Be Welcome Here

Time is a creature too

with energy and motion

of its own,

and though life in time

sometimes stutters,

it never

stands

still.

At times

calm

and slow,

sometimes it screams,

moving so fast it seems more than I can manage to

stop

and breathe,

to welcome you in

and give you space

in the time that is mine

only because it is given.

A gift.

Not a currency.

Not a thing

that can be bought or spent.

So, stuttering,

calm,

or screaming,

at this time

and in this place,

I offer to you

what was freely given

to me:

space

to be

and time

to be heard.

The Birds

They frolic in the sky above
with endless, boundless glee
as sunlight shines on feathered wings:
the birds don’t know we’re quarantined.

Their freedom is not limited
by laws or broad decrees,
and so they fly without constraint:
the birds can’t know we’re quarantined.

They perch on fences with their friends
to chirp and chat so free,
but when I look they fly away:
the birds may know we’re quarantined.

They sing their songs with silver tune
and dance upon the trees
as if they mean to lift my soul:
the birds must know we’re quarantined.

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.

#
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.

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.

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.

For Chris(t)

July 10th will mark the 1 year anniversary of Chris Mitchell‘s death. Chris, in addition to being a C. S. Lewis scholar, a pastor, and a teacher, was also a friend and a mentor. It is fitting, I think, to remember Chris this week with a poem I began composing the day after I heard of his death. A special thanks goes out to Malcolm Guite who, four months later, helped me find the rhythm already present in the words and let it out.


For Chris(t)

You’re safe my friend,
at last you’re safe,
not from but for
each living soul
you’ll meet from this day forth.
No doubt each sees
your joy alive
in kind and gentle eyes,
your soul unbent,
your spirit full,
your heart ablaze, afire.

How could they not?

The One you love
has called you up:
out of darkness.
Into Kingdom!
Between two breaths
you stepped
from life to Life.

We feel your flight–
the ache of loss down deep.
We miss you here
and want you near,
yet you’re at last Alive.

O Bright of the Sky
lighten our mourning.
Warm our hearts with your dawn this day.
May we see his flight
from darkness to light
as a gift of your glorious grace.

Lux et Love Aeterna

O Lux Aeterna, Uncreated Bright,

kindle our hearts with flame unperishing

that we might shine, refractions of your light

aglow in your eternal cherishing.

 

May our love, as yours, be bright with splendor:

a beacon of hope, a torch in darkness,

that all may find your embrace so tender,

so welcoming, so kind, so free in us.

 

May our love lead home the lost and broken,

that seen and known their freedom they may find,

that they might hear afresh your love spoken,

that your love and light might unblind the blind.

 

Grace, let us be for them a lantern, a

window to your heart: Amor Aeterna.