Hanno van der Bijl

Category: Poetry



After you have apologized,

Come clean, opened up,

There is a peace that comes

When you stop deceiving yourself.


The Next Step


You won’t know what the next step will be

Only, that you must take it

Breathe, for Boston


Breathe, don’t sigh
Breathe, sit still
Breathe, it’s time
Release your will

Breathe out shame
Breathe in grace
Look within
Seek my face

Breathe out pride
Breathe in freedom
There’s no need
To hide again

Breathe out darkness
Breathe in light
Fill yourself
With all my might

Breathe out doubt
Breathe in faith
Take my hand
You’ll be safe

Breathe out despair
Breathe in hope
Hold on fast
To the rope

Breathe out hate
Breathe in love
Guard your heart
From above

Breathe for life
Breathe again
Breathe and smile
Breathe, Amen.



Deep down inside the desire sleeps
Above, it is always the same.
Despite the highs
Despite the lows
I never quite get there – delight,
Pure, unadulterated delight.

Deep down inside the desire sleeps
It makes itself known in all the wrong ways.
I am not a child of God –
I am a teenager of God
It’s awkward
I’m awkward
He’s always so disappointed
I’m always so disappointed.

Deep down inside the desire sleeps
Please wake up
I promise
I won’t get in your way anymore.

What Tomorrow Will Bring


This world is pregnant with the next
Bulging out for all to see
Everyone looks in expectation
When will it come?
We watch, we wait, we work
Pain comes and goes
It rises and falls
It grows tense then eases its grip
Each time it feels like the world will end
And, yes, part of it does end
Faith pushes from behind
Hope pulls forward
Love stands fast
In the here and now
Transforming this world into the next

The Sabbath Rest

photo (2)

The lights have gone out
Darkness covers the land
The crowd has thinned and
The streets are empty

It’s time to rest
And time to stop
Time to observe
the Sabbath Rest

The Lord of the Sabbath
Sleeps to give us rest
Rest from our enemies
Rest from ourselves

This is the Sabbath
To end all Sabbaths
To usher in the Great Sabbath
The Shalom of God

This is the calm before the storm
The pregnant pause before the speech
The silence that fills the universe

In Vain

in vain

It’s frightening, isn’t it?
You’ve been taking my name in vain,
for years now.
You’re angry, I know.

You’re scared, abused, deceived;
you feel ashamed.

I’m not going to destroy you;
though, that is what you deserve.
I challenge you to know me,
to find out who I really am,
who you really are.

Take courage because
one day you will enter into joy.
Your life has been given to you;
Don’t take it in vain.

Eternity Tense

eternity tense

We live in the past,
Our life is found there –
Before the foundation of the world
“You can’t change the past” –
I beg to differ
The past can be bought back
the past can be transformed
the past can be washed
In the Blood

We live in the future,
Our city awaits –
At the end of this age
“You can’t tell what tomorrow will bring” –
I beg to differ
The future invades the present
the future draws us inexorably to itself
the future was, and is, and always will be
In His hands

We live in the present,
He is here –
The Power from on high
“We live in the tension of the already and the not yet” –
I agree
The present is grounded in the past
the present looks more and more like the future
the present is where faith and hope come together to fall
In Love

Blacksheep of the Family

You broke the unspoken rule of the family –

Written on our faces:

the downcast eyes

the silent cries

When the walls came down

There was no one left to blame but You.

You rocked the boat

It felt like life was better back in Egypt,

Why did You bring us into this wilderness to die?

So I gave you the silent treatment

Angry and confused

I did not fast, I raised a fist against You

I did not pray anything to You but profanities

I wanted to quit You forever

You spoke the truth

But it hurt.

Blissful ignorance was better than painful honesty

And though I try I can’t deny

There’s no going back now

You have the answer

You blew the whistle for good reason

You are the most loving member of the family

You are the Hero we’ve been waiting for

Thank You

The Oasis

A silver line simmers ahead on the horizon

We stumble forward in a dry and dusty land

Thirsty, so thirsty;

When will we reach the oasis?

The silver line stretches out in the distance

It seems further away than ever before

Shouldn’t we be there by now?

The silver line begins to disappear as night falls

We fall…and as all hope seems ripped from us

A voice says, “The oasis, is behind you.”