My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O lord of Hosts,
my king and my God.
Psalm 84, 3-4
Bless You, Little Things
I bless you, all you little things—
you gifts, ignored by humankind.
You, honey bees and tiny blooms,
Eight-legged spider in my room,
your lacy web and stealthy style,
you may stay here just a while.
I bless you, bird’s nest in our tree,
just cached beneath a bunch of leaves,
and wee blue eggs that nestle there,
concealed from Jays, yes, take care.
I bless the sun’s first ray of light
and slivered silver moon at night.
You, chipmunk, scurry ‘cross the grass
and disappear. You are so fast.
And bless the seed beneath the soil,
nature’s largesse to bring us joy.
I praise the Maker of all things.
May we find you in all life brings.
Today’s prompt at dVerse Poetics, offered by Paul Scribbles, is to write a blessing, something our poor world needs now and always. Please consider writing one and linking it to our poetry community. A little something positive goes a long way.
At a distance,
a mockingbird sings delight for the summer-like day.
In the overgrown lime tree just outside my window
a sparrow nags—
a staccato, monotone note.
Which is more pleasing
to its creator?
Day 11–National Poetry Month
On the day after the day of rest that God took after completing the work of creation, God gathered a few of his angel friends.
“It’s all so beautiful, isn’t it?” God said, “but I can’t help worrying just a bit. I have to wonder if it was a big mistake.”
Most of the angels were encouraging, but Lucifer, the light-bearer piped up. “I told you so, God,” the luminous angel said, tossing his wings wide-open for effect. “Look at them together under that tree—the one you told them to stay away from. Once you tell someone not to do something, that’s all they can think of.”
“Lucifer, I’m sick of your pessimism. Don’t forget I gave them free will, but also a conscience, and pretty clear instructions. They’ve got what they need to handle temptation. Don’t you believe that?”
“Frankly, God, no. I don’t. Take note—this little experiment of yours in that lab you call Earth wasn’t one of your better thought-out ideas. I don’t think it would take much encouragement to make them go for that juicy-looking fruit. Can I prove it to you?”
God leaned back against a fluffy cloud and sighed. He was concerned about Lucifer, whose light seemed to dim a bit ever since God announced his expansion plan—the plan to clean up and organize the cosmic chaos left behind by the Big Bang. God was afraid of the angel’s intent, detecting a hint of pride that seemed to be seeping into his star-angel’s personality of late. He reached down, plucked a grain of grass from Earth and tasted. The pleasure God found in the sweetness of the grass gave him second thoughts. He considered Lucifer’s challenge. He knew the man and his wife could mess us, but how would he know how this venture would turn out if they weren’t given a chance to prove their loyalty to God?
“Okay, Lucifer. You may go ahead with your request, but you can only have access to the woman. She is clearly the stronger of the two when it comes to resolve.” God turned to the others. “In the meantime,” he said, “we must do what we can to support her from here.”
Well, we all know how that turned out for us humans, but in the heavenly realm, when Lucifer returned to the Kingdom, his pride has exploded so as to completely put out his light. He was unbearable to be around. God thus banished him to the netherworld.
As for the rest of the troops, God called another council and they came up with the plan to send out armies of angels, one for each human, to help nudge them toward making wise decisions.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Written for Sunday Whirl, where we gather to create poetry or flash fiction out of a Wordle–a list of random words, underlined in the above flash fiction. Since I’ve been writing so much poetry of late, I’m grateful for a chance to work in short fiction.
In the almost-beginning, that is,
the second week of creation,
God created some letters.
He tossed them up, shuffled them,
and, voilà, they formed words.
God was delighted.
This is a great idea, God said.
Verbs and nouns work well.
He found that it was very, very good.
The second day
of the second week of creation
God decided he wanted to describe the beauty
that he had set in motion the previous week.
God came up with adjectives, adverbs,
metaphors, and all sorts of tropes.
He set about naming colors and shapes,
tones, scents, textures and everything
else that human senses could take in.
He got so excited that before he knew it
the third and fourth day had passed
and God hadn’t even had a nap.
Early on the morning of the fifth day,
God played with rhyme and meter.
The sounds of words flowed
throughout His Universe.
Once again, God was thrilled.
This verse is something truly enchanting, God said.
I wish I’d thought of it before.
That evening he thought he’d better check
in on the Garden.
