My Schedule

I wrote this poem last Saturday during a poetry workshop at the Oregon Christian Writers’ 1-day winter conference. The assignment, if you will, was to write a poem similar to one titled “Holiday Concert” by Maryann Corbett. This is what I came up with. And when I read it to the group, it made me cry.

My Schedule

He needs my help; I don’t have time
I’m too busy with Bible study lessons,
calling all my ladies, leaving voicemails
They don’t want to talk
But he does, he needs me

He needs my help, my love, my advice
But there’s laundry to do, poems to write
Groceries to buy—milk, eggs, more canned goods
just like the ones already in the pantry
I’m just too busy, it never ends

He needs my help; I promise “tomorrow”
or the next day, but there’s a conference
I simply must attend, and a poem to write
and a funeral to drive to in another state,
and then work. Still he waits, patiently

But I wonder, does he know how much
I love him so, I want to help him
to listen to his woes, to encourage him
Once I’m done paying the bills and
doing the taxes and sorting the mail

One day I’ll look back and wonder why
he wasn’t a bigger part of the endless
schedule of less important things

3/10/15 Update: Linked this today for the Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub where Anthony is calling for confessions. This seemed to fit.

18 Comments

Filed under Family, Life, Poetry, Service, Women

Gathered

To his people God has gathered him
Those who love him mourn our loss
But sing in praise a joyful hymn
Thankful for the cross

Life will never be the same
Without his mirth, his smiling face
We’ll join him someday at Heaven’s ballgame
Thankful for God’s grace

In memory of Uncle Eddie Shane.

3 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Poetry

The Cost

We’re jousting over at dVerse Poets Pub today as the tournament continues. The challenge is to take one line from either Brian’s or Claudia’s poem, posted there, and write a new poem with that one line included. I cheated a little and took the last two lines of Brian’s poem to create this one.

The Cost

I need no reminder
the cost.

I see it in the grieving faces
of the mourners as his funeral.

I see it in the furrowed brow
of a mother whose child is behind bars.

I see it on the network news
night after bloody night.

I see it in the mirror
looking at a life that could have been
but was delayed, hindered by disobedience and fear.

The cost of disobedience,
of “freedom” that isn’t truly free,
but a prison, as we become slaves to sin.

I need no reminder
the cost.
Still I’m reminded every day.

And then I recall the cost
He paid
to redeem what is lost.

To us the cost is consequences;
to Him the cost was to give His all
to save us from the ultimate cost.

17 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

The Honor of the King

I’m jousting for His honor
I’m jousting for my King
I willingly wear His armor

As bride I wear His ring
It is He who defends
Of His great love I sing

To the throne He ascends
The vict’ry isn’t mine
When the enemy offends

With my King I’ll dine
Once He has won the fight
We’ll feast on bread and wine

All hail His strength and might
All hail His grace and light

 

The prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today was revealed a day early. We’re having a medieval tournament to celebrate the passing of the Pub keys from Brian and Claudia to Bjorn. So I’ve taken the tournament theme and written a terza rima sonnet of sorts about jousting.

17 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Pruning

The Twist and Shout — Meeting at the Bar prompt today at dVerse Poets Pub focuses on the volta at the end of a poem. I’ll let you check out Bjorn’s excellent description if you want to know more about it. I looked back over some old lessons at dVerse for a sonnet form to use and settled on the Terza Rima Sonnet from way back in May 2013. As usual, I probably didn’t get the meter right, but I liked the rhyme scheme for this prompt and the poem that I had already started earlier today.

Pruning

Jesus, intercede for me when I sin
If I loudly protest, make me mute
I must survive the Father’s discipline

Oh, Jesus, intercede when I bear fruit
Prune away enough of what is dead
But never my whole being to uproot

For my greater good I know You bled
To save me from a sinful wasted life
That I might bear abundant fruit instead

Seasons come filled with trials and strife
I cry out to You my God above
And still I must endure Your Pruner’s knife

Your pruning is a true act of love
As on my branches rests Your holy dove

14 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Nemesis

The Faith and Culture Writers Conference word for the day on Facebook today was Nemesis. And I saw this poem.

