SiS’s Daily Haiku Challenge–Two Haikus

Look into my eyes

Submitted to SiS’s Daily Haiku Challenge: http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/p/haiku-challenge.html  Today’s theme was an image of eyes.

Mirrors

If eyes are mirrors
do mine reflect love, disdain
apathy perhaps?

Blind

Our eyes cannot see
or grasp all that is divine
so we walk in faith

Live Today–A Sestina

Fireworks Finale

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Riika Infinity’s 2011 Wish List Challenge: http://riikainfinityy.com/2010/12/28/wishylissy-for-2011/ in which we were challenged to think about what we want to have, do and wish for this upcoming new year.
 

I chose to do a sestina, choosing as the end words those that represent my deepest wishes:

Truth–to live without illusion, to understand and speak my truth;
Words–to express these truth’s in my writing and speech;
Presence–to be aware of the Divine in creation;
Bliss–to live in joy;
Now–to live in the present moment;
Earth–to enjoy the gifts of creation
 

Live Today
A Sestina

I ask for strength that I may live in truth,
that clarity may seal my every word.
My life unfolds within the silent Presence
of the Divine—it’s here that I find bliss.
Awake, I feast in the eternal Now
yet revel in the offerings of earth.

I taste and touch and breathe the joys of earth,
partake of what I see of beauty’s truth:
the flight of birds, the frosty tendrils now
that etch the glass and hold my every word
displaying beauty on the face of bliss.
I bow before the Godhead’s sacred Presence,

surrender to the very hope of present
pledges offered to the waiting earth,
dance with abandon to the sounds of bliss—
chords that echo in harmonic truth.
Succumbing to the utterance of Your Word
that in my own, another may find Now.

And can it be that only in the Now
I may be welcomed in the blessed Presence,
attend in faith the murmur of the Word?
My sure companion of this walk on earth
will cloth me in a garment spun of truth
that I may wear the wedding garb of bliss.

Because it is God’s will we drink of bliss,
I choose to stride along the path of Now,
relish the textures, colors true—
the vivid palettes painted by the presence
of rainbow’s arc bending towards the earth,
soaking rain that nourishes the word.

You strip away illusions with your words,
comfort my exposure to the truth.
Into deep sleep I fall, await Your presence,
awaken to the touch of brilliant bliss.
At last, You come, I rise unto the Now
and bending, touch my lips upon the earth.

You speak Your truth within a whispered word.
Today Your presence seizes me in bliss
enjoying in the Now my moment on this earth.

 

Song of Songs–One Shot Wednesday

Photo: David Slotto

Submitted to One Shot Wednesday: http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/

This is a form poem written as a Sestina which consists of 39 lines: 6 stanza of 6 lines each. You choose 6 words as the “end-words” and they recur in a pre-designed sequence:
ABCDEF
FAEBDC
CFDABE
ECBFAD
DEACFB
BDFECA
AB CD EF

Song of Songs
a Sestina

All the world’s a stage set to music.
You stroke my life like strings of Your guitar.
We’re born to fly so Your touch of gentleness
sounds a chord in my core that thrills.
Round and round You lead me in a dance—
the whirling rhythm swirls in my heart.

Rejoice, oh world; you hold grief in your heart.
Defy those who claim silence lacks all music.
Refute the clowns who refuse to dance—
Who, though called to joy, strum a dirge on their guitars.
Avoid the fool who rejects life’s thrill,
who sinks into the void with gentleness.

At dawn, mockingbird chants a song of gentleness
awakens the earth, enlivens her heart.
You stir in my Spirit-womb, Your Presence thrills.
Your promised love resounds of music,
Your hands play me as You would play Your guitar.
Our beings entwine and we enter the dance.

The earth and stars conspire to join the dance.
Ocean waves lick the sands with gentleness,
winds pluck the strings of willow tree guitars
while rain plants seeds in Earth—the Mother’s heart.
By day, the sun sings bliss—at night moon-music
plays arpeggios You designed to thrill.

I hear the door You open with a thrill,
arise to greet Your entry with a dance,
breath in the air You fill with sounds of music,
surrender to the call of gentleness,
responding to the rhythm of Your heart—
the wild beat of a classical guitar.

Submit my soul to music, the stroke of Your guitar,
Your voice, Your gentleness, never fail to thrill.
I yield to the tempo of your dance, lay down my heart.

Rediscovery-Jingle’s Poetry Potluck and One Shot Wednesday

Prayer is the language

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck. The theme this week is dreams and visions. Check out the many poets at http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/

and to One Shot Wednesday at http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/

Rediscovery

Emerging from this fog
(induced by absinthe or perhaps unknowing?)
I fly in my balloon, the landing rough
in rockiest terrain.

