I walked this life – lonely – Aware of shame – only – Chiding Your apathy – to me – I saw myself – painfully – alone.
In Your light I see – suddenly – Always You are – with me – Walking me home – lonely – Never having left me – painfully – alone.
Psalm 35:4-9 (NIV): Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
When I walk down the street with you it seems an avenue for the parvenu who glitter and mime like bees round a cru flush with cash, flush with dash, flush with boppity-boo.
I lean in, you lean out, you lean in, I lean out, a flamenco we do, even a samba no doubt while the white picket fences they shimmer and shout “Oh look who! Oh look who!” like old aunties with gout.
And I’m so gorgeous and you’re larger than life and if you’re honest, you’ll make me your wife; but this world is so public and with catastrophes rife its cerulean sky could change into a razor-sharp knife.
Would you stay with me, forever and a day when the zinnias of summer turn a wintry gray? When we walk beneath cottonwoods, will you turn and say, “I’m glad you and I chose to go another way”?
Continue reading “A Walk With You”→
When, in a word, I write my Contentment as a city Founded by His Spirit Whose boast is the cross
Whose streets are the Lord’s Whose enterprises are the Lord’s Whose possessions are the Lord’s Whose provisions are the Lord’s
A city in which all is quieted in the Lord All concerns are submitted to the Lord All desires are centered in the Lord All hopes are in the faithfulness of the Lord All joy is found in the love of the Lord All trust abounds in the goodness of the Lord
Then my soul glories in God my Savior alone As enemies rail futilely against its walls Fail to supplant the reign of the Lord Every extremity under His sovereign control Every lack a gain in grace upon grace Every worry cast aside for the security of His promises Every treasure in heaven stored from moth and rust and thieves
Then I am free to be satisfied in the Lord Free to be satisfied with myself Free to be part of the mystery That is, Christ in me, the hope of glory.
It’s just this way, she agonized, and I won’t end where I’ve begun. It’s the dream I’m waking up to.
I wonder, he antagonized, what if today becomes your cannibal past tomorrow, feeding on today’s life, keeping itself alive, demanding its pound of flesh?
She knew his aim. It was to lead her in circles, to origins, not beginnings.
But each cross-road meant progress, a royal one, or common as a pilgrim on a well-worn track, peculiar as a dream
singular as a vision, a glaring blaze of glory, immense as a grain of sand sparkling in the New Jerusalem.
A three-prompt medley is the tune I'm playing off with Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers photo prompt & 100-word challenge, dVerse's Poetics: Visionary Poetry, and GirlieOnEdge Six Sentence Story ("lead"). Join us!
A little fun combining three prompts: from dverse where I chose to use all the podcast titlesto compose a poem (Articles of Interest: American Ivy, I Was Never There, Legacy of Speed, Not Lost, Pivot, Reveal: After Ayotzinapa, Rumble Strip, Serial, This American Life, Ghost in the Burbs); Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (100 words or less using the photo prompt below); and GirlieonEdge’s Six Sentence Story (prompt word: VISA). Does the story poem succeed? Well, you be the judge!
The Sphinx and American Ivy
It isn’t fair, it isn’t fair, it isn’t fair: just some articles of interest, American Ivy shouts.
The Sphinx runs behind Reveal (after Ayotzinapa, he was never the same), columnar legs standing astride this American life with a VISA card.
Playing the ghost in the burbs? American Ivy taunts, the riddle and its answer are one!
I wasn’t there, Sphinx replies (she’s a serial liar).
American Ivy laughs: Life isn’t fair, but here’s the rumble strip to your legacy of speed:
neither’s love, the riddle YOU can’t solve. Sphinx pivots: All’s not lost? and
“It was a stark surprise of loss,” she wrote, and then she stopped, her hand stilled on the backlit keys her eyes glued to the screen
where suddenly the lines misted, metamorphosed in rain, the world becoming watery, a deluge full of pain.
