Tag Archives: Death

Nothing to Fear

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself

and bears if you’re in Yellowstone
loneliness if you’re all alone

failure if your theory is flawed
sickness and death if you don’t know God

Yet if God is on your side
there’s nothing to fear
just trust and abide

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You Can’t Go Back to Tuesday

I’m working on my book proposal today. I posted the draft Prologue last week. I’m determined to finish the proposal this week so an editor friend can review it before I submit it to the publishing house editor who requested it at the Faith & Culture Writers Conference. I had a breakthrough this week when I realized the Chapter 1 I’d drafted started in the wrong place. This is the beginning of the new Chapter 1.

I’m planning to include a poem on the title page of each chapter. The poem for this chapter is one I wrote a week after the events recounted here.

You Can’t Go Back to Tuesday

Last Breath

Breathing
in, out again
no other sound so dear
except if you spoke, one more time,
I’d hear.

I sat in that suffocating little room with my sister Suz, my brother-in-law Dick, and the shell of my sister Peggy. When I had arrived earlier in the day I wouldn’t have known it was her in the bed if Suz hadn’t also been there. I hadn’t seen Dick in 28 years; he’d changed, kind of looked like Grizzly Adams after a month in the woods alone.

And Peggy, she didn’t look like anyone I knew. The last time I’d seen her she didn’t look too bad. She admitted the cancer was back, but she covered up how bad it was pretty well. And she had been hopeful, ready to fight and win again. But she wasn’t going to win this time—she would breathe her last in that tiny, sterile room with just the three of us there.

I’d woken up that morning with plans to go to the dentist in the morning—even though I was dreading it—and then in for my annual mammogram and breast MRI. On Friday I was going to go visit Peggy in the hospital. I was told she’d probably be feeling better by then.

But Suz called early that morning and said Peggy had taken a turn for the worse. “You should come as soon as you can. Dick said she was pretty bad.”

I called my cousin Noryce to tell her what was going on with Peggy and to just talk. Noryce always has good advice and knows just what to say.

“I don’t know what to do. I have these two appointments I have to keep, but I want to go see Peggy. Maybe I can just wait until tomorrow to go,” I said. “I should have just gone to see her on Tuesday.”

Noryce, in her infinite wisdom, replies, “You can’t go back to Tuesday. What are you going to do today? What’s the worst that could happen if you cancel your appointments and go? What if you wait to go until tomorrow and she’s already gone?”

She knows the story of when my dad died and I wasn’t there. He had called me and said, “Come see me.” But it cost money to fly to Desert Hot Springs where he was and we didn’t have a lot of money at the time. So I bought an inexpensive ticket for two weeks out. He died a week later. I will always regret that decision.

So I called the dentist to cancel my appointment, worried that they would be upset and charge me for the appointment anyway. “Don’t worry about it. Go see your sister. Give us a call when you’re ready to reschedule.”

Then I called the hospital to cancel my mammogram and breast MRI. They were even more understanding given that my sister was dying of breast cancer. I don’t know why I was afraid they wouldn’t be.

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Nepal

The Day 27 prompt at the NaPoWriMo site is to write a hay(na)ku, another short form poem I’ve never heard of. But I do love short form poetry, especially in the final days of a 30-day poetry challenge. Here’s my timely poem, a hay(na)ku time seven.

Nepal

Pray
for Nepal
earth is quaking

Pray
for Nepal
dead and dying

Pray
for Nepal
temples all destroyed

Pray
for Nepal
may heaven rescue

Pray
for Nepal
send aid workers

Pray
for Nepal
hearts are broken

Pray
for Nepal
may God rebuild

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When I Fly

The prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Breaking and Entering calls for writing a poem to a set form, but then breaking it just a little and making it your own. I started with the Rondeau, first finding a list of potential rhyming words. Then my thoughts went in a potentially morbid direction—to death—but as always I found the hope therein. I tweaked the form by adding to the final line and not concerning myself with the meter requirements (which is always the hardest part of form poetry for me).

When I Fly

When I die, away I’ll fly
Up into the deep blue sky
This hopeful journey I will not fear
Though I know you’ll miss me dear
When it’s time to say good-bye

Please don’t worry or cry
Let our Savior dry your eye
Please don’t shed a single tear
When I die

If deep spiritual truth you spy
You’ll know your time will once be nigh
Hope will make the journey clear
Though I know you’ll miss me dear
Yet when you die, away you’ll fly
We’ll still be together when we die

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Irony – An Elfje

Rugged
the cross
instrument of death
brought me eternal life
irony

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Last Breath – A Cinquain

Breathing
in, out again
no other sound so dear
except if you spoke, one more time,
I’d hear.

I wrote this cinquain for dVerse Poets Pubs FormForAll. It is my attempt to capture my experience of Thursday last week as I sat in my sister’s hospital room, praying she had it in her to keep fighting cancer, but knowing she did not.

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All Things Are Possible – A Poem

Sadness and joy
are hard to hold
at the same time

Mourning death
and celebrating life
in the same moment
is impossible for me

But with God
all things are possible

I’m still feeling sad over the death of my sister, but tomorrow is my son’s 18th birthday. Talking to a good friend about this yesterday she made the comment that sadness and joy are hard to hold together. She’s right.

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Blue – An Elfje

Blue
great sadness
but not despair
my hope in Jesus.
Death.

It’s been a long week full of sadness. One of my sisters passed away last night after a long battle with breast cancer. I am thankful that I was able to be with her, and hopeful that she is in God’s hands now, but still sad because I will miss her. I’m also thankful once again for the little elfje because it helped me keep up my daily poem for Lent.

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Worth Dying For – A Poem

Jesus believed
I was worth dying for
You were worth dying for

Shouldn’t I believe
He is worth dying for, too?
Shouldn’t you?

In China and Pakistan,
Sudan and Saudi Arabia
His persecuted church risks life and limb
every single time
they speak His beautiful name

His holy name,
the name above all other names
is the only name worth dying for

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Psalm for My Savior – A Pantoum

The other day I wrote a triolet and my dear blogging friend Deb, of Deb’s Blog, commented that it was very Psalm-like. It got me thinking about writing another triolet inspired by my favorite Psalm 116. But when I started writing I realized the triolet wasn’t really long enough to adequately express the subject of the Psalm-like poem I had in mind. Then I thought of the pantoum form, another of my favorites. Like the triolet, the pantoum has a set pattern of repeated lines. Both forms work wonderfully for Christian poetry. I hope you are blessed by this pantoum.

Psalm for My Savior

For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death
The anguish of death and darkness entangled me
I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!”
Praise my God, my Savior who came to my rescue

The anguish of death and darkness entangled me
My eyes filled with tears, my feet stumbled under me
Praise my God, my Savior who came to my rescue
Rescued me from my trouble, sorrow, and darkness deep

My eyes filled with tears, my feet stumbled under me
The Lord, my God, heard my cry for love and mercy
Rescued me from my trouble, sorrow, and darkness deep
Now I know His grace and mercy are mine to keep

The Lord, my God, heard my cry for love and mercy
He saw the anguished turmoil of my broken soul
Now I know His grace and mercy are mine to keep
I will forever praise His glorious name, Jesus

He saw the anguished turmoil of my broken soul
I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!”
I will forever praise His glorious name, Jesus
For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death

This Psalm was my offering over at dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #47. Head over and check out some other great poetry.

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