This Long November Day

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.

An Advent Song (For the First Sunday of Advent)

ADVENT STARRY NIGHT 5, Virginia Wieringa, Acrylic 2011

An Advent Song

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!”

Lyrics: Psalm 121 (sung in Arabic) I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where my help comes from My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going from now until the end of time

In the malpaís

malpaís (spanish: mahl-pah-ees; lit. “badland”): an arid, rough barren landscape of lava flows difficult to traverse; image: A Juniper bush grows out of the lava beds at the Carrizozo Malpais

In the malpaís – the badland –
burning – a bird flew down
And on my right hand sat

His eyes spoke love, so complete
His feathers gentle gleamed, so glorious
Where sun beat heavy in the malpaís

His kingly talons dug into my flesh
Scored pain, bled wounds, I cried
scorched by heat in the malpaís

Yet the good song he sang as I died
Was one that filled my heart with joy,
With peace ne’er felt in the malpaís

In the malpaís – waiting –
once hopeless, condemned –
With my last breaths, enlivened I rise

Bald Eagle at El Malpais, New Mexico

Lamentations 3:16-25
He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.”
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Romans 15:8-13
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,
and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”
And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Confession of a Bibliopole

*A bibliopole is a person who buys and sells books, especially rare ones.

This Dream recurs — I am the Bird —
Neither the Darkness — nor the Light —
Ranging over Estates of books
Endless — See one Book — now Ubiquitous — contains Life
Lights the Path —while others
Sound
Characterize
Reflect
Darken
Never overcome the Light


A recent post by a fellow blogger1 awakened me yet again to issues of abuse. Extremes of reaction and behavior caused by past abuse. Impossibly high standards it engenders. Unrealistic expectations. Childhood scars that reopen and bleed. Shedding these old habits of thought/behavior and clearing our lungs of them by achieving moderation does take time … but particularly time in the word of God. Diving deep and long, letting the Holy Spirit fill our lungs with His love so we can breathe more easily in our own skin. Theology is not a luxury but a necessity that God alone can provide through the special revelation that is His inerrant and infallible word. Through it we come to know that He is the Rock that is higher than all others, as the psalmist puts it, a fortress of peace, stability and safety. But more: He gives life, abundant life, His own, by uniting us with Himself, Emmanuel, God with us, the incarnate God, Christ Jesus. Finally, union with Christ is God’s divine life poured into us by His Spirit and we become a new creation, leaving the past behind, following a new path that leads to life eternal, and pressing on “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”2

Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 6:68
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2Phillipians 3:12,14
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. … I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


1Anna Waldherr writes at A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse: her most recent post is “Of Ogres and Onions”

Continue reading “Confession of a Bibliopole”

Under Dust

Found on a flyleaf: “Awarded to Fanny for an Essay on ‘What I saw during my trip to the orphanage’. Sept 19111

John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893), “November Moonlight”

The art book when I find it
is pristine with dust, a gray snowfall,
only the flurries fall upward in the sunlight

defying gravity, defying the orderly Milky Way
of my existence, its fixed planetary motions
with phantoms of metaverses like motes

in my eyes: Marcel² says, “leave it under the bed”:
but the plank is in his eye: this dust is
important as marble, a tombstone in the tundra

of which I am custodian, and I hate the gloved hand
that gave it and know the open hand that received it
and I would not disturb the fixed leaves

that shelter the child who murmurs “dada”
then “rosebud”
then dies.

Man Ray, Dust Breeding (Dust over work by Marcel Duchamp), ca. 1920

1Inscription (with edit) from The Book of Inscriptions Project

2French artist/writer Marcel Duchamp let dust collect in a spot under his bed (he called it “growing dust”), instructing his maid not to clean it.

Continue reading “Under Dust”

Last Testimony

Rainbow feather-bearers,
winged busy trilling wonders
rest on stout Sequoia shoulders

arcing out in providential shelter
with canopy of ancient splendor
slain when commerce cuts asunder

felled history’s immanence
felled unwritten covenants
felled ringed testaments

fell sight of heaven
fell curse east of Eden.

Fallen Giant Sequoia Redwood tree Loggers with felled Redwood circa 1905
A fallen giant Redwood tree with 14 loggers around a large Redwood tree
Humboldt County, Lumber industry, circa 1905
Photographer: Jesse A. Meiser (1870-1939) Monterey County Historical Society

For Sherry's "Tongues of Falling Trees" earthweal prompt
and De's dVerse Quadrille (44 words, "wing")

A Cynic’s Prayer

Image credit; Pavel Danilyuk@ Pexels

I don’t believe in you, don’t freak out,
god(s), or demi-gods, or goddess,
lol, you’re just words to me, like
psy
cho
lo
gy, (read it, it’s in a book)
of wanting things I can’t have,
help when I need it
a step up, a step down
a shout out, a call down,
but I’m too smart for you
I’ve
got
all
I
need
in
me, don’t fool yourself
that I’m praying when I’m posing
and rit-
ual-
izing,

Continue reading “A Cynic’s Prayer”

The Mountain, the Moon, and the Rider

(Dedicated to Stephen Crane)

The Mountain under the marble Moon
speaks to that blind assassin
whose cold shards impinge
upon a brave rider’s heart, and asks:

“Why dost thou not strike a flame
from off thy flinty eyes and lend a light
to this lost child that wends through thickets
of devils to reach the gardens of her gods?”