She wiped her cheeks, she rose, she paced, she spun about the room, though memories of a dream-like shore outran her pleas for peace.
Into her words she’d poured her heart, into the poems she wrote but from them she no longer found the comfort that she sought.
None came but one, a fiery flare that lit the distant sky as if it came in search of her, a foundling lost to claim.
“What joy is this, what Guest on high has chosen this black night, to show His love, to set alight my dark and stormy heart?”
She cried, and in her joy she found a new theme to set down by psalm-borne winds she softly sang of things divine, unseen.
Old and New Year Ditties by Christina Rossetti(1830-1894)
New Year met me somewhat sad: Old Year leaves me tired, Stripped of favourite things I had, Baulked of much desired: Yet farther on my road today God willing, farther on my way.
New Year coming on apace What have you to give me? Bring you scathe, or bring you grace, Face me with an honest face; You shall not deceive me: Be it good or ill, be it what you will, It needs shall help me on my road, My rugged way to heaven, please God.
Watch with me, men, women, and children dear, You whom I love, for whom I hope and fear, Watch with me this last vigil of the year. Some hug their business, some their pleasure scheme; Some seize the vacant hour to sleep or dream; Heart locked in heart some kneel and watch apart.
Watch with me, blessed spirits, who delight All thro’ the holy night to walk in white, Or take your ease after the long-drawn fight. I know not if they watch with me: I know They count this eve of resurrection slow, And cry, “How long?” with urgent utterance strong.
Watch with me, Jesus, in my loneliness: Tho’ others say me nay, yet say Thou yes; Tho’ others pass me by, stop Thou to bless. Yea, Thou dost stop with me this vigil night; Tonight of pain, tomorrow of delight: I, Love, am Thine; Thou, Lord my God, art mine.
Passing away, saith the World, passing away: Chances, beauty and youth sapped day by day: Thy life never continueth in one stay. Is the eye waxen dim, is the dark hair changing to grey That hath won neither laurel nor bay? I shall clothe myself in Spring and bud in May: Thou, root-stricken, shalt not rebuild thy decay On my bosom for aye. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my Soul, passing away: With its burden of fear and hope, of labour and play; Hearken what the past doth witness and say: Rust in thy gold, a moth is in thine array, A canker is in thy bud, thy leaf must decay. At midnight, at cockcrow, at morning, one certain day Lo the bridegroom shall come and shall not delay: Watch thou and pray. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my God, passing away: Winter passeth after the long delay: New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray, Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven’s May. Tho’ I tarry, wait for Me, trust Me, watch and pray. Arise, come away, night is past and lo it is day, My love, My sister, My spouse, thou shalt hear Me say. Then I answered: Yea.
This poem was originally published in Goblin Market and Other Poems (Macmillan, 1862) and appears in The Complete Poems by Christina Rossetti (Penguin, 2001). It is in the public domain.
I wrote the top poem in honor of Christina Rossetti whose poetry stirs readers and poets alike with their psalm-like appeal, as “Old and New Year Ditties,” on the cusp of a new year. Join us at Denise’sSix Sentence Story (using prompt word “surprise”). To my blog visitors, have a Happy New Year, one full of love and peace.
O LORD, sheer joy with you, Israel, in exile Homeward bound From among a people of strange tongue Gone forth in sheer joy
Shouting Hallelujah! Out of Egypt have I gone forth with you, True and Faithful by name In sheer Joy!
How heavy the moment Is with eternity, Lord Jesus, Yet each flows after the other Like water escaping The hand that captures The eyes that see The thoughts that would knot Them into a jeweled chain To be adorned not as memory But as presence
Cradled birth, my life in your hands: Tenderly kept as shepherd with lamb Hurrying at angelic proclamations of peace Heavens ringing hallelujahs Your delight brooding over the waters Breaking over this new life, moments Spirit-born
When come the magi bearing each — On a camel fresh out of the box Of ornaments and sweet scents Frankincense and myrrh unpacked — Mystery like knots unraveling sheer
Joy, O Lord! You give each new Moment flowing rapidly bringing you Nearer, sheer joy as I await the Long-awaited coming in sheer joy!
of reindeer snow of red-nosed glow from snowball throw
aimed happy crazy on mouth soft and saucy and your eyes that melt me
gleam a Southern summertime of delicious crime as time spins on a dime.
