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.
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.
The glass is touched;
Broken, where I’ve gone,
Stoop down to meet the water,
Hidden shores drift by;
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
Speak with wild words:
“This is a shadow of the Glory”
The sparrow sings
Beyond the twisted wire
His small hand
Held your finger,
His glassy brown eyes
When they took him,
They left his empty blanket
In your hand:
It is cold
You sit beside the door
The wood ants file
And hear the sparrow sing.