Archive for the ‘Poetry’ category

The One Who Dared

April 4, 2011

You chose Your shape in leaving the Father’s side

forsaking all to save us from our pride

conceiving Your earthly form in Mary’s womb

transforming it, when You walked out of the tomb.

 

Teething, cold, and hunger you preferred

to golden streets and thrones and You endured

Our humble fare, coarse bread and fish You ate

And even more You shared our deadly fate.

 

You came and walked the gritty, earthy dust

To show us all the Father we can trust

to know His love, and know the One who cares

And find our Father through the One who dared.

 

To take our form and share our low estate

and move about using our shambling gait

While speaking words with lips and Spirit’s flame

You set about to raise us from our shame.

 

The children knew, they saw it in Your eyes

The Father’s joy embracing, ’twas a surprise!

You sought us first to put us on the list

We’ll see God, as we find You in our midst.

 

In humbleness I seek You

and by your grace I meet You

There is no rite for meeting God to man

To join us in our hearts is what You planned.

 

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My Soul Reaches For You, Lord

February 25, 2011

 

My soul reaches for You Oh Lord,

For I must respond to Your call.

I am tall in Your sight as you guide me,

I can do the things You require as you lead me.

I have no gift to give You Lord, save what you have given me.

There are weeks when I cannot lift my eyes because of the tears my sadness expresses.

Yet You lift my head oh Lord.

You lift my head and You set me on the high ground, far above the flood.

When I have cried my last tear and walked my last step

When every man has turned away from me

You are the one who will take me up and cherish me.

I am alive in your embrace and at peace under Your gaze

Do not let my heart fail before I have sung your praise with my life.

The Religious Boor

January 3, 2011

I bring the message, missive from on high

to enlighten all, so with my ideas I

on cantilever’d wings attempt to soar

And in this way reveal myself, a boor.

 

I burst forth in haste and ranting I do come

To prattle at you ’til your ears are numb

to hold forth on the subject of “the God”

Of which, I know as little as a cod.

 

For scholar’s books have been my native land

and soaring I cannot beyond the hand

of the ancient sage who records his best regrets

which I turn ’round and spew out in sudden fits

that do not help, but hinder even the wise

as if I had entrapped them in a vise.

 

Of union with the Spirit I speak not

and of trusting God I will not write a jot

But in my imagined genius do I play

and those who oppose me, well, they’ll rue the day!

 

The gentle grace of God did shine His light

illuminated my shortcomings, and my plight

of my arrows flying wild, which missed the mark

And in my shame I hid me in the dark

 

‘Tis His sweet self who rescued me, you see

and pulled me in His boat out of the sea

for half of it I swallowed as I drowned

He’ll heal me ’cause for this He is renowned.

 

My wish for fame like a rocket did ascend

but exploded in vain infamy in the end

but tho’ I did attempt to steal His crown

His hand reached out to me to sit me down

beside Him on His throne, Oh happy day!

I wandered lost, but He has shown the way.

I Don’t Have To Shoot You

October 1, 2010

I am a person like you are, I have my quirks and shortcomings, I eat too much of the foods I like, and I will talk too much about myself if you will let me. I am a person who lost his way in a labyrinth of self pity for a time, drunkenly sobbing about my missed opportunities. I am a person who woke up to the reality that no one in this world wanted to help me, spoiled brat that I am. I am hungry at times, I thirst at times, I need sleep and don’t always get enough. In short I am a person who is a lot like you in many ways, and I don’t have to shoot you.

I am also a person who had to deal with rage issues, for a while I wanted so badly to hurt the people who hurt me. I realized that hurting them was not a good solution, in fact it was not a solution at all. Then I climbed out of the deep hole which I had dug for myself, into the bright sunlight of Jesus’ presence. My experience has taught me that if you are headed the wrong way Spiritually I probably won’t be able to talk you out of it. I am not offended by your misdirection and it would be misguided of me to interfere with your (mis)adventure. Some time ago it used to be considered OK to kill someone for not being orthodox in the faith, but I don’t have to do that to you. I remember enough about my journey to understand that you are probably hurting yourself worse than anything I could do to you. I know that one day you will come to a cliff and you will have to decide whether to jump off or not.

I don’t have to shoot you, but you may be in danger of doing it to yourself someday.

If you decide not to jump off that cliff, and you want to talk, give me a call, drop me an e-mail, knock on my door, stop me on the street. I have been in a similar hole, I have stood on a similar cliff. and I backed away from the brink. When I turned away from death I discovered that life had been waiting for me all the time. When you are ready, we’ll talk about it.