A recipe for Peanut Butter Snowballs (pictured above) is here.Of course the earliest reference to peanut butter can be traced back to the Aztecs who would not have been acquainted with snow. Written for dVerse’s Quadrille (44 words, “candy”).
She’ll be singing, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” But I won’t hear it Her voice so dulcet Her face pink, all aglow.
To God she’ll give the glory As her heart attuned soaring Sings out its praise Sad hearts to raise To Him our Savior and our joy.
Somehow I’ll know, my spirit sense The words when she is singing Rejoicing knowing In Christ she’s growing And that makes all the difference.
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith– to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-27 [NIV]
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (15th c. German, trans. Theodore Baker)
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming From tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse’s lineage coming As men of old have sung. It came, a flower bright, Amid the cold of winter When half-gone was the night.
Isaiah ’twas foretold it, The Rose I have in mind: With Mary we behold it, The virgin mother kind. To show God’s love aright She bore to men a Savior When half-gone was the night.
This Flower, whose fragrance tender With sweetness fills the air, Dispels with glorious splendor The darkness everywhere. True man, yet very God, From sin and death He saves us And lightens every load.
The nurses flocked, they flocked to me like jackdaws thirsting And me without a jaw left behind in the mouth of a Kamchatka brown bear Airlifted and onto trolleys, recomposing surgeries discomposed, composing (Is my jaw now compost? Half my face for gruel) their reinvention with chalk lines drawn And I with hymns and old prayers, half-remembered in dragon’s mist, tamping Down hysteria, breathing, breathing, wondering at my new name, Even-given, transfigured By suffering into medka, call me medka, half- human, half-bear, Conflated by misunderstanding, or was it evil, this force of Nature’s kiss Which bit off more than it could chew at one sitting, to make of an anthropologist A believer in transfiguration, to wish for the Other when left to the mercy of human hands.
N.B. This poem is solely my personal interpretation based on what I’ve read in reviews of a recent book by Nastassja Martin, an anthropologist studying the indigenous Even people of Siberia, in which she recounts her experiences after a Kamchatka bear “went off with a chunk of my jaw clenched in his own.”
This long November day unravels, filaments of self unthreaded spin in disarray seek a coalescing glance from Thee, my soul’s desire.
This long November night defeats, malingers yesterdays that moon in shallow doorways guilt-shadowed, hammering refrains that only Thy voice can silence.
Hasten to send Thou, Oh Lord, Thy Word, Thy Light by day, by night, my sight unblind, my thought overspread, unroll yard by yard Thy seeded spring in frozen heart by Thy Spirit’s warmth.
And then shall November night become as day, November day as night unfurled in Thy blanketing love, and like a traveler who spies a bridge o’er torrents harsh, I’ll race to cross encircling time, and so abide in Thee.
Clothed in the armor of Your light We walk by faith throughout the night As darkness fades, so all earthly fear With the long-awaited dawn, when You appear.
All the prophets spoke was true All that they prophesied of You We knew it then, we know it now That every knee before You one day will bow.
In the fullness of time You came As babe in manger, Jesus by name Now ascended King, when You departed You left us not alone, but the Holy Spirit imparted.
Yet out of our sight You reign on high Until that day when You again come nigh The dawn of that day we will shout and cheer Not an eye will be dry when You, O Lord, draw near!
Now, Father, keep us faithful and strong Singing ever onwards the Gospel song Knowing it is the power of God to save By believing in His Son whom to us You gave.
Romans 1:16 (NIV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Galatians 4:4-6 (NASB) But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”