands and eyes and nose

I thought you’d all be moving slow

With angel harps and eyes aglow!’

He squeezed her tight as starlight fell

‘There’s work to do up here as well.

We can’t just float around with wings

We have to serve the King of kings.’

‘They stepped into the living dream

Of gleaming rails and hissing steam

To be together evermore

And take the train to heaven’s door.

To be united now, as planned

And celebrate the Promised Land

To serve the Master all their days

And work with joy and prayer and praise.

And so my friend I urge and plead

You make a move and get up speed

Don’t miss His offer or His call

The Final Train Ride comes to all.

Denis Hayes

Written for a friend whose father died when she was a teenager. The father was a steam train enthusiast.




Poem: In the twinkling of an eye


When the way is set before you and the path looks clear and straight

When the sunshine streams across the sky to brighten and elate

When all around the sound of bells drifts gently through the air

And in your heart, sweet music stirs a dream that’s light and fair.

When the faces of the people glow and words have feather touch

When you walk like children through the land with one you love so much

When sweetness fans a breeze of fragrance pure and sweet

And kindness scatters blissful peace like petals at your feet.

In the stillness of the moment as the joy stirs praise within

The freedom of contentment gives you strength the race to win—

Yet fickle is the certainty of promises lightly made

As they slip between your fingers and melt into the shade.

Then a wave of breathless panic seems to seize you by the throat

As life around you crumbles and fond dreams break loose and float

And the glowing sand you thought was firm begins to heave and sway

And swirling waters choke you, as you sink and fade away.

But as your grasp grows feeble and your mind begins to sleep

Another sound and presence comes to separate the deep

A mighty hand sustains you and a mercy lifts you high

Instead of earth, your eyes behold the glory and the sky.

And a voice that’s just a whisper soft speaks to your trembling soul

And tells you that though all seems bleak, Christ Jesus makes you whole

You cannot understand your plight and questions search your loss

Until the answer echoes back: just look unto the Cross.

And people fail to know your peace and wonder if you’re mad

They look at you and shake their heads and puzzle how you’re glad.

They think the agony and grief unleashed a wicked spell

They do not hear the joyful song or see that all is well.

They do not feel the Master’s touch that cools your fevered brow

Or see His everlasting arms that grant you freedom now

For all the pain that held you fast is turned to sweet release

Instead of grief comes inner calm and fresh, abiding peace.

The path you thought was clear and straight is hidden from your view

But in its place a confidence that He knows best for you

For as the future calls you on, concealing what it may

You hold the hand of One who turns the night-time into day.

Stand up to claim your heritage and enter in the race

Step forth to gain the prize from One who hung there in your place.

And as your faith is strengthened, you will see the reason why

He sanctifies your heartache in the twinkling of an eye.

Denis Hayes

True Love

True Love

Love can always conquer whatever trouble brings
And love will also cover up a multitude of things.

Don’t ever underestimate what sincere love can do
If it comes from God eternal then His love gives strength anew.

When life is cold and grim, when hope has fled and died

Love can breathe new meaning and keep us satisfied.

Love will see you through when it seems that all is lost,
It brings fresh hope and peace—for Jesus paid the cost.

Love always finds a way, no matter what the price
And its power is so much greater when we trust in Jesus Christ.

So let God have full reign, let Him live within your heart
And you can cherish love divine the Spirit will impart.

(Author of original version unknown. Considerably modified)


Genuine Love


The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way the person acts when out of money or under pressure or hungry. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of his or her failings. Love is patient and kind. Love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice; it is seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.

Attributed to ‘The Great Kamryn’ (slightly modified)

The Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in the church at Corinth:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [Genuine] love never fails’



Stephen Grellet, a French-born Quaker, who died in 1855, wrote these immortal words:

‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again’

These words inspired the song: ‘I may never pass this way again’, written by Murray Wizell and Irving Melche:

I’ll give my hand to those who cannot see
The sunshine or the falling rain.

I’ll sing my song to cheer the weary along:
For I may never pass this way again!

I’ll share my faith with every troubled heart,
So I shall not have lived in vain.

I’ll give my hand, I’ll sing my song,
I’ll share my faith, because I know
That the time is now to fulfil each vow:
For I may never pass this way again!




Growing older


Norman Wisdom said that as we grow older, three things happen… First, our memories start to let us down; second … umm

  1. You take your time to do things and go places. Other people will just have to wait!
  2. People telephone you at 2pm and apologise if they woke you up!
  3. There is nothing much left to learn ‘the hard way’.
  4. You enjoy swopping stories about your operations with your older friends!
  5. You’re the same person you were when you were 21…until you see an old photo’ of yourself… and afterwards glance in the mirror!
  6. Gentlemen stop holding in their stomachs when a lovely lady walks past!
  7. Your joints tell you more about the weather than the TV weather forecaster.
  8. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either!

But there are also many positive things…

  1. You’ve kept going and survived this long!
  2. You can look back at challenging and hard times and be thankful that you pulled through against the odds.
  3. The emotions attached to disappointment and heartache grow softer until you can think about those times without too much pain or sorrow.
  4. You can smile and laugh at the many good times you’ve enjoyed.
  5. You get spoiled by younger members of your family!
  6. You are able to offer wise counsel to anyone who chooses to listen.
  7. You understand better all the advice that your parents gave to you when you were younger.
  • Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
  • Lazy people always cause themselves more trouble!
  • It’s no use crying over spilt milk!
  1. You realise that this life is not the end of things… There’s a future beyond the grave if you believe and trust in God and Jesus Christ.

The above compilation is taken from several sources and none.

The Coming King

Part 1: The Jews wait for the Messiah

Captive in our own land and longing to see God’s hand

Through a fiery king or prophet strong

And angel band winging.

Wait to see the warrior’s brandished sword

And trumpets proclaiming freedom’s reward

And army hoard raging.

The promised redemption must come to our nation

Lest we swoon with anticipation

And misery prolongs.

How long? We wait and pray for the certain day

When our enemies will be far away

And peace descending.

Part 2: The Saviour comes

So what do you say about a peasant child in an animal pen?

Lying in weakness with poverty grinding

And ignorant men.

Or a Saviour who takes the form of our fleshly life

And enters our mortal world

Of pain and strife.

Surely this cannot be the one whom we so long sought

To ride in majesty with kingly air

Salvation bought.

Will our hope depend upon this tiny one within a manger?

With no strength at all—

Helpless little stranger.

Yet out of weakness comes power and love

Streaming forth in radiant splendour

And wisdom from above.

One who is meek, not weak, and of no reputation

To die upon a cross, while living

For every nation.

Part 3: Our response

Sweep away the vanity of warfare grim—

Of mighty warriors and steaming chargers—

And look on Him.

Tear down the crumbling tower of pleasure and self

And seek the One who is life indeed

And true wealth.

The cross becomes a place of peace

And God is satisfied with His Son

And grants us full release.

The longed-for victory blossoms from sacrifice

With freedom from sin assured

And the promise of eternal life.

Ring the bells! Sound the trumpet!

Proclaim the truth that Christ came

And will come again!

Denis Hayes

-- Download The Coming King as PDF --

I Shouted at God Today (poem)

I Shouted at God Today

I shouted at God today

But He wouldn’t go away.

I told Him that he didn’t care-

But He just kept hanging there.

I told Him that He didn’t understand

He showed me His flesh-torn hands.

And when I saw the blood-tears on the floor

I wasn’t angry any more.

Denis Hayes, 1996

-- Download I Shouted at God Today (poem) as PDF --

Time Rolling By (poem)

Time rolling by

The blink of a snowdrop, the daffodil’s flower

Are soon overtaken by April’s sweet shower

The promise of June and the summer’s refrain

Now gives way to autumn, with wind and fine rain

And even as winter emerges to bite

The snowdrop’s new head starts to rise and peep out.

And so in our lives we appear from the dark

A tender pink bundle, a blazing new spark

From tottering walk through to scampering fun

From childish delights to the full distance run

And even as time starts to falter from view

The sight of eternity brings life anew.

So what will you do with the days that remain?

While the sun’s beaming light is still ripening the grain

While our God gives you power to work and to pray

Will you turn from the path or be pleased to obey?

For the circle is turning, the days hurry by

Our Saviour’s returning; there’s nowhere to fly.

God waits for an answer and speaks to your heart

To use all your talents before you depart

The path may be narrow to struggle along

But hear angel voices preparing a song

Go with His enabling and by faith it is true

At the end of the road, He is waiting for you.

Denis Hayes Original version, December 2007

-- Download Time Rolling By (poem) as PDF --

True Love (poem)

True Love

Love can always conquer whatever trouble brings
And love will also cover up a multitude of things.

Don’t ever underestimate what sincere love can do
If it comes from God eternal then His love gives strength anew

When life is cold and grim, when hope has fled and died

Love can breathe new meaning and keep us satisfied.

Love will see you through when it seems that all is lost,
It brings fresh hope and peace—for Jesus paid the cost.

Love always finds a way, no matter what the price
And its power is so much greater when we trust in Jesus Christ.

So let God have full reign, let Him live within your heart
And you can cherish love divine the Spirit will impart.

(Author of original version unknown. Greatly modified by D Hayes)



-- Download True Love (poem) as PDF --