There he found Adam and Eve,
curled up beneath the Tree of Life.
They had their hands cupped over their ears.
On their faces, knitted brows and pursed lips
spoke of their confusion.
God hadn’t planned on allowing suffering.
He realized the poor creatures couldn’t grasp the sounds,
so he told them, Relax, I’ll be back tomorrow.
True to his Word, the next morning,
just as the sun was peeking over the horizon
and the songbirds were tuning up for morning praise
God dropped in on the couple.
Holding his hand, was a young child
with silky black curls and a peaceful demeanor.
She wore a gauzy white robe
and carried a sheaf of papyrus.
Her aura was quite visible to Adam and Eve,
showcasing, one after another,
the colors of the rainbow.
Look here, God said. Look who I have for you.
And so it was that on the sixth day
of the second week of creation God created a Poet.
She’s here to help you make sense of it all, God said.
On the second Sabbath, that is,
the seventh day of the second week of creation,
God felt exhausted and Adam and Eve could hardly keep their eyes open.
So it happened that the three of them—
God, Adam and Eve, all rested together against the trunk of the Tree
while the Child-Poet-Muse read aloud.
I’m linking this whimsical story-poem, first draft, to dVerse Poets’ Pub Open Link Night. I have no intention of trivializing Sacred Scripture, but rather wish to elevate words, poetry and poets as a gift of the Creator.
You are all invited and encouraged to participate in this wonderful poetry community. Stop by and enjoy reading, and add a poem of your own! The link will be open Tuesday 3 PM EST.
The First Time
The first time that I witnessed birth,
saw the crowning of the head,
that shock of thick black hair,
heard the melded cries of mother
and her son, the pain and ecstasy
in resounding dissonance,
the joy and fear and victory
of shattered boundaries—
that first time I beheld the
mystery of newborn life
I shuddered in the face of Awe.
The first time that I prayed in silence
without words or thoughts and stood
like Moses by the burning bush
that would not be destroyed and
offered (to the One who is and was
and will be) all that I have been and
am and shall become without limit
that first time I embraced
the mystery of the divine
I shuddered in the face of God.
The first time that I tasted love,
sought urgently to touch and hold,
looked into eyes that knew
my secret sacred spaces,
longed to please before receiving
pleasure, lost track of time, luxuriated
in the scent of passion,
that first time I received the mystery
of you, of all we could become,
I shuddered in the face of Bliss.
The first time I attended death
and held an old man’s icy hand and
looked into his eyes that saw beyond
me, wiped a brow expressing
nuances of sorrow and of joy,
the scope of everything we can imagine,
that first time I received a dying breath
and closed those eyes
I shuddered in the face of the Unknown.
The last time that I said hello, goodbye
I shuddered in the face of Wonder.
Come one, come all. The Pub is open for poetry and cheer at dVerse Open Link Night. Come by, bring a poem, warm up with some hot brandy and good friendship and share your work.
several ways of looking at domination
i saw two wrens
attack a jay
the urge to protect
but in winter
green gives way
the one who rules
is really subject
we call it
it is a fearsome
polis who rdetermine our fate
red, not black
if it is true
that we create god
in our own image
who’s in charge?
*The form of this poem is inspired by poet Wallace Stevens. This stanza is a response to his poem, The Domination of Black.
Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck: http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/ for this week’s theme of Dictatorship, Autocracy, and Despotism
The image is of Wallace Steven’s Connecticut home.
He strides like a giant,
Ascends earth’s round cheek.
The child at his side runs to keep up,
scuffs the toe of pink sneakers.
Sweeping up the bundle,
he heaves her on sturdy shoulders,
like God would.
Canyons yawn before them.
Fields of wildflowers,
splattered with color,
sway at their passage,
bow in homage.
When they reach the apex,
grandfather lowers the girl
who gathers buds and
puts them in a Mason jar
half-filled with water.
She clasps tiny hands around
the grooved rim,
walks back down on her own.
A warped screen-door slams behind them.
The cool dark room envelopes the pair as
she slips the gift into her mother’s
Submitted to SiS’ Daily Haiku Challenge: http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/
Let little children
run up and down as they please
play before their God.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19,14
Submitted to SiS’ Daily Haiku Challenge: http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/p/haiku-challenge.html
offered to thirsty souls
drink freely of joy.