Jacqui Thewless

(November,1955 / Manchester, UK)

Tin Tabernacle, Pembroke


All week,
I’m waiting to go in
to that little, homely, stable-of-a-place
where nothing could be simpler than the grace of God.

On hot days, the large fan whirrs softly overhead,
the narrow, high, windows are opened and,
outdoors, you'd hear the free streaming of praise.
On cold days, someone lights the stove

and we come just as we all already are.
Nobody dresses up
or down. The same familiar friends talk openly
to God: His Spirit gathers everyone

with a small voice.
Sometimes, a nutshell cracks:
a man weeps, tenderly;
an old woman finds a secret joy;

the quiet peace sinks into
the hearts' beats and lungs
of every body’s breathing. Jesus

comes near
in these warm-hearted meetings.
We drink tea, later: there's a kitchen,
mugs and kettle out the back.

Old friends, around a table,
catching up with God:
and all of us plain
folk go home easy.

Submitted: Sunday, July 05, 2009
Edited: Monday, May 30, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Tin Tabernacle, Pembroke by Jacqui Thewless )

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  • John Knight (10/18/2009 6:47:00 AM)

    Hi Jacqui - This is a perfect 'Sitz in Leben' poem - a sanctuary from the vicissitudes of Life especially for 'Unafilliated Christians'! We have made religion far too complicated and I really like the line 'Nothing could be simpler than the Grace of God'. A living Church should be 'A home away from home' and you do get this feeling in 'Tin Tabernacles' - I love 'On cold days someone lights the stove'. V 3 - a gathering of ordinary folk - no ritual - no 'Sunday Best' - presence of the Lord 'His Spirit gathers everyone' - awesome. V 4 - the natural noises of worhip and its outcome 'An old woman finds secret joy' - amazing! . 'Breathing Jesus' and then 'Drinking Tea' a wonderful fusion of the Spiritual with the Natural - that is real Christianity - meeting people where and how they are. V 7 is mega 'Old friend around a table - catching up with God - and all of us PLAIN - folk go home easy' This describes a reall living and effective 'Communion Table' and after such an experience we do leave our problems at the CROSS and 'Go home easy'. A wonderful description of a lost simplicity of Fellowship and Worship. I score it TEN - well done Jacqui. Love in poetry - JOHN (Report) Reply

  • nomad omnia (8/21/2009 9:44:00 PM)

    I think you have found the place that many of us seek. A living picture of a poem. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Hansford (7/9/2009 4:04:00 AM)

    The love of the place and its atmosphere comes out very clearly here. I particularly like the second 'verse' with its 3 longer lines of what happens on hot days, and the matter-of-fact 4th line on cold days. (Report) Reply

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