“Fool!” cries the Moon in pale fury, “the devils
are her gods and hence, my stony countenance
notwithstanding, I refrain from giving aid
to those who seek her bitter demise.”

The rider unaware of all but her own desire, puzzled
o’er the Moon’s cold stare and the Mountain heaving
‘neath her horse’s feet as if to urge her retreat,
yet rides on breathing, “Brotherhood for all!”

Now she hears a melody bewitching strong
as near a tomb o’erlaid with dew she spies a stranger
with a grinning mask of Pharaoh’s gold singing,
“Brotherhood for all,” and she hastily stops short.

Unease strikes her restless heart, she wipes her fevered brow
glad for once of the Moon’s restraining sight,
the Mountain’s sudden shadowed dips, and decries
the siren’s call that had led her thus on such false hope.

For that golden mask she knew had enslaved far more
than greed or fame, and hid a braggart’s deceiving face
to lead to doom all those who brotherhood seek yet flinch
to own the One who came as brother to die upon a cross.

The Moon shone brightly now she turned, still breathing,
“Brotherhood to all,” and a Mountain toad among sweet violets
croaked when dawn came glistening o’er the dew as the Sun,
once dark to see its Maker’s pain, now sang a song of life.


Continue reading “The Mountain, the Moon, and the Rider”

On the Radio: Jim Morrison

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

William Blake

In Café De Flore and Les Deux Magots
I met him, an actor on an oneiric screen,
a phantom disappearing into a Rimbaud
like an atavistic Lizard King.

Parades of strangers peered through windows
to see this prophet of apocalypse from thin air
construct intrusions of fireflies in the soul
to scatter the camera’s malodorous viewing.

Like an auto-da-fé hissing sparks, or a flambeau
through a swamp, short-lived, threatening night
demons that in Blakean chambers claim abode,
he rose Eden’s loss to sing.

” -Hypocrite lecteur, -mon semblable, – mon frere!” I cry, to see my sorrow
as evidence of becoming, infinite desire in true Desire finding, the Word.


Continue reading “On the Radio: Jim Morrison”

Note to a Vandal

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Genre: Poetry; Word count: 100

Note to a Vandal

Named demon by my father,
taught life’s grammar by brute force,
think you to disassemble me by calumny,
emblazoning my property green,
as if the seen shames more than the unseen?

Are you a vandal? Are you meretricious?
Would foster evil greater than mother’s blame,
beat harder than a rod of pain?
Have stakes driven through my heart?
It’s been done.

Yet long before fists of flesh, eyes of stone,
Love upon a Cross of wood claimed me;
I, hidden in Him, rose with Him,
live by faith, by grace, enjoy eternal life in Him.

Grace, mercy, peace, my friend.


Host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Friday Fictioneers provides us with this week’s photo prompt and reminds us that “November 9–10, 1938, Nazi leaders unleashed a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany and recently incorporated territories. This event became known as Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes. This was only the beginning of one of the most barbaric and vicious times in recent history. We say ‘never again.’ But.…” Rochelle shares a video link to Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, Dr. Edith Eger, who experienced survivor’s guilt, attaining peace towards the end of her life, and who says at one point in the short seven-minute talk: “When you share your secret, you are no longer in the concentration camp that is in your own mind.”

This Sunday, November 6, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, when you are invited to pray with those around the world for persecuted Christians, currently the most persecuted religious group in the world. The group Open Doors USA figures that 360 million Christians last year lived in countries where persecution was “significant.” Roughly 5,600 Christians were murdered, more than 6,000 were detained or imprisoned, and another 4,000-plus were kidnapped. In addition, more than 5,000 churches and other religious facilities were destroyed.

Continue reading “Note to a Vandal”

Entering the Poetry Portal

It’s about the size of a hand cupping a snow-
flake, the first of the season, this heart
beating back the fires around her

the frozen lake, the sweep of wind rising
to quell the fear, the voices drowning
then driving, jealously guarding

the ground snow pure in its pristine skyfall
a secret bower where the moon shone
and the woods sang to her and she knew

one day she would sing back to the Voice
that sang delight from the dark unknown
lovely to the child cupping a handful of snow


Continue reading “Entering the Poetry Portal”

The Ballad of the Bird and Judge Holden

image ©dorahak

The eve of Hallowe’en a bird was freed:
it wasn’t meant to be;
it had been tied to the end of a string
designed by devilry.
But up it flew o’er a bubbling brew
into the boughs of a tree.

