The House of Measures and Great Mystery

From the House of Measures and Great Mystery
you call me by name and invite me to see
the wonders of atoms, of quarks, and of pi,
of mass and of motion, of trees and the sky.

To the House of Measures and Great Mystery
I saunter and ramble, I stagger and flee
to learn from the mystics and scientists too,
to read fact and fiction and find both are true.

By the House of Measures and Great Mystery
a river encircles an ancient fruit tree.
The river’s like crystal, the fruit is in season
in winter and summer, by faith and by reason.

In the House of Measures and Great Mystery
I hear you whisper mercy to me.
Where all is given and all is grace
you hand me a mirror to show me my face.

Past the house filled with people, with bread, and with wine
rich country unfolds and no map marks its line.
Abundant and fertile, it’s wide and it’s free
for it’s rife with both measures and great mystery.

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For those out there who enjoy my poetry and would like to see me write more of it (and help me to do so), I’m working on setting up a Patreon page. I’ll link to it from the blog when it’s up and running.

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A Slow Defeat

Times like these prove life to be

nothing but a slow defeat.

We’re losing ground each passing day

as peace and justice fade to grey.

We injure love and ruin all

with senseless wounds and hurt and gall.

 

In these sad and broken days

our hearts are mourning Christ’s delays.

Come swiftly Jesus, Kindly King,

set wrongs to right, and healing bring.

 

We long for what we’ve never seen

a realm of rampant harmony:

where all are welcome, all are heard,

where hearts are mended, and the world

is free from wrack, and free from strife

and each breathes to each a vibrant life.

Praying for Rain

When I posted “Creation Song” a few weeks ago I mentioned that it was something of an oldie, but compared to the poem below, it’s still young! “Praying for Rain” came out of a poetry writing class I took as an undergrad in February 2001! I’d been writing poetry for several years at that point, but it was the first poem I felt truly proud of–proud enough to share it in class, which for an introvert like me is saying something. It mingles images from my childhood home with a vivid dream I had not too long before writing it. Even after 15 years, I still like it and I hope you do too!

Praying for Rain

Home, with its azure skin
painstakingly applied
in the searing summer sun,
and its shaded jungle of a yard
overrun with vines,
and protective hummingbirds dive-bombing
the cat, killing his curiosity,
and the blossoms of the silverberry tree
strewn across the yard
like ashen fingerprints –
all this is home,
all this is my world,
all this is burning.

Creation Song

So, here’s another poem. It’s a bit of an oldie (it looks like I wrote it about five and a half years ago), but I still like it. So, with a few minor tweaks from it’s original form, here’s “Creation Song”.

In dappled sun and softer skies
I saw six angels flying by.
And as they flew
in voices new
they praised,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

In webs of wonder, woven bright,
a spider sat all through the night,
and as she ate
with time to wait
she sighed,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

On open sea and sunlit wave
three ships await the breaking day,
and when it comes
with voices one
they’ll cry,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

No lasting rest and no reward
awaits us on these mortal shores;
we’re sinners still,
we hurt and kill,
and yearn,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

In hearth and home, with wood and bone
I’ve scraped a life from barren stone.
My race now run,
my toil done,
I moan,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

Engulfed in glowing, golden light
our feeble faith at last made sight,
where loud and true,
through me through you,
He sings,
“Glory, glory, glory!”

Mothering Day 2016

I love the way you care for us
And seek to meet our needs.
I love the way you parent them
And do it on your knees.
I love the way you love our boys:
You sing and dance and play.
I love the way you show them grace
And teach them how to pray.
I love the way your heart is soft
And aims to know their frame.
I love the way your heart repents
And doesn’t pass the blame.

Just don’t shoulder too much grief
Don’t carry too much sorrow.
His crimson grace will cover all
His love be new tomorrow.

In Memoriam

So, I like to compose poems and stories in my head as I walk and living here in England with no car I walk a lot. It’s a nice way to pass the time without just letting my mind wander (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) all the time. It’s a kind of prayer where I invite the Lord to write a poem with me. So I did that today on my way home, and apparently the sunshine and hints of Spring all around had me feeling a bit Seussical. So, I hope you enjoy the following poem. Imagine it illustrated in the wild fashion of Dr. Seuss and all will be as it should.

Rest in peace
You will be missed.
No, that’s not true.
You’re off my list
Of things to hold on to
And eagerly seek.
Don’t come back tomorrow
Or even next week!
Next year feels too soon
Let alone this December.
Your darkness is past.
I don’t want to remember
Your gloom and your cold,
Your nights without end.
All growing things hide
When you round the bend.
So stay far away
Don’t you dare show your face.
‘Cause Springtime is here!
Winter, you’ve been replaced.

From Fantasist to Son

I have seen the ice dragon rise
glistening and glittering
from the depths of the western sea.

I have seen the rusting hulks
our forefathers left us
power still thrumming through metal limbs.

I have seen the wolfman shift
and slide from man to beast
and from beast to nightmare crowned as king.

I have seen man’s mangled body
made whole
sewn and bound with threads of light.

I have seen you, my son,
nuzzling your head into my chest,
content to let me hold you as you sleep.

And that is the magic that stirs my soul,
no less powerful for being common,
no less beautiful for being simple,
no less wondrous for being true.

This poem was written shortly after the birth of my first son in late 2009 and originally appeared in the print edition of Jabberwocky back in 2010 alongside such excellent writers as Genevieve Valentine and E. Lily Yu (whose 2011 short story ‘The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees’ was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards) and can still be found on the Jabberwocky website.