Nemesis

Fear, my nemesis
my arch-enemy
my long-time rival

Fear tries relentlessly
to crush me
prevent my survival

Fear once held me
tight in its grip
and I was suicidal

Fear is defeated
by my Savior
His Word in the Bible

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Ash and Sackcloth

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is somber holiday when we are called to consider our sinful nature and our need for a savior. As a result, it tends not to be the most popular of holidays, and yet it is an important one. For only when one understands their sinful nature, their own wretchedness, can one truly see the need for the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus as their savior.

Many churches have services on Ash Wednesday, including my church—Community of Faith—and the focus is on repentance. As part of the service, the pastor or priest places a cross of ash on the forehead of the worshippers.

Ash and Sackcloth

To repent in ash and sackcloth
Is a concept we scarce understand
To revel in our pleasure and sin
Is a right we fully demand

Yet repent is what God commands us
Deep down we know that we should
Still we cling to our sinful behavior
Thinking obedience will hinder our good

Disobedience displays a lack of trust
That God yearns for our perfect peace
If we repent in ash and sackcloth
Only then will our wretchedness cease

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Fat Tuesday

I wrote this poem three years ago for Mardi Gras and thought I’d share it again this year. It will be included in my next poetry book, tentatively titled “Rejoice Rejoice: Poems for Holidays, Seasons, and Special Occasions.”

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras
We call it Fat Tuesday
It’s the day we eat,
drink and be merry
for tomorrow we shall die
or maybe only diet

We sacrifice the things we love
→chocolate
→sweets
→coffee
→bread
→maybe our favorite TV shows

We attempt by our sacrifice
to understand
the passion of Christ, His suffering,
His sacrifice for us

He really did die,
not just diet

For 40 days we sacrifice
as if we were wandering
in the wilderness, hungry and tired
But each night we sleep in our own
warm, cozy beds
with our stomachs full
even if not with our favorite treats

Can we ever truly understand?
Perhaps not
For today, let’s just eat

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

I’m a Writer

I’m a Writer

I am a writer
How do I know?
It was in my DNA long ago

If I didn’t write
I think I’d go mad
from the sentences
swirling around in my head

I’ve written most days
of this crazy life
in so many forms
in so many genres

Briefs on construction law
and civil commitment

Short stories with not much
character development

Prayers to encourage
the lost and downtrodden

Private journal entries
to cope with my own problems

Blog posts now numbering
well over one thousand

Essays on life and love
and apologetics

But much to my dismay
the writer I am today
is a poet

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Faith, Life, Poetry

The Perfect Center – A Sestina

In Bible Study Fellowship we are studying the Life of Moses. One of the great truths about God that we are learning in Leviticus and Numbers is that God desires to be at the center of our lives, and that when He is at the center He provides for His people. I decided that I wanted to write a sestina about God as the perfect center of my life. Unlike the first sestina I wrote, this one is patterned after the original sestina so that each stanza has lines of 8, 11, 11, 11, 11, and 11 syllables, rather than each line being in iambic pentameter (not that I was successful with achieving iambic pentameter in my first one).

The Perfect Center

You desire to be my center
O God, You alone are worthy of my trust
Yet the deceit of this world plunders my faith
Where would I be without your immense mercy
Show me, Lord, clear direction I might follow
Guide me in Your perfect ways that I obey

Forgive me when I don’t obey
Bring me back, Lord, to You my perfect center
Never let me stray as Your will I follow
O Lord, You are the only one I can trust
Because of Your great compassion and mercy
I will forever believe, cling to my faith

I marvel at the strength of faith
That some days makes it effortless to obey
Resting in the bosom of Your great mercy
Focused on the cross, Your Son my center
Considering Your perfect decrees, I trust
With reckless abandon Your will I follow

Headstrong, my own will I follow
I marvel at the fragility of faith
Prone to trust in worthless things I cannot trust
On my own it’s too difficult to obey
Worldly possessions, Lord, become my center
I’m lost, alone without Your perfect mercy

I am thankful for Your mercy
Leading me back to the One I must follow
O Lord, You deserve to be my soul’s center
I pray this day I will attain perfect faith
I pray someday I’ll learn to always obey
You have proven, Lord, You are worthy of trust

Correct me when I fail to trust
When I do wrong, but then repent, have mercy
Grant me Your Holy Spirit, then I’ll obey
Fill me with Your perfect grace, then I’ll follow
Remind me You are faithful, then I’ll have faith
Make me desire to keep You as my center

When I follow I learn to trust
Growing faith feeds on Your mercy
You, the Center, help me obey

12 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry