Queen Elizabeth ll – a life well lived and a small tribute

It’s impossible to put into words the deep sense of loss we have for our dearly beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth ll, and how impactful her death is worldwide, especially for us as her nation and citizens.

She has been such a stable, constant presence in our lives over decades and a huge part of our nation’s heritage. The Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer revealed the great reverence and love most of us have for our monarch.

How do you sum up such an amazing life and reign? I’m not sure. But in this slightly clumsily written acrostic poem I’ve tried my best to honour the Queen’s memory and convey my impressions of her character and reign as we seek to adjust and mourn her death.

In memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll

Humble of spirit and of heart
Energetic, sporty, stalwart
Radiant with inner beauty 

Meticulous in her duty
Attentive to her responsibilities 
Joyous despite the formalities 
Exemplary in behaviour 
Secure in faith in her Saviour
Thoughtful with politicians 
Yielding to adverse conditions 

Qualified by God and man
Uniting vast continents
Erudite in her governing ways
Essential in holding sway 
National treasure in our land

Eminent and elegantly dressed
Longsuffering during life’s duress
Inspiring to others
Zealous on our behalf
A woman of substance and faith
Bright, courageous and brave
Enduring for many long years
Trustworthy, deserving of our cheers
Hospitable to friends and strangers 
© joylenton 

And we weep:ode to Charleston


Life is a precious gift, one we often fail to fully appreciate or see it for the wonder that it is.

And when lives seem to be prematurely torn apart, destroyed at the hands of another, then it hurts us all.

We feel the pain.

We ache with grief.

We mourn the loss.

We are connected in our weak and wounded humanity.

We see death steal vitality.

We seek answers and come up empty.

And we turn, as hearts do in their ache and confusion, toward the Author of life Himself.

We cry out.

We rage against the dying of the light.

We feel impotent in the face of injustice.

We weep.

And soon, we sense Him near.

Holding us close.

And weeping just the same…

And He wept

Outside, an ordinary day where wind

whispered a soft summer night breeze

Inside, some folks coughed and others

gently leafed through open Bible

nestled on their knees

Rippling the reverent hush

falling all around, while God’s word

was heard and devoured

And little did they know how

soon all silence would be shattered

when the room reverberated

with bullets…

Meanwhile God, contracted to a span,

incomprehensibly made man, saw

as He had on earth, how vile

humanity’s insanity can be

And He wept…

bitterly for those He loved, for

those He gave His all, who

scattered now like scarlet petals

crumpled to the ground

His heart tore, contracted even more

in sorrow, wept afresh with His

amazing grace


as petals fall to ground file image

We will not forget you, Charleston.

We will join our voices with your own.

We will not rest while unrest sits so deep in human souls.

We will not give up while anger rules and lives are stolen.

We will pray for hearts to be transformed and for the Prince of peace to break down barriers, transform and make lives new, bring hope and healing, forgiveness and faith for the future.

You are not alone.

We stand with you.