Sunday, September 2, 2012

There is freedom in silence

The idle strings begin to rust--
go out of tune as knobs unwind--
while dust collects on carvèd wood
and horsehairs break from base of bow.

No pattern does the eye seek out,
nor theme the ear desires to trace--
the body casts off every form
that chained the soul from listening.

Their nimble touch the fingers lose,
and mind forgets the ordered notes;
the feet a meter cease to keep,
but heart comes loose of music's weight.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Memory is such a tease,
bringing to mind possibilities
turned into things-that-can't-ever-be,
clinging to times treasured, but lost
(like the child who holds to his mother's knees,
 scared to look at something new
 as a potential source of happiness),
contented with the once-felt joys, but
disdainful of experiencing further sorrows.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sonata (or, what I learned from Irenaeus)

Creation sings the Father's theme;
the Word brings all things into being;
each ear the melody discerns
and echoes "Good" to what it hears.

The light and darkness, sea and sky,
land and plants, celestial lights,
birds and fish and every beast
begin the hymn of time-bound things.

The Word who was and who was with
with his image mankind furnished--
a creature that his God would know--
a cadence in the soul composed.

But man, within the Garden placed,
by turning from Good ultimate,
his own will warped and knowledge lost
and changed to groans the cosmos' song.

The dissonances crashed and clanged
as man advanced towards non-being--
the death of what's created good
reflects poorly on Creator God.

"Can he not help?" "Does he not care?"
would be assumed by all nature,
except that God, who foreknows all,
knew how he would the whole resolve.

The tension ushered in by sin,
since due to choice of prideful man,
by man alone the debt was owed,
but was with power unendowed.

So only God possessed the might
to rid man of discordant guilt,
yet justice could not man absolve
of payment for his own self-love.

In God's self-love and love of world,
by making flesh creative Word,
he, to clamorous soul, supplied
a Mediator for its need.

By taking on the creature's clothes,
he took up the first theme composed;
he fulfilled what man should have been
by living without taint of sin.

Even in obedience
to death, for mankind's recompense,
he demonstrated that salvation
was a recapitulation.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Telephone book

Thumbing thin yellow pages,
checking corners for the heading marked "HEALING,"
dialing digits and
striking ineffectual items.
Ostensibly, only one option open:
the fingers fiddle over the final number
the heart hastens--
but the stomach sinks
when advised to acquire assistance
from the exact entity
held in my apprehensive arms.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Drawer

She kept a drawer specifically
for everything she learned:
new garments, adorned with tags
(not in order to return them,
 but to remember
 where they came from
 and
 how much they cost)
gently pressed and folded,
then stowed away until
an occasion merited their use.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bird-leaves

Perhaps the leaves are really
domesticated birds,
content and still
(with only a rustle here and there),
until the wind reminds them
they were not meant
to be tied with twigs to a wooden post -
no better than a leashèd hound -
so they flutter their wings implacably
until the daemon passes on.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A pop-quiz to self

Did you know that there are flowers whose petals sparkle in the sun (as though they had glitter sprinkled all over them, except less tacky)?
Did you know that there are trees that drop flowers with petals smoother than velvet and of an indescribable shade between orange and red?
Did you know there are little red berries whose insides are lined with a fuzzy white substance?
Did you know that there are flowers who only show their faces when the sun shines upon them?
Did you know there are trees whose trunks sprout fern-like growths and turn the most lovely yellow-green hue?
Did you know there are black butterflies with pale yellow outlining their wings?
Did you know there are trees with bristly red cylinders hanging vertically from their branches?
Have you smelled soil freshly watered or grass freshly mown?
Have you let your toes press into the shaded lawn?
Have you let the sun kiss your shoulders?
Have you relished the quenching of thirst?

In the midst of (what is, for me) the craziest part of the semester, these are the questions I have to ask myself. In order to maintain a sense of calm, I desperately need the peacefulness of springtime--the regeneration of the earth, and the rediscovery of once-known wonders. These wonders whisper and remind me that, more than them, I desperately need the Person from whom they derive their being.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thought-birds

How foolishly our thoughts alight-
  landing invariably on the same branch,
  rubbing the wood bear,
  bloodying feet with splinters,
    forgetting always the gentle nest
    that beckons home

Friday, March 16, 2012

To write or not to write? That shouldn't even be a question...