Quixote I am not but savor
tastes of honey from the gentle smoothness
of earth’s ivory skin.

I deconstruct the faith
that, as a child gave cause for desperation,
pursue Elijah’s chariot, with fiery wings
to worlds oblivious of tragedy,

return like Sandalphon or Phoenix
brilliant in life’s kaleidoscopic dance
of raging color.

Withhold your judgment now, dear friend.
The day may come when, too, you will embrace
my vision, and welcome in the Logos.

Note: This poem was written using the prompt I posted on Monday. You may want to check it out. The random selection of words contributes a bit to the obscurity. I confess to adding words to this one for the sake of some cohesiveness. In the bible, the prophet Elijah was taken into heaven in a fiery chariot. It is said that he has returned to earth as the Archangel Sandalphon who is the overseer of the below direction (the earth). Logos is Greek for Word and is used in this context to refer to Jesus as the Word of God as you will read in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Eventually I will, no doubt, revise this poem and lose of few of the arbitrary words. Should you decide to try this prompt, you would make me happy if you left a link in comments.

Leonnyes Z to A Challenge: “D” is for Door

Doorways. The ruined church of St Mary in Arde...

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Leonnyes Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

“D” is for Door

May I be an unlocked door,
receive the gifts that the Universe
is rushing to bestow.

Open my life to grief and joy,
dancing, singing songs
with wordless melodies.

When the gate is open just a crack
Divine Life surges in, waves
flood empty spaces.

The free flow of sounds, ideas,
people, grace, lives touching one another
expand the boundaries of a limited

perspective. Senses are the portal
of the body. See, touch, taste
the experience of each blessed moment.

You stand upon the Sacred Threshold.
Wait for the Bridegroom to bid you enter.

“L” is for Lauds and Loons

Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii), juvenile/f...

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Leo’s Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

“L ” is for Lauds and Loons

In a former life
I chanted Lauds
soon upon awakening:

morning prayer,
quiet time and
praise of the Creator.

Now I join my voice
to songs of birds,
early morning joy.

In winter dark
when hearts are cold
I go within,

remember how it was
when not so stark.
Listen to the call of loons.

Note: Lauds is the morning prayer chanted in Catholic monasteries and religious communities comprised for the most part of a varying selection of psalms.

You may enjoy a visit to this link to hear the “wail” of the loon. http://blog.syracuse.com/indepth/2008/07/audio_hear_the_calls_of_the_co.html

M is for Mortality

Day 102 - Gambel's Quail

Image by MissTessmacher via Flickr

Submitted to Leo’s Z to A Challenge: http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

M is for Mortality

A dead quail lay on the path,
legs extended
grasping the last touch of life,
eyelids sealing off earth’s beauty forever.

Layers of gold feathers
zigzagged its empty breast.
Clods of earth soiled
the handiwork of some obscure Artisan.

I knelt to honor
nature’s defiled chalice,
scooped the chilled stiff form into a plastic bag.

It landed with a thud in the empty garbage can.

This poem was originally published in Twenty-Three Magazine, 2006

Jingle’s Poetry Potluck–“The Sin Seller”

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sin Seller

A funny little man with a screwed up nose
came pedaling down the street.
“Seven sins have I that you’ll want to buy,
seven sins, but they’re not what you think.”

“I’ll take some lust and a pinch of pride,
just a touch of greed will do.
A scoop of anger is enough today—
hold the sloth—I’ve got lots to do.”

He looked at me with his rheumy eyes
and tried to lift his head.
“You didn’t hear what I said to you—
there’re things that you’ll want instead.

“Envy’s not for sale, gluttony non plus
those are all for free, you know.
Look inside your heart and I bet you’ll find
you can order them ‘to go.’

“But what I’ve got you will recognize
though you might not call them sins.
Check this out, it’s called blame, gets you off the hook.
It’s okay. Take a second look.”

“I’ll go for that, doesn’t seem too bad.
Shouldn’t send me straight to hell.
What else have you got that can help me out,
something light—to my conscience quell.

“Ah, then you’ll want this.” He held out his hand,
Crooked fingers clasped a glass.
“Take a sip and you’ll see (with veiled eyes)
those in need—then walk blithely past.”

“Oh, the poor—those who beg—they are everywhere.
Always looking for something more.
It would be a relief not to have to care.
You know, they’re just looking to score.

“What else do you have that I could use—
Anything to bring joy to my heart?”
His smile should have warned of the slippery path
I was sliding down from the start.