The glory that was Egypt is now dust

March 8, 2010

Lord, I come to You with a heart full of thanksgiving, I have seen the swamps and mires men live in, they smooth out a place in the mud, shape it and pack it down to their liking, and they say that this is what You gave them, what You intended for them.
Now, I know that this is the exact opposite of what You intended for us. The swamp is the place we get to leave as we come to live in You. As You told us many times in the Old Testament. The glory of man fades quickly and is as dust under Your feet.
The recent digs in Egypt have underscored this. The recently discovered massive, impressive statue of Amenhotep III made of pink granite, a substance which is indestructible in our eyes, lies in fragments, the largest of which, the head, lies mute, and impotent on it’s side, the beard of the pharaohs ( a symbol of the god-king’s power) broken off.

http://www.france24.com/en/20100228-statue-head-king-tuts-grandfather-found-luxor
On the same site there are a couple of other massive statues which have been reconstructed, they are lumpy ghosts of what they once were. The massive pink granite statue lies in pieces, a puzzle for the conservators to solve, but it is a signpost for us, the Greatest King of Egypt in all of his glory could not build a permanent honor to himself. Instead it lies broken and no longer expresses the magnificence of his reign. How well Shelley put it nearly 200 years ago (Ozymandias, see below). Yet in all this time with the Old Testament, and Shelley for counsel we have not taken this lesson to heart. We constantly strive to build ourselves up, yet if we trust in our riches and in our strength, we will always gather dust as our reward.
Life lies in the riches of Your Spirit, a life lived in love, beloved by You and sharing whatever You bring us. A life illuminated by Your presence.

OZYMANDIAS.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

1792-1822

[Published by Hunt in “The Examiner”, January, 1818. Reprinted with
“Rosalind and Helen”, 1819. There is a copy amongst the Shelley
manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. See Mr. C.D. Locock’s
“Examination”, etc., 1903, page 46.]

My earnest thanks to Project Gutenberg for making this classic work available. Shelley’s works are in the Public Domain, they are listed here.
http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/s
You have to hunt for them, His work is next to his wife’s writings (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley).

Wildfire

October 24, 2009

I had a peculiar feeling the other day, so I sat down to write what the Lord was saying to me. He said this is how it is, how it’s going to be.

It’s like the day you look up and there is smoke on the horizon and, dang, now there’s fire, man is it moving fast, and you see that no-one is escaping the fire -woomp- there goes another neighbor and you look at your neighbor’s place being consumed and you say “Nooo”, but there they go, they are gone already. And the fire races on, it is heading for your place now, but it does a funny thing even though the wind is blowing like crazy, even though the flames are jumping from ten feet high to forty during the gusts. the fire is splitting and it’s going around your place, you were looking for your big shovel and testing the water hose, but now you just stand there and watch in puzzled fascination as the conflagration roars on by.

Then it hits you that none of your neighbors got away in time. and you run across the field over to Archie’s place and you look for the family, but they didn’t make it. and you fall on your knees and hot tears make rivulets on your ash stained cheeks. And it’s tough being alive when the neighbors didn’t even see it coming. They didn’t see it coming, but somehow you did. And you’re standing there alone for a while, surrounded by charred shapes, stunned, when you hear a little cry, you realize it’s a child and you run toward the sound and sure enough Becky, the three year old, is hanging onto the inside rim of the open cistern. She is terrified, you reach in and you coo and make soothing sounds and you hold back the tears. You know that putting the child in the tank was probably the last thing her mother did. So you pick her up and you hold the child close and you tell her it’s OK, and you walk home slowly. You hold the child closer and wrap your jean jacket around her, she is so cold from being wet and you don’t mind that she is getting you wet. She is so exhausted that she falls asleep in your arms still crying a little.

You are crushed by the devastation, your friends couldn’t be saved, it was just too quick, too thorough, yet there is joy in the saving of one life. Little whirlwinds of black ash swirl ahead of you as you carry your precious cargo home.

It’s Like-uh-The Prodigal, man

October 5, 2009

For those who read this if you care,
in today’s essay I will not share
holy words for holy ways
I’ll tell you instead of my prodigal days.
the depths I’d sunk to I will plumb
my struggles with the demon rum
and dried green herbs in paper spun

How like the prodigal I did boast
And bacchanal parties I would host
To raise a glass, an end to sorrow
and live as if there were no tomorrow
the sunset is a pretty thing
when tinged with cannabis to dream,

but wasted days and awful mornings
sneak up on you without a warning
and drop you on the city’s curbs
to see things for which there are no verbs
When to the bottom I had settled
and failed the test
of my supposed mettle.

The great Good Shepherd had a look
and pity on my cries He took
He lifted me out of the muck
and gave me a job driving a truck
The 23rd Psalm in my mind He played
and He has stayed with me to this very day.

That’s not to say I have not wandered
and so much of my time I’ve squandered
He brought me back, in His gentle way
and corrected, held me in His sway.
For He allowed my Oktoberfest
and with vain illusions laid to rest
I seek Him now ‘most every day
He gives me His peace, to follow the “way”.