Friday, November 26, 2010

SAICFF and The Sojourner's Poet Fellowship

Among the SAIC Film Festival's highlights was a rough screening of Ace Wonder, Message from a Dead Man. Directed by John Moore, this movie will show that independent, family, Christian studios can produce films which are technically sound and have good storytelling. It was satisfying to see the vast improvements in acting skills and in storytelling, and to hear a world class musical score by Ben Bodkin. Did I mention that John Moore's storytelling has improved?

Other good movies included The Runner from Ravenshead (VERY GOOD), Divided (Yes!), The Penny, Agenda: Grinding America Down, and Live to Forgive.

The main thing which I discovered at the festival, however, was an idea. I have long wanted to form (or join) a group of poets with a kindred belief in the sufficiency of Scripture. After watching the accomplishments of so many small studios and ordinary people, I have decided to put this group officially into a planning stage, with "The Sojourner's Poet Fellowship" as a working name. Membership will be by application/invitation once the Fellowship becomes official. Hopefully a founding document/manifesto will be forthcoming.

So come ye poets, (if ye do exist). James, may I enlist you as my first co-member?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meditations, II - IV


Like a deep well is a man whose tears are not hidden,
The one who speaks plainly is a cool cistern.


The heart is like a drunken man,
And stumbles like a man full of wine;
Standing, he declares his balance
Until he has fallen again.


He has cast wide the stars beyond the heavens;
Will you count each as a grain of sand?
Each one burns – mankind dwells in a hundred trillion shadows.
Will you change them, or brush them away with your hand?

Should He seek you out from the heavens?
Should He find a single grain of sand from all the shores?
Should He love you, a grain of a grain?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

From the Archives

To those who know me from Apricotpie: you may disregard this post. The purpose of this is simply to put some of my older poetry on display for those who know me from elsewhere.


I didn’t know the someone
Who left us with this smold’ring
In our minds; who left us holding
Less, and wond’ring what had gone.

And watching from the pew-side,
Her good friend praying, clinging
To the railing; mem’ry ringing,
With her smile before she’d died,

I saw her shaking, sinking,
To the floor, and felt my weakness,
Looking on and standing, helpless –
Asking then what all were thinking:

What is this empty evening?
God, why have You shred these faces?
Lord of Mercy, filled their glasses
With the bitterest of wine?


Later on I heard her brother
Barely reading what he’d written –
That she’d never be forgotten,
That he’d loved her like no other,

And his voice became unsteady,
(Had some mem’ry of his sister
Crossed his eye?) His words were
Halting, and his sorrow free.

And I, who was a stranger,
Bowed my head in silence, broken,
Wond’ring at the words he’d spoken,
Reeling in the painful wonder:

“Tell your family, tell your friends,
What I wasn’t there to tell her;
I wish that I had been there,
And I will see her, soon, again.”


And now, the dwindling rays
Of this dark Friday’s evening
Are sketching shadows, leaving
Traces of the grief-struck day,

And I’m, in silence, sitting;
Dim reflections of Your glory
Have begun to overcome me;
All that I have left is trusting

That the smile she had while with us
Was like a candle, flick’ring
In the darkness of our misery
Of a traveler through this earth;

And that her smile, now with You,
Has become a brilliant burning;
And though we remain in mourning,
Hers is everlasting joy.

Moth’s Wing

Lay the tulips softly, withered hand;
Grass has crept onto the dirt
And skirts the ashen stone.

The first touch of her fingers
Had been a golden moth’s wing beneath the moon;
A silver-blue shape at your brother’s wedding dance,
With laughing eyes.

A Prayer to the King of Glory

Let me dwell within Your breath, my King of endless Glory,
And hide me in the shadow of Your love;
Though my sins, like a forest, stand ever thick around me,
Remind me that Your promise is enough.

It’s been years since You first called me, to this desperate journey,
And I tremble for the little way I’ve come;
But though my love is faithless, still Your face has not turned from me,
And Your arms are open, even though I run.

Lord, it is not Your justice that eludes my comprehension,
Nor Your judgment passed on worthless, filthy men,
Nor Your wisdom, nor Your power, but your graceful intervention,
And Your sacrifice to pay for all my sin.

King, You know that I’m a failure, and my wrongs are like an ocean,
And I’ve little courage, even for a man,
But I’m resting in Your promise, though with faltering devotion,
And trusting You’ll complete what You began.

And when it is they ask me, “Who is this King of Glory?”
I pray that I will answer with Your name;
Though men of wrath or lions stand open-mouthed before me,
Give me the strength to answer them the same.


Spread behind.

The glass is touched;
Broken, where I’ve gone,
Clear ahead,

Silent trees
Stoop down to meet the water,
Hidden shores drift by;
Red-crowned mountains
Spread the lake
With twilight fire.

The owl’s cry
Echoes in the fading sun:
I must have come by dream
Into this living song
Where mountains
Speak with wild words:
“This is a shadow of the Glory”


Hush, Naomi;

The sparrow sings
Beyond the twisted wire

Last night
His small hand
Held your finger,
His glassy brown eyes
Held yours
When they took him,
They left his empty blanket
In your hand:
It is cold

And still
You sit beside the door
And watch
The wood ants file
Slowly by
And hear the sparrow sing.

Hush, Naomi.