He wrung his hands and his words hissed out
through the gaps in his crooked teeth.
“Here, I’ve got a book that will help you learn
how to use others who believe

“that by helping you they are serving God.
They’re so easy to deceive.
Use them all you want, they will never guess
they are tools to meet your needs.”

“I think that’s all that I want for now,
I’m a little low on cash.
How much do I owe for all these sins?
Let me know and I’m gone in a flash.”

“Not so soon, my friend, these sins are cheap
and I have much more to offer.
Take a look in this box and see what you think.
You can add this one to your coffer.”

He lifted the lid and I peered in.
The box appeared to be empty.
“What the heck is this—do you think I’m dumb?
I suspect that you’re out to contempt me.”

“Can’t you see what this is?” he said to me.
It’s a place to hide your talent.
Once you put it out there for all to see
you cannot find time just ‘to be.’”

“Ah, I like that,” I said to the man.
I want to hoard my gifts.
I’ll take a dozen, put them in the bag.
What more to give me a lift?”

He pulled a watch from his bag of tricks.
“You’ll want this one for sure.
It will store your time for you alone
to use at your leisure.”

“I’ll go for that, I could use some rest.
I’m really tired from living
with those who expect me to be aware
of everything that they’re giving.”

“Then you’ll want this, it will free you up,”
He said with a glint in his eyes.
He reached out his hand and gave me a cup
with a message engraved on its side:

Forget about everything that you hear;
you really don’t need to be grateful.
Ignore those gifts and the joy that they bring.
Don’t pretend that you are thankful.

“That way no one will wait for your return
on whatever they’ve invested.
You won’t have to give of yourself to them.
Love’s easier if untested.

“Take these drugs,” he said, “then I’m done with you.
You’ll want to have this treasure.
Be sure that you remain always unaware
of beauty, joy and pleasure

for if you see what God has done
you will want more of Him
and then you’ll live in consciousness
and not enjoy your sin.”

I paid the man and he ran off
carting his merchandise.
But when I got home and saw what I’d bought
something opened wide my eyes.

Things just were not as he said they were,
these were not just harmless vices.
Within each one I could see the seed
that would lead to darkest crisis.

I’d been terribly fooled by his evil lies.
I saw it now all too clearly.
It’s bit-by-bit that the soul dies.
It doesn’t scream, it simply sighs.

And so I took his bag of tricks
and tossed it in the ocean
of God’s good grace and cleansing love.
It’s little things that will do you in.

This is the longest rhyming, metered poem I’ve ever written. It has plenty “sins” of its own: cliche, some forced meter and rhyme. But it was the most fun I’ve had with sin in a long time. This poem is written for and submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck: http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/ Check out the many established and burgeoning poets who contribute to this site.

Image: Bosch’s “Seven Deadly Sins”

Poem: Never Forget–An Acrostic

911 Memorial

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

9/11/11:  Although I am on a “blogging break” until 9/27/11, I feel the need to share my work from a year ago with those of you visiting dVerse Poetics today. My prayer is for peace within and among us all.

Two weeks ago, the Monday Morning Writing Prompt invited you to write a poem, essay or… your thoughts on the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Events of tremendous significance like this impact every one of us, no matter where we live or our religious beliefs (or non-beliefs.) 911 has changed the world. I often find a certain amount of release in being able to write about emotionally charged news items. For example, I couldn’t sleep until I wrote about the Virginia Tech Massacre, a few years ago. But so far, I’ve avoided the topic of 911, so today I decided to face up to it. Usually my writing prompts will elicit a response or two, but this one didn’t. So here is my attempt. I chose an acrostic and tried to employ some loose meter and rhyme…not usually my thing.

This year the amount of controversy that has charged the anniversary of 911 has made me reflect more on the need to open our hearts to forgiveness and to be aware of the danger of extremism. Let us pray for peace and understanding among all.

NINE ELEVEN: NEVER FORGET 

N’one alive back then can e’er forget
Images of hate, destruction, death.
Night descended early in the day,
Endings slowly fluttered to the earth.

Enter, grace, but where is God?
Lasting darkness filled the hearts of all.
Even as we cower, wrapt in pain
Vestiges of fear enshroud us like a pall.
Each man dies a bit when hatred wins,
No one trumps when hearts embrace revenge.

Never will our world again be whole
Evoking God’s name to achieve man’s will,
Victorious only when the foe is down,
Emptying his blood and life into the ground,
Rendering death unto his very soul.

Father, forgive–they know not what they do.
Our God stands by to touch our brokenness.
Remember words of healing and of peace,
Go back, reclaim the power that is yours.
Eagles’ wings will lift your fear above the fray,
To yours and mine and ours bequeath this day.