Performance & Poetry

# Poems, Piety & Psyche

“David’s take on Christianity is refreshing and vital. Forget the myths, the lies, the hell and damnation and find the truth. It’s simpler than you think, and David’s poems will point you in the right direction.” 

Sarah Parish

’Nativity’  read by Sarah Parish

Forty year’s experience of the up’s and down’s of rural parish ministry, combined with exposure to the challenges of his clinical practice has given David an extraordinary consciousness of the needs of suffering humanity.


“Poems, Piety & Psyche” is the title of David Keighley’s poetry anthology published in the USA in October 2020. It is also the name of his one-man show, based on his life as poet, rebellious priest and psychotherapist. The evening is a mix of progressive Christian poems exploring the state of the church and contemporary theology, anecdotes about 40 years of being a rural parson and insights into the human condition from the viewpoint of a counselling psychotherapist.

The show “Poems, Piety & Psyche” presents a fusion of the changes in church life and church people he has experienced over the years, the paradoxes inherent in theology, faith and belief, the abandonment of faith by today’s generation, the impact of modern neurology on the working of the mind, linked through the medium of his progressive, challenging Christian poetry.

With humour, wit and a compassionate touch David takes his audience on a journey, asking (but maybe not answering) most of the big questions of life on the way. Having travelled the world and experienced both the glories as well as the toxicity of his once beloved C of E, David’s chronicles are both thought provoking and profound.

His poem 'Nativity' tells the story of Christ's birth with all the familiar accompanying characters. In each verse of this poem there is presented an element of disbelief which demythologises the literal interpetation of the story, culminating in the real message behind the words. It can be heard here read by the actess, Sarah Parish.


“Words and phrases from David Keighley’s, like all good poetry, linger in the  mind and encourage us to flex our imaginations and ponder on their significance for each of us.  They challenge our religious assumptions. This is an important and challenging book that will become a valued prompt to explore and express our fragile faith.”

Peter Francis, Warden, Librarian and Director, Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden. Visiting Professor Glyndwr University, Wrexham. // //