Here is Heaven

Here is Heaven made amongst us
When in peace we dwell side by side.
From the blinding glare of blank canvas
Life, in colours of communal pride.
Home to many sons and daughters,
Myriad more have journeyed through,
Floating on the peaceful waters,
Centuries old, yet still brand new.

Here is Heaven in sunrise glory
Over flower, field and lake.
Here a beacon sings its story
And the thirst for knowledge slaked.
Here our champions train for battle,
First was born his mysterious ways.
Here first heard in lowly chapel
Story of Amazing Grace.

Here the splendour of Midsummer,
Here protection when days were dark.
Here have monarchs made their slumber,
Humbler citizens found their ark.
Here are singers and musicians
Finding worship in their art.
Here are progress and tradition,
Both find room in faithful hearts.

Here are people of many nations,
Diverse cultures in unity.
Each follows their heart’s vocation
And builds a true community.
Here we raise our joyful voices,
Heart and Music the other owns.
Soul and Spirit both rejoices;
Here is Heaven and heav’n is home.

© Mark Niel 2016

‘Here is Heaven’ was written to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Milton Keynes, and is dedicated to the people of Milton Keynes. It was read by Mark Niel, who is the Milton Keynes Poet Laureate, at the commemorative service at Cornerstone on Thursday, 12 January 2017. Mark Niel read it again as part of ‘The World Tonight’ programme, broadcast nationwide on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, 23 January 2017.