“Where goes that bird?” Judge Holden cried
cursing all wizardry;
for its escape was not foreseen by those
of his company.
“It’s singing loud o’er field and town” said
a blackhearted mercenary.

“Then all our lies will be undone, and all
our schemes they’ll see!”
“Not all, Judge Holden,” a satyr croaked, “the bird
silenced will be,
when stirring this cauldron of discontent, to you
they’ll bow their knee.”

The bird had heard the words they said as it
flew o’erhead happily;
this people’s fate lay not in mortal hands but in
truth that would set them free.
So it louder sang, and it never feared Judge Holden
and his mercenaries.


Continue reading “The Ballad of the Bird and Judge Holden”

In Other Words (A Dark Ekphrastic)

So if you were to ask me what’s on my mind today as I write, I’d have to say Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy’s fifth novel. I’ve read two other of his novels, The Road and Child of God, and just this past Tuesday after a sixteen-year hiatus, his newest novel, The Passenger was released (to be read). He has a lot to say against the backdrop of the Bible, human history, Western literature, and it’s all about the human heart, the worst of it, the meager remnants of conscience in preserving “civilization,” the struggle against Evil. It’s no mystery why Blood Meridian has been compared to Melville’s Moby Dick. There’s no call to be smug about being just human. And the shame only comes when we ignore the divine, the image of God in each of us.

you say, everything’s not black and white,
drawing white shades over black night
in a ghost town where folks walk on tight-
ropes past the presidio’s edge, swallowing fright.

you say, there are safety nets, nobody gets hurt
not even ones on the highest wires lose their shirt
c’mon, a little dunk in a cesspool as you hit the dirt,
an umbrella in case of rain, keep your poise, insert

[sounds off screen, fade to …]

life: blood red.


Continue reading “In Other Words (A Dark Ekphrastic)”

Autumn Revelry

images © dorahak

So I took a trip down Jack O’Lantern Lane
Where skeletons and ghosts were raising Cain
The crows they cawed
The mockingbirds squawked
And the treetops flared like a fire engine.

So I ran back home to ink an angry complaint
Against shuffling monsters that make one faint
But I tripped over boxes
Left by masquerade foxes
And I cursed like the dickens cuz a saint I ain’t.

So then I opened my eyes, took in the wide blue skies
And I laughed at the beauty that around me lies
The anthem of the trees
As they sang in the breeze
And I thanked the Lord with my heartfelt sighs.

As if by magic my anger disappeared and the doorbell rang
And I rose from my chair with a clatter and a bang
See, I had my nutty nurse costume on
A green glowing needle and a wig of blonde
I was going trick or treatin’ with my neighborhood gang.


Continue reading “Autumn Revelry”

My Song

Genre: Poetry; Word Count: 100

poem and audio reading of “Why Am I?” ℗©2022 Dora A.K

Threads torn from a silk tapestry
a nightingale on branch of tree

Belong in other songs and rhymes
Of emperors with preternatural pastimes.

I pick my threads from a homespun quilt
Of gospel truth that frees from guilt.

It tells of One who died and rose
To save from sins and lies expose.

It warns that wealth hoarded in greed
Should be shared with those in need.

Here I sit under branch and sky
Little to my name, just this tune to ply.

At the end of my days, I’ve nothing to grieve:
it’s better to give than to receive.


Acts 20:35 NIV
[Paul said,] “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak,
remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Continue reading “My Song”

This Woman

Glow of Hope,” Sawlaram Haldankar (1946), watercolor

She slow walks the hope
that others tango away,
with that fermented sway
she blends like warm cashmere,
sari fragrant in folds full
to embrace high-strung husband
or the frightened chit at full-speed
running into a silken bungalow,
avatar of lighthouse flashing
“no amount of grave concern
not handled here,” and behold,
juggernauts vanish beneath her feet
of frangipani, ethereal gold.


Continue reading “This Woman”

Haunted Love

Christina Rossetti, drawing by David Levine

I’ll meet you in the goblin grove
My love, if you should ask
As if to test me with a task
My love for you to prove.

My fears and frights I will forget
In truth, that you may not be grieved;
I’ll hold aloft no blame, nor false regret,
In truth my love you’ve ne’er believed.

Should I die to prove love true,
My spirit uncowed by ghosts that roost
O’er lazy bones in goblin’s brew,
My spirit on All Souls morn be loosed

To haunt you through and through!


Written in honor of Christina Rossetti, a Christian poet who is well known for her work as a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848. Every year when Halloween comes round her long poem, The Goblin Market, makes the rounds around the world to spook children and adults both! Shay’s Word Garden List engages us to pick three words or more from words she’s chosen from Rossetti’s poetry and Sammi’s 13 Days of Samhain for Day 2 prompts us to use the phrase “Lazy Bones.”