I've been feeling the hankering to write something recently, but I think I've gotten myself into a dangerous rut--or maybe even two. Perhaps I'm standing with a foot in each, with a nice patch of sturdy earth just waiting for me in between.
I created this blog so that I could work intentionally expressing the things that I've been learning. While this is a fine-and-dandy idea, I haven't really done much of that.
I think the rut I've placed one foot in is that of imagining I need something particularly profound to say before I can say anything. WRONG. Besides, how pretentious would I be if I actually posted something?
Wouldn't I, in a sense, be parading my self-proclaimed "brilliance" to be recognized and applauded by the less-than-ten people who would ever read it?
Gross.
Okay, so that's rut #1.
Rut #2:
Heretofore most of my posts have been limited to times when I've felt particularly inspired (especially poetically). I'm kind of a write-poetry-as-it-comes sort of gal, so the majority of what I learn will never find its way into a poem. Moreover, creativity is something that requires intentional time and a bit of that idiomatic elbow grease. As a student and a recovering perfectionist, it is difficult to feel justified in devoting precious minutes and hours to an endeavor not directly connected to my school work. Even if I did feel justified, why would I use a blog post as my outlet?

SO.
Problem diagnosed?
I know where my feet are. We'll see how easily I can move them from the self-imposed pressure of needing to sound smart or creative, and let this simply be a place where I can bring my bewildered mind and heart.

After 48 hours of Missions Conference
and 7 of a Theology Conference (with 3 more looming in the shadows of tomorrow's events)
my mind no longer wants to think or process, and my hands, stiff from note-taking, protest that I should even type out this short blurb.
Still, when it strikes my fancy to jot down a few thoughts, let it be known (but of course, you had put no restrictions on me) that this is a place uninhibited by worries about the perceptions of others or demands of perfection from myself.

Auf Wiedersehen (Oh, there's something simple to talk about. I'm learning German!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

1 Corinthians 10

Remember now the sea and rock:
the waters parted and poured out,
that all walked through and of partook--
a grace bestowed beneath the cloud.

But recall how Israel
God on the whole displeased
with grumbling mouths and hearts evil--
the whole lump with leaven laced.

Remember then the cup and bread:
The body now His Body breaks,
joined at the table of their Head
all other altars it rejects.

Recalling this, response demands:
A man should seek his neighbor's good
and make all of his actions' ends
to glorify a jealous God.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Passerby

One glimpse of your face
brings at once clarity and cloud--
the indescribable look in your eyes
giving shadows of experiences
not only too painful,
but also too tiring to mention;
tracing in my heart the paths
of expansive journeys,
yet without an indication of either
commencement or end.

Knowing the telling of a single glance,
you face the ground and walk past.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wonderment

Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect.... Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed
 -C.S. Lewis

We are creatures made to wonder, living in a wondrous reality--a reality exactly suited to our nature.
Perhaps then, there is type of satisfaction to be found in wondering--a type of fulfillment...

              when the last flares of evening light give leaves a heavenly aura.

    when lingering rain drops cling effulgently--natural ornaments to winter branches

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Lesson

I was studying for my last Interterm test up by the Biola Organic Garden. It was one of the most beautiful afternoons I've experienced since returning to campus: mildly cool shade + tickling sunlight + the gentlest of zephyrs. As I read about phyto-chemicals and looked up from my book to concentrate on memorizing, the lilting of the trees caught my attention and wrested it from its current task. I quickly took out my notebook and scribbled the following:

The trees teach me
how to relax:
sturdy stumps remain rigid,
but limbs languidly lift and wave
in the wind,
shaking stiff arms
and phyto-phylanges -
preparation to perform work peacefully.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inexplicable

Why did not the lightning
strike
as unclean feet
  approached the sacred throne,
  connected to impure body?
  (vessel all vile and unfit for use -
  lacquered hands, but dirty palms
  hid by clasp of prayer)
as distracted mind
  feigned full submission,
  with heart similarly false?
  (spirit's bowed knee all but mockery -
  lowly sheep with white wool unconvincing,
  disguising proud wolf)

Why instead did mercy
flow
as water and blood
  from piercéd side
  and ichor from thorn-clad brow?
  (bread broken and tapestry torn -
   wine prophesy-aged poured as
   new covenant life)
as stream from rock
  struck by shepherd's staff,
  quenching thirst of grumbling tongues?
  (men dead as the eponymous Sea -
   salt-crusted Glaucuses
  baptized into eternity)

Judgments unsearchable
and ways inscrutable
breed queries unanswerable

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Morning Chores

Morning wakes and 'gins her chores
sweeping away the dusty stars
mopping and bleaching the sky-floor pale
But the moon persists--
stubborn spot of Yesterday,
reviving in drowsy minds
a sense of